Texas Stars Weekly: Week 9
Stars to Complete Longest Road Trip of Season, Head Home This Weekend
The Stars began the week on Tuesday night in Rockford and fell behind 3-0 after the first 4:37 of the opening period. Texas rallied with two goals in the period from Antoine Roussel and Alex Chiasson and then in the second period the scored two more times to take a 4-3 lead as Jordie Benn struck on the power play and rookie Reilly Smith scored his first pro goal. The IceHogs stopped the bleeding with a power play goal of their own to tie the game at four, but in the third period Colton Sceviour scored the Stars’ third power play goal of the game for a 5-4 comeback win.
Texas then traveled to Grand Rapids for a two-game set with the Griffins at Van Andel Arena. The Stars took the first game on Friday night, erasing a one-goal deficit with three unanswered goals as Reilly Smith, Jordie Benn and Alex Chiasson all scored goals for the second time in as many games for a 3-1 victory. The win helped Texas close out the month of November with a 6-3-1-1 record and 14 points to the standings. Saturday night the Griffins again scored first, but Sceviour and Matt Fraser each scored goals to give Texas a 2-1 lead after the first period. However, Grand Rapids had the final response as they scored two goals in the second period to pull ahead 3-2 and rookie goalie Petr Mrazek shut the door for a Griffins win.
Sunday in Peoria, fighting the fatigue of three road games in three days, the Stars fell behind 2-0 after the first period and only managed three shots on goal in the entire second period. That third shot was vital as Cam Barker’s effort from the blue line found the net with 7.9 seconds left in the middle frame. The goal gave Texas life and midway through the third period Jordie Benn and Reilly Smith scored goals 14 seconds apart to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Smith took a tripping penalty with 60 seconds left in regulation and the Rivermen tied the game with 3.6 seconds left to force overtime. After a scoreless overtime, the Stars once again went into a lengthy shootout and Alex Chiasson’s goal in the tenth round secured a 4-3 shootout win over Peoria as Texas won three of four road games on the week.
Texas completes their six-game road trip on Wednesday, December 5th as they face the Milwaukee Admirals for a 7:00 p.m. game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Stars then return to Cedar Park Center for a two game weekend home stand. The team hosts the Houston Aeros on Friday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m. and the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday, December 8th at 7:00 p.m. This weekend is Sing for Santa Weekend at Cedar Park Center, where local school choirs will perform holiday favorites during both games. In addition, Friday is Jack Campbell Mini-Bobblehead giveaway night presented by Time Warner Cable and Saturday is a Family Four Pack Night and Stars Fleece Blanket giveaway night presented by University Federal Credit Union.
Wednesday, December 5 – 7:00 p.m. – BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI
@ Milwaukee Admirals (9-8-1-1, 20 pts)
Fourth Place, Midwest Division
- Team Notes: Wednesday’s game will be the second and final regular season meeting between the two teams during 2012-13. The Admirals have won their last three straight games; all three were one-goal games. Goaltender Jeremy Smith has been a workhorse in goal for Milwaukee, starting 11 of the team’s last 13 games. The Admirals only had one game last week, a Friday night 3-2 comeback win over the Chicago Wolves at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Milwaukee is 25th in the AHL with a 13.1% power play rating and is 14th in penalty kill percentage (83.8%). Texas won the first meeting of the season 3-1 at Cedar Park Center on October 24th.
- Leading Scorer: Chris Mueller (C) – 14 points (9 goals, 5 assists) and -2 in 19 GP & Austin Watson (C) – 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) and +8 in 19 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Jeremy Smith (G) – 2.57 GAA, 0.900 save pct., 6-9-1, 1 SO in 16 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Austin Watson (C) – Is tied for the team lead in points and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +5 rating in his last four games played. Chris Mueller (C) – Leads the team in goals and is tied for the team lead in points and has five points (4 goals, 1 assist) in his last five games played. Daniel Bang (RW) – Has six points (2-4-6) and a +2 rating in his last six games played. Jonathon Blum (D) – Is on a three-game assist streak and has three assists and a +4 rating in his last three games played.
Friday, December 7 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. Houston Aeros (11-6-1-2, 25 pts)
Tied-Second Place, South Division
- Team Notes: The Aeros have won five straight games, and six of their last seven, to move within one point of first place in the South Division. Goalie Matt Hackett, who led Houston to the 2011 Calder Cup Finals, has started the last seven games in a row. The Aeros have the AHL’s fourth ranked power play, with a 22.4% rating (22-for-98). Houston won the first two games against Texas this year, but lost 4-2 to the Stars at home in the last meeting on November 11th at Toyota Center.
- Leading Scorer: Justin Fontaine (RW) – 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists) and +2 in 19 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Matt Hackett (G) – 2.77 GAA, 0.901 save pct., 8-5-2 in 16 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Justin Fontaine (RW) – Leads the team in points and is on a five-game point streak, with seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) and a +1 rating during that span. Jason Zucker (LW) – Leads the team in goals and has six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in his last five games played. Johan Larsson (RW) – Is fourth on the team in points and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games played.
