Texas Stars Game Preview 11.25.11

Nov 25, 2011

The Texas Stars and the Houston Aeros meet for the fourth time this season and the 28th time in AHL history. The Stars and the Aeros will face off eight more times this season, including four games at Cedar Park Center. The two teams play in Houston on Friday and back in Cedar Park on Saturday. Texas is 12-11-2-2 all-time against Houston after going 3-6-2-1 in 2010-11 against their in-state rivals. Texas is 7-6-1-0 all-time at home against Houston and 5-5-1-2 all-time at Toyota Center. Houston has taken two of the three previous meetings this season, without suffering a regulation loss (2-0-1-0). The Stars lone win in the series came last Friday in Houston, a 3-2 overtime victory. It was the Stars first win in Houston since February 27th, 2010. Dating back to their inaugural season, Texas had fallen in six straight at Toyota Center. Texas has played Houston more than any other team in AHL history. The 28 meetings all-time is three ahead of 25 all-time meetings with San Antonio.

The Stars have one win in their last six games, going 1-4-0-1 over that span. Texas is coming off a 3-2 loss at home to Chicago on Wednesday. The loss extended the team’s winless skid to four (0-3-0-1) at Cedar Park Center. The Stars have one regulation win in the month of November. Texas is 4-4-0-0 on the road this season, having been outscored 27-25. The Stars will play two straight against a West Division rival, the team is 3-6-0-1 within its own division. After two games with Houston, the Stars will play three straight against the Charlotte Checkers of the Midwest Division. The Stars are 3-3-0-0 against the Midwest Division this season. Texas’ scoring has been spread out this season, with 17 first-period tallies and 17 second-period markers. The Stars have edged their opponents in third period play by a 16-15 margin. Over the last two weeks, the Stars have dropped from the highest ranked offense in the AHL to 13th overall with a 3.12 goals per game. The team has 11 goals over its last six games. The Stars are 4-0-0-1 when leading after two periods of play, but they are 0-8-0-0 when trailing after two periods of play.

After beating Texas on 5-1 on Saturday, Houston dropped a 1-0 shootout to Abbotsford at home on Sunday. The Heat took first place in the West Division with the win, pulling two points ahead of Houston and Oklahoma City. The Aeros have not suffered a regulation loss in the last four games (2-0-1-1). Houston is 4-2-1-3 at the Toyota Center this season, with even scoring on both sides of the ice at 31 goals per team. The Aeros are the second highest scoring team in the Western Conference, averaging 3.12 goals per game. Defensively, Houston ranks eighth overall in the league by allowing 2.61 goals per game. The Aeros have struggled to score in the first period of play, putting up 11 goals in their first 18 games. Houston has 23 goals in the second period and 24 in the third. The Aeros have scored the first goal seven times this season, posting a 6-1-0-0 mark when they get on the board first. The 2011 Western Conference champions rank 20th in the AHL with a 15.33 penalty minutes per game average.

Through the first three games of the season series, Houston has outscored Texas 12-6. The Aeros are 1-for-9 on the power play against Texas, while the Stars have gone 3-for-16. Aeros forward Jed Ortmeyer leads his team with three assists and four points in three games. Teammates Chad Rau, Casey Wellman, Carson McMillan and Jeff Penner each have three points in the series. Houston goalie Matt Hackett is 1-1-0 with a 2.47 goals against average and a .930 save percentage against Texas, Stars center Travis Morin is tied with Ortmeyer for the series scoring lead. Morin leads the series with four assists. . Right wing Raymond Sawada has two goals and three points in three games.

Vincour Earns Call up to Dallas
The Dallas Stars announced on Sunday that the club has recalled right wing Tomas Vincour (Vin-sooer) from the Texas Stars, Dallas’ primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). He joined the Stars for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Vincour celebrated his 21st birthday with his tenth goal of the season on Saturday against Houston. The right wing leads the Texas Stars with ten goals in 15 games played. In all, he is tied for third on the team with 13 points. He had a five-game goal scoring streak from Oct. 27 – Nov. 6. Vincour’s streak tied Warren Peters’ team record for consecutive games with a goal. Vincour also tied a team record by recording a point in six straight games from Oct. 25 – Nov. 6. He currently has a goal in six straight road games. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, scored five goals and totaled 12 points in 44 games as a rookie with Texas in 2010-11.

