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Texas Rides Three-Game Win Streak to Open 2013 Undefeated

Jan 9, 2013

Second Place Stars Prepare for Pink-in-the-Rink Weekend

2012-13 Record: 19-10-3-2, 43 points (9-6-2-1 Home, 10-4-1-1 Road), Second Place – South Division

Week 13 Recap:

Texas started off Week 13 with their final game of 2012. The Stars traveled to Oklahoma City for a New Years’ Eve clash with the Barons on Monday night and looked to be off to strong start, out-shooting their hosts 11-3 over the first 15 minutes of the game.  Then Jordan Eberle took over.  The AHL’s leading scorer scored twice in nine seconds and completed his hat trick in a span of 2:43 and all of a sudden Oklahoma City carried a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Texas rallied with a goal from Colton Sceviour to make it 3-1 and Matt Fraser scored a power play goal 28 seconds into the third period to make it 4-2, but the Stars never closed the gap and lost 5-2.

The Stars shook off the loss and welcomed 2013 with a flourish, winning all three games of a grueling three-in-three weekend. Texas began the three-game weekend with a 2-1 road victory over the Houston Aeros at Toyota Center. Jordie Benn’s fifth goal of the season put the Stars ahead just 5:36 into the first period. Houston tied the game with a power play goal from defenseman Chay Genoway less than two minutes into the middle frame, but Texas answered back with a power play goal by rookie Alex Chiasson for a 2-1 lead after two. The Aeros put on the pressure in the third period, but could not solve Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp, who turned in another strong performance for his 13th win of the season.

The Stars returned to Cedar Park Center for a weekend set against Peoria and Houston. On Saturday night Texas scored two goals in each of the first two periods, including Colton Sceviour’s second shorthanded goal of the season, to take a 4-0 lead over the Rivermen. Peoria rallied with two goals in the first nine minutes of the third period, only for Matt Fraser to score his second goal of the night on an empty net to secure a 5-2 win.  Rookie Jack Campbell won his fifth game of the year and equaled a career-high with 36 saves on 38 shots faced. Sunday the Stars and Aeros battled for the second time in three days and Houston grabbed the early lead. Texas scored three times in the second period, a Reilly Smith shorthanded goal, Mike Hedden’s first of the year and a power play goal from captain Maxime Fortunus to take a 3-2 lead. The Aeros scored a power play goal midway through the third period to send the game into overtime, but took a tripping penalty 1:25 into the extra session. The Stars only needed 20 seconds to win the game as Cody Eakin snuck home a near post shot on goalie Matt Hackett at 1:45 to record his first game-winning goal of the season and take down the Aeros 4-3.

Week 14 Preview:

Texas returns in Week 14 with another three-in-three on the schedule. The Stars will host the Houston Aeros on Friday, January 11th at 7:30 p.m. and the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday, January 12th at 7:00 p.m. at Cedar Park Center, before traveling to Oklahoma City for a 4:00 p.m. matinee against the Barons at Cox Convention Center on Sunday, January 13th. This two-game home stand is Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. The Stars will wear special pink-themed ribbon jerseys with a silent auction benefiting the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Friday night is $3 Beer Night and every Friday is a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, where fans will win scratch off tickets from the Texas Lottery if their section’s player scores the first goal of the game. Saturday night is another Family Four Pack Night and is the Pink in the Rink Puck Giveaway courtesy of the Stars and Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.

Also this weekend the Stars will be hosting a Health & Lifestyle Expo around the concourse at Cedar Park Center. Doors will be open 30 minutes earlier for both games, at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The vendors will be set up all around the concourse both before and during the games. Friday night' will feature: Salus Chiropractic, Hooters, Austin Steam Train, The Allure, A+ Federal Credit Union, Silverleaf and Farmers Insurance. Saturday’s vendors include: Vitalogy Skincare, Silverleaf, NextCare and Liberty Mutual.

The Stars have won three in a row for the third time this season and are currently enjoying their first three-game home winning streak of the season. Texas took six points out of a possible eight last week and sit just two points behind Charlotte for first place in the South Division and have one game in hand on the Checkers. The Stars are the only team in the American Hockey League to not have a loss in regulation or overtime after scoring the first goal of the game. The team is 9-0-0-1 when scoring first; garnering them an AHL-best 0.950 points percentage.

Left wing Reilly Smith is now tied with Cody Eakin for the team lead in points (23). Smith is tied for second in goals (11) and assists (12) and has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in his last ten games played. Rookie defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is tied for second on the team in assists (13) and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +2 rating in his last six games played. Captain Maxime Fortunus is tied for fifth on the team in assists (10) and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +1 rating in his last five games played. Center Antoine Roussel continues to set career highs in goals (6), assists (8) and points (14) and has three assists and a +3 rating in his last two games.