Saturday, December 8 – 7:00 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
@ Peoria Rivermen (6-10-2-2, 16 pts)
Fifth Place, Midwest Division
- Team Notes: Since winning three straight games in mid-November, Peoria has going 1-3-0-1 in their last five games played. This game will be the first visit of the season by the Rivermen to Cedar Park Center. The two teams will face each other two other times this year; January 5th at Texas and January 19th at Peoria. The Stars beat the Rivermen 4-3 in a ten round shootout last Sunday; their first meeting of the season. Peoria embarks on a ten day, five-game road trip that takes the Rivermen to Grand Rapids, then to Cedar Park, Houston, Oklahoma City and back to Grand Rapids.
- Leading Scorer: T.J. Hensick (C) – 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists) in 20 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Jake Allen (G) – 3.33 GAA, 0.894 save pct., 5-9-2 in 16 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Mark Cundari (D) – Has five assists and a +5 rating in his last five games played. Derek Nesbitt (RW) leads the team in goals and has eight points (7 goals, 1 assist) in his last seven games played. T.J. Hensick (C) – Leads the team in points and assists and has three assists in his last four games played.
November 27, 2012 Texas 5 @ Rockford 4
November 30, 2012 Texas 3 @ Grand Rapids 1
December 1, 2012 Texas 2 @ Grand Rapids 3
December 2, 2012 Texas 4 @ Peoria 3 – SO
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 8)
Reilly Smith – LW – #28 4 GP, 4 points (3 G, 1 A), +5, 2 PIMs
Rookie left wing Reilly Smith had a breakout week for the Texas Stars, posting four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +5 rating in four games. In the midst of a ten-day, five-game road trip, the Toronto, Ontario native scored his first pro goal on Tuesday night at Rockford, part of a 5-4 comeback win over the IceHogs. Smith then scored for the second straight game on Friday night in a 3-1 win at Grand Rapids. The rookie capped off the week with his first career multi-point game with a goal and an assist as the Stars rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Peoria 4-3 in a shootout. On the season Smith has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 20 games for Texas.
· SHOOTOUT MARATHON – The Stars are 3-1 in four shootouts this year and have totaled 32 rounds. Texas has won shootouts of nine rounds twice and one of ten and has lost a four-round shootout.
· THE FIRST GOAL CONUNDRUM – Texas has only scored the first goal in four of their first 20 games this season. The Stars are a perfect 4-0-0-0 in those games and are a remarkable 6-8-1-1 in the other 16 games where they have allowed the first goal. The last time Texas scored first was on November 15th in a 3-0 home win over San Antonio.
· A NEW ACCOUNT – Rookie left wing Reilly Smith scored his first pro goal on Tuesday night at Rockford. After recording three assists in his first 15 games of the season, the Toronto, Ontario native has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his last five games.
· SHOOTOUT SPECIALIST – Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp has been almost unbeatable in his two shootout appearances this season. The Malmo, Sweden native leads the AHL in shootout attempts faced (19) and has stopped 17 of them for a 0.895 shootout save percentage. Nilstorp is also tied for the league lead with two shootout wins.
· A SEXCENTENNIAL – Head coach Willie Desjardins is four games away from recording his 600th career game as a head coach. In 596 career games behind the bench, Desjardins has a record of 343-190-32-31 and a 0.628 career winning percentage. His 600th game is scheduled to take place on Friday, December 14th at Abbotsford.
· LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE – The Texas Stars scored two goals in 14 seconds in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Peoria Rivermen. Jordie Benn scored at 9:13 of the third period and Reilly Smith scored at 9:27, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 Stars lead.
· SOMETHING ABOUT SUNDAY – The Stars are 4-2-0-0 in Sunday games this season, their best record and most points (8) of any day of the week.
· EXPERIENCE ABOUNDS – Left wing Francis Wathier played in his 400th career AHL game on Tuesday at Rockford. In 403 career AHL games, the St. Isidore, Ontario native has compiled 164 points (78 goals, 86 assists) and 551 penalty minutes. On Friday at Grand Rapids defenseman Maxime Fortunus recorded his 650th career pro game. The Stars captain, and La Prairie, Quebec native, has 199 career points (54 goals, 145 assists) and 277 penalty minutes in 652 career pro games, 521 of those in the AHL.
· APPROACHING MILESTONES – Center Cody Eakin needs 3 GP to record his 100th career pro game. Right wing Colton Sceviour is 4 GP away from his 250th pro game and 5 GP from his 250th AHL game. LW Matt Fraser needs 4 GP from his 100th career pro game and 5 GP from his 100th career AHL game. Center Travis Morin is 5 GP away from his 400th career pro game and 250th career AHL game. Defenseman Jordie Benn is 9 GP shy of his 250th career pro game.
Games Played: 11 players tied (20)
Goals: Matt Fraser (7)
Assists: Jamie Oleksiak & Francis Wathier (8)
Points: Cody Eakin (13)
Plus/