He made his NHL debut last season with Dallas, registering one goal and one assist in 24 games with the NHL club. The Brno, Czech Republic, native was selected by Dallas in the fifth round (129th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

What’s Ahead:
Friday, November 25 at Houston 7:35 PM 92.5 FM
Saturday, November 26 vs. Houston 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
Wednesday, November 30 at Charlotte 6:00 PM 104.9 FM
Saturday, December 3 at Charlotte 6:00 PM 104.9 FM
Friday, December 9 vs. Charlotte 7:30 PM 92.5 FM
*All times listed are central time
Chicago 3 at Texas 2 11/23/11
The Texas Stars were defeated by the Chicago Wolves 3-2 in front of 5,901 fans at Cedar Park Center on Wednesday night. Chicago goalie Matt Climie stopped 40 of 42 shots faced for his fifth straight win. Wolves’ defenseman Kevin Connauton registered a goal and an assist on the night. Defenseman Adam Polasek and left wing Antoine Roussel also scored for Chicago, which improved to 6-4-0-1 on the road. Two Stars’ skaters had multi-point nights. Defenseman Jordie Benn notched a goal and an assist while center Scott Glennie set up both Stars goals. Texas goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 24 of 27 shots as the Stars fell to 3-5-0-1 at home.

Houston 5 at Texas 1 11/19/11
The Texas Stars were defeated by the Houston Aeros 5-1 in front of 4,930 fans at Cedar Park Center on Saturday night. Four Houston skaters had multi-point nights, including centers Casey Wellman, Chad Rau and defenseman Jeff Penner. Each Aero had a goal and an assist for Houston. Right wing Jon DiSalvatore registered two assists as Houston moved to 6-1-0-1 on the road. Houston goalie Dennis Endras stopped 24 of 25 shots to seal the Aeros’ victory. Right wing Tomas Vincour scored the lone Texas goal in the first period. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 14 of 18 shots before he was relieved by Tyler Beskorowany in the third. Beskorowany stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

Texas 3 at Houston 2 OT 11/18/11
The Texas Stars defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 in overtime in front of 9,036 fans at the Toyota Center on Friday night. Texas right wing Raymond Sawada put in a rebound 1:30 into overtime, scoring his fifth goal of the year and lifting the Stars to a road victory over their in-state rivals. Center Travis Morin and defenseman Maxime Fortunus each had two assists, as the Stars improved to 4-4-0-0 on the road this season. Forward Tomas Vincour and defenseman Jordie Benn also scored, as Texas took home its third overtime win of the season. Vincour extended his goal scoring streak to six straight road games this season. Texas goalie Richard Bachman picked up the win with 21 saves. Houston goalie Matt Hackett made 32 saves in the defeat.

Texas Stars
Center Travis Morin and right wing Raymond Sawada lead Texas in scoring. Morin is the clubhouse leader with 13 assists and 17 points in his first 17 games played. He trails the league leader by eight points and he ranks in the top five of the AHL for assists.
Morin is among the AHL leaders with nine power-play assists. Sawada is second overall in team scoring with five goals and ten assists for 15 points in 17 games played. Sawada (9) and Morin (10) are among the top ten in the AHL for power-play points. Rookie forward Matt Fraser is third in team scoring with 13 points in 17 games. He leads the team with nine goals scored and 72 shots on net. Fraser is tied for second in the AHL with six power-play goals and he is tied for tenth overall in the AHL in rookie scoring.

Forwards Francis Wathier and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scorers for Texas. Wathier has three goals and four assists for seven points over the last eight games. For the season, the third-year Star has five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 17 games played. Center Ryan Garbutt has 11 points in 17 games. Garbutt ranks in the AHL’s top ten with 14 minor penalties Left wing Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 37, while Garbutt comes in second with 28 minutes.