Week 14 Schedule:
(All games are broadcast LIVE over the Internet at www.TexasStarsHockey.com and the free Radio tab of www.ahllive.com and can be viewed via internet pay-per-view video on www.ahllive.com. All times listed in Central Time)

Friday, January 11 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Houston Aeros (18-11-3-3, 42 pts)
Third Place, South Division

• Team Notes: Houston has lost its last two games against the Stars and has gone 2-1-2-0 in its last five games. The Aeros play another three-in-three this weekend, playing at Texas on Friday and then hosting Lake Erie on Saturday and Charlotte on Sunday. The grueling schedule is even more taxing on Houston due to a large number of injuries and they lost top prospect Mikael Granlund, who was removed from action in preparation of the end of the NHL lockout and his subsequent departure to Minnesota. The Aeros rank 3rd in the AHL with a 21.1% power play rating and are 28th in penalty kill percentage (79.2%). Texas is 3-2-2-0 versus Houston this year, while the Aeros are 4-2-1-0 against the Stars.  Houston has played in more overtime and shootout games (13) than any other team in the AHL this year. The Aeros are 4-3 in overtime games and 3-3 in shootouts.
• Leading Scorer: Jason Zucker (C) – 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) and -7 in 31 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Matt Hackett (G) – 2.63 GAA, 0.904 save pct., 13-11-3 in 28 GP.
• Who’s Hot: Jason Zucker (LW) – Leads the team in goals (15) and points (32) and is on a four-game assist/point streak with six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and a +1 rating over that span.  Nick Petersen (RW) – Has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last six games played.  Brian Connelly (D) – Missed last Sunday’s game against the Stars due to injury and has six assists in his last seven games played.

Saturday, January 12 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. San Antonio Rampage (15-18-0-4, 34 pts)
Fifth Place, South Division

• Team Notes: San Antonio has bounced back since suffering a six-game losing streak in the middle of December. The Rampage have gone 5-1-0-1 in their last seven games, earning 11 of a possible 14 points. San Antonio has a difficult three-in-three schedule this week. The Rampage will host the Lake Erie Monsters for a two-game home stand on Thursday, January 10th and Friday, January 11th and follow up with a trip to Cedar Park on Saturday to face the Stars. San Antonio is 0-4-0-0 against the Stars this season; they have gone 2-0 in overtime games and are 0-4 in shootouts. The Rampage rank 26th in the AHL in power play percentage (13.1%) and they are tied for 7th in penalty kill rating (85.5%).
• Leading Scorer: Jon Rheault (C) – 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) and +4 in 37 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (G) – 2.66 GAA, 0.917 save pct., 11-11-2, 2 SO in 24 GP.
• Who’s Hot: Drew Shore (C) – Leads the team in assists (18), ranks second in points (26) and has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and a +5 rating in his last seven games.  Jon Rheault (C) – Leads the team in points (27), ranks second in both goals (11) and assists (16) and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +5 rating in his last five games.  Quinton Howden (LW) – Ranks fifth on the team in points (17) and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +5 rating in his last four games.  Alex Petrovic (D) – Has four assists and a +4 rating in his last four games.

Sunday, January 13 – 4:00 p.m. – Cox Convention Center – Oklahoma City, OK
at Oklahoma City Barons (18-13-1-3, 40 pts)
Fourth Place, South Division

• Team Notes: The Barons finished off the month of December with a four-game winning streak, including three wins against Texas. The New Year has not started as brightly for Oklahoma City, as the team has gone 1-3-0-0 in 2013. The Barons had perhaps the most to lose with the NHL lockout coming to an end as they saw their top three scorers taken out of the lineup last weekend in Chicago and head up to Edmonton: AHL leading scorer right wing Jordan Eberle (25-26-51), the league’s second leading scorer defenseman Justin Schultz (18-30-48) and one of the top points-per-game producers left wing Taylor Hall (14-20-34). The Barons still boast the AHL’s top power play rating (26.1%), but rank last in the league in penalty kill (78.3%).
• Leading Scorer: Jordan Eberle (RW) – 51 points (25 goals, 26 assists) and +11 in 34 GP.
• Leading Goaltender: Yann Danis (G) – 2.85 GAA, 0.911 save pct., 13-10-3, 0 SO in 26 GP.
• Who’s Hot: Mark Arcobello (C) – Ranks third on the team in assists (22), is fourth in points (31) and has six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in his last six games.  Teemu Hartikainen (LW) – Ranks fourth on the team in goals (11) and is on a four-game point streak and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) during that span.  Josh Green (C) – Has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last five games.

Week 13 Game Results:

December 31, 2012                         Texas 2 @ Oklahoma City 5
January 4, 2013                                 Texas 2 @ Houston 1
January 5, 2013                                 Peoria 2 @ Texas 5
January 6, 2013                                 Houston 3 @ Texas 4 – OT

Stars Player of the Week: (Week 13)

Maxime Fortunus – D – #18                        4 GP, 3 points (2 G, 1 A), +1, 2 PIMs
Defenseman Maxime Fortunus exploded for his best offensive week of the season for Texas in Week 13. The Stars captain led the team with three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in four games played and also finished with 2 penalty minutes and a +1 rating. The La Prairie, Quebec native began the week with his 10th assist of the year in a New Year’s Eve loss at Oklahoma City. Fortunus once again logged solid minutes during Texas’ 2-1 win at Houston on Friday and then came home and scored the game-winning goal against Peoria on Saturday. Sunday afternoon he scored a power play goal for his first goal streak of the season in a 4-3 overtime win over the Aeros. On the season Fortunus has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) and he is one of six players to appear in all 35 games for the Stars.

