Texas Stars Game Preview 11.26.11

Nov 26, 2011

The Texas Stars and the Houston Aeros meet for the fifth time this season and the 29th time in AHL history. The Stars and the Aeros will face off seven more times this season, including four games at Cedar Park Center. The two teams played in Houston on Friday and again in Cedar Park on Saturday. Texas is 13-11-2-2 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 6-5-1-2 all-time at Toyota Center. Houston leads the season series with a 2-0-2-0 mark. Texas is 2-2-0-0 with both wins coming in overtime at Toyota Center. Texas has played Houston more than any other team in AHL history. The 29 meetings all-time are four ahead of 25 all-time meetings with San Antonio.

The Stars have two wins in their last seven games, going 2-4-0-1 over that span. Both of the team’s wins have come in overtime at Houston. Texas posted a 2-1 overtime win Friday night at the Toyota Center. After dropping a 3-2 decision on Wednesday at home, the Stars 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 3-5-0-1 at home this season, having been outscored 31-28. The Stars wrap up a stretch of two straight games against a West Division rival; the team is 4-6-0-1 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 evenly this season, with 18 first-period tallies and 17 second-period markers. The Stars have kept pace with their opponents in third period play with 16 goals per side. Over the last two weeks, the Stars have dropped from the highest ranked offense in the AHL to 14th overall with a 3.06 goals per game. The team has 13 goals over its last seven games. The Stars are 5-0-0-1 when leading after two periods of play, but they are 0-8-0-0 when trailing after two periods of play.

Houston is winless over the last two games after beating Texas 5-1 last Saturday at Cedar Park Center. The Aeros dropped a 2-1 OT decision at home to Texas on Friday and a 1-0 shootout loss at home last Sunday. The Aeros have not suffered a regulation loss in the last five games (2-0-2-1). The Aeros have played well on the road this season, going 6-1-0-1 in their first eight road games. Houston has outscored its opponents 27-16 away from the Toyota Center this year. Houston has posted four straight road wins and the Aeros have taken five of the last six road contests. The Aeros are the fourth highest scoring team in the Western Conference, averaging 3.11 goals per game. Defensively, Houston ranks sixth overall in the league by allowing 2.58 goals per game. The Aeros have struggled to score in the first period of play, putting up 11 goals in their first 19 games. Houston has 23 goals in the second period and 25 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 24th in the AHL with a 14.84 penalty minutes per game average.

Through the first four games of the season series, Houston has outscored Texas 13-8. The Aeros are 1-for-13 on the power play against Texas, while the Stars have gone 3-for-19. Aeros forward Jed Ortmeyer leads his team with three assists and five points in four games against the Stars. Teammates Chad Rau, Casey Wellman, Carson McMillan and Jeff Penner each have three points in the series. Houston goalie Matt Hackett is 1-2-0 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .928 save percentage against Texas. Stars center Travis Morin is tied with Ortmeyer for the series scoring lead. Morin leads the series with five assists. Right wing Raymond Sawada has two goals and three points in four games. Stars goalie Richard Bachman is 2-2-0 with a 2.93 and an .894 save percentage against Houston this season.

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 last 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:
Saturday, November 26 vs. Houston 7:00 PM 104.9 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
Saturday, December 10 vs. Oklahoma City 7:00 PM 92.5 FM
*All times listed are central time
Texas 2 at Houston 1 OT 11/25/11
The Texas Stars defeated the Houston Aeros 2-1 in overtime in front of 7,009 fans at the Toyota Center on Friday night. Defenseman Maxime Fortunus blasted a shot past Houston’s Matt Hackett with 37 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Stars to victory. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 32 shots for the win, helping the Stars improve to 5-4-0-0 on the road this season. Stars rookie forward Scott Glennie also scored, as Texas picked up its second consecutive win at Houston this season. Aeros forward Jed Ortmeyer forced overtime, scoring with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to spoil the Stars shutout bid. Houston goalie Matt Hackett stopped 24 shots in the loss.

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 Stars
Center Travis Morin and right wing Raymond Sawada lead Texas in scoring. Morin is the clubhouse leader with 14 assists and 18 points in his first 18 games played. He trails the league leader by seven points and he ranks in the top ten 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 18 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 18 games. He leads the team with nine goals scored and 75 shots on net. Fraser is tied for second in the AHL with six power-play goals and he is tied for 11th overall in the AHL in rookie scoring.

Forwards Francis Wathier and Ryan Garbutt round out the top scoring forwards for Texas. For the season, Wathier has five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 12 games played. Center Ryan Garbutt has 11 points in 18 games. Garbutt ranks in the AHL’s top ten with 15 minor penalties. Left wing Luke Gazdic leads the team in penalty minutes with 37, while Garbutt comes in second with 30 minutes.

Jordie Benn leads all Texas defensemen in scoring with five goals and 11 points in 18 games played. He ranks third in goals and tied for seventh 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 18 games played. Veteran Brad Lukowich has five assists and Maxime Fortunus has added seven points this season.

Goalies Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany split time in net for Texas. Bachman is 7-5-1 with a 3.05 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. In his last six starts, Bachman has turned aside 170 of 185 shots and posted a 2.19 goals against average. Over that span, the 24-year-old is 4-2-0 with one shutout and a .919 save percentage. Beskorowany is 1-4-0 with a 3.21 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. Bachman has started eight of the last ten games for Texas.

Special Teams
The Stars went 0-for-3 on the power play on Friday night in Houston. Texas fell from the second-rated power play in the AHL to the third-rated power play. The team has converted 24 of 90 for a 26.7% conversion rate. The Stars have failed to register a power-play goal in only six of their first 18 games. Texas has scored more than one power-play goal eight times this season. The Stars are second in the league with 24 power-play goals this season. The Stars have killed off 41 of the last 47 penalties (87.2%). Texas ranks 22nd overall on the penalty kill at 80%. The team ranked as low as 29th as recently as October 31st. The Aeros are 13th in the AHL on the penalty kill, stopping 82.4% 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 13th best in the AHL after going 19-for-101 (18.8%). Houston has gone three straight games without a power-play goal.

This Date in Stars History…
Texas has played once on this day, falling 1-0 on November 26, 2010, at home to Milwaukee. The Stars were defeated by the Milwaukee Admirals 1-0 in front of 5,198 fans at Cedar Park Center. Milwaukee goalie Mark Dekanich stopped 29 shots for his third shutout of the season, ending the Admirals four-game winless skid. Milwaukee center Steve Begin broke a scoreless game with 6:34 left in the third period, giving the Admirals the win. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 28 of 29 shots in the 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 19 games played. DiSalvatore is tied for second on the team with seven goals and he is tied for 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 55 shots on goal. The second-year Aero is second on the team with 17 points in 19 games. Veteran center Jeff Taffe is tied for the team lead with 11 assists and is third with 16 points. Taffe is among the league leaders with nine power-play assists. He is tied for fourth 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 18 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 7-3-3 on the year, sporting a 2.20 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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