Jordie Benn leads all Texas defensemen in scoring with five goals and ten points in 17 games played. He ranks third in goals and tied for tenth in points among all AHL defensemen. Benn totaled 12 points in 60 games as a rookie in 2010-11, including two goals. Dan Spang is second among all team defenders with nine points off two goals and seven assists. Rookie Brenden Dillon has six assists and seven points in 17 games played. Veteran Brad Lukowich has five assists and Maxime Fortunus has added six points this season.

Goalies Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany split time in net for Texas. Bachman is 6-5-1 with a 3.24 goals against average and a .883 save percentage. In his last five starts, Bachman has turned aside 139 of 153 shots and posted a 2.43 goals against average. Over that span, the 24-year-old is 3-2-0 with one shutout and a .908 save percentage. Beskorowany is 1-4-0 with a 3.21 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. Bachman has started seven of the last nine games for Texas.

Special Teams
Despite going 2-for-6 on Wednesday against Chicago, the Stars fell from the second-rated power play in the AHL to the third-rated power play. The team has converted 24 of 87 for a 27.6% conversion rate. The Stars have failed to register a power-play goal in only five of their first 17 games. Texas has scored more than one power-play goal eight times this season. The Stars lead the league with 24 power-play goals this season. The Stars have killed off 37 of the last 43 penalties (86%). Texas ranks 25th overall on the penalty kill at 78.9%. The team ranked as low as 29th as recently as October 31st. The Aeros are 14th in the AHL on the penalty kill, stopping 81.8% of their opponents’ power plays. Last Friday, Texas ended Houston’s streak of eight straight games with at least one power-play goal. Overall, the Aeros rank 12th best in the AHL after going 19-for-97 (19.6%).

This Date in Stars History…
Texas has played once on this day. The Stars defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 in a shootout in front of 5,698 fans at Cedar Park Center. Texas goalie Matt Climie held Milwaukee scoreless for the first 58:52 of play and then shutdown the Admirals the rest of the way for the win. Climie finished with 32 saves through regulation and stuffed all four Admirals in the shootout to preserve his first shootout victory of the year. Texas Stars forward Warren Peters and defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy both scored in the shootout to give the Stars an 8-1-1-1 mark at Cedar Park Center. Texas right wing Ray Sawada scored the team’s lone-regulation goal. Milwaukee goalie Chet Pickard stopped 23 of 24 in regulation and two of the four Stars attempts in the shootout loss.

The Houston Aeros
The Aeros saw a coaching change this offseason. Mike Yeo was promoted to head coach of the Minnesota Wild after last year’s Calder Cup Finals appearance. In his first year with Houston, Yeo posted a 46-28-1-5 mark and a berth to the Calder Cup Finals where the Aeros fell to the Binghamton Senators in six games. This season, John Torchetti is now behind the bench for Houston. Torchetti has an extensive hockey background spanning 27 years. Last season, he was the Atlanta Thrashers’ associate coach. Prior to his position in Atlanta, Torchetti was an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2008-10. Chicago went to the Western Conference Finals in 2009 and won a Stanley Cup championship the following year.

Right wing Jon DiSalvatore returns for his third season in Houston. The Aeros captain leads the team with 18 points in 18 games played. DiSalvatore is tied for second on the team with seven goals and he is first on the club with 11 assists. Center Casey Wellman leads the Aeros with 11 goals this season, including a league-leading seven power-play goals. Wellman ranks in the top ten of the AHL for goals scored and he leads the team with 51 shots on goal. The second-year Aero is second on the team with 17 points in 18 games. Veteran center Jeff Taffe is second on the team with ten assists and is third with 15 points. Taffe is among the league leaders with nine power-play assists. He is tied for third in the league lead with 11 points on the power play this year. The Aeros top-scoring defenseman is Chay Genoway, who has ten assists and 11 points in 17 games played. Former Star Warren Peters is currently on recall to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. Peters had four goals and four assists in 13 games for Houston this season.

In goal, the Aeros feature Matt Hackett and Dennis Endras. Hackett is 7-2-3 on the year, sporting a 2.23 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. Endras is an AHL rookie after spending six years in the DEL of Germany. The 26-year old is 3-2-1 with a 2.46 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.

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