Stars Quick Hits:

• SERIOUS FIREPOWER - Texas has scored at least one power play goal in eight straight games and have gone 10-for-35 (28.6%) during that streak.  With the improved proficiency on the man-advantage, the Stars have climbed up to 10th place in the AHL standings as of Wednesday afternoon.

• FORTY MINUTE LEAD – The Stars are now a perfect 13-0-0-0 record when leading after two periods this season.  Texas is 4-0-1-2 when tied after forty minutes and a 2-11-2-0 when trailing going into the third period.

• WINNING STREAK – Texas won all three games of its three-in-three weekend, marking the third time this season the team has won three in a row.  The Stars two home wins this past weekend was the first time they have won three straight at home this year, starting with their December 29th win over Charlotte.

• DOWN A MAN, UP A GOAL – The Stars scored shorthanded goals in back-to-back games this weekend.  Colton Sceviour scored his second shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday against Peoria and rookie Reilly Smith tallied his first career pro shorty on Sunday against Houston.  Texas now has six shorthanded goals as a team this year, which is tied for second in the AHL; Binghamton leads with nine.

• SHORTHANDED AGAINST – Texas allowed its second shorthanded goal against on Saturday night to Peoria defenseman Brent Regner.  Oddly enough, the Rivermen have scored both of the shorthanded goals allowed by the Stars this year.  Only Chicago and Bridgeport have allowed fewer shorthanded goals than Texas.

• COACHING MILESTONE – Friday’s 2-1 road victory over the Houston Aeros was Willie Desjardins’ 350th career victory as a head coach in North America.  Desjardins has a record of 352-193-34-32, for a 0.630 points percentage in 611 career games behind the bench.

• 150 AND RISING – Center Antoine Roussel played in his 150th career pro game on Sunday against Houston.  The Roubaix, France native has 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) and 374 penalty minutes in his pro career, including 138 career AHL games.  Roussel has already set career highs this season in goals (6), assists (8) and points (14) in 35 games for the Stars.

• NO GOALIE – Matt Fraser’s empty net goal Saturday night in a 5-2 win over Peoria was just the second time all season that the Stars have scored an empty net goal at Cedar Park Center.  Their other one came on October 24th by Antoine Roussel in a 3-1 win over Milwaukee.  Texas has scored four total empty net goals this year, with Brenden Dillon and Scott Glennie scoring them on the road.

• OVERTIME WIN – Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win against Houston was the second overtime victory for the Stars this season.  It was also the team’s first overtime win at home since March 9, 2012 when Colton Sceviour’s overtime goal gave Texas a 4-3 win over San Antonio.  The Stars are now 5-3-2 in OT/SO games with a 2-3 record in overtime and a 3-2 record in shootouts.

• APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: RW Tomas Vincour is 1 GP away from his 100th career AHL game.  LW Mike Hedden is 3 GP shy of his 100th career AHL game.  C Toby Petersen needs four points to record his 350th career AHL point.  RW Scott Glennie is 9 GP away from this 100th career pro game and 10 GP away from his 100th AHL game.  RW Colton Sceviour needs 5 points for his 150th career pro and AHL point.

Stars Week 13 & Week 14 Transactions

January 7 – ADD – Jace Coyle (D) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Idaho (ECHL).
January 7 – ADD – Austin Smith (RW) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Idaho (ECHL).
January 7 – ADD – Justin Dowling (C) – Signed to SPC, called up from Idaho (ECHL).
January 1 – DELETE – Austin Smith (RW) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) to Idaho (ECHL).

Texas Stars Team Leaders:

Games Played:                         Six players tied (35)
Goals:                                           Matt Fraser (14)
Assists:                                         Travis Morin Oleksiak (13)
Points:                                          Cody Eakin & Reilly Smith (23)
Plus/Minus:                               Colton Sceviour (+8)
Penalty Minutes:                     Antoine Roussel (96)
Power Play Goals:                   Matt Fraser (7)
Short Handed Goals:              Cody Eakin & Colton Sceviour (2)
Game-Winning Goals:          Colton Sceviour (3)
Shots:                                           Matt Fraser (90)
Shooting Percentage:            Scott Glennie (22.2%)
Saves:                                           Cristopher Nilstorp (561)
Wins:                                            Cristopher Nilstorp (14)
GAA:                                             Cristopher Nilstorp (2.22)
Save Percentage:                     Cristopher Nilstorp (0.914)
Shutouts:                                    Cristopher Nilstorp (4)
The Texas Stars are back in action on Friday, January 11th for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff against the Houston Aeros at Cedar Park Center.  Friday’s game is the beginning of Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center as the Stars will wear special pink ribbon jerseys.  Friday is also another $3 Beer Night and every Friday is a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, where fans will win scratch off tickets from the Texas Lottery if their section’s player scores the first goal of the game.  Pro-rated full and partial 2012-13 season seat packages are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.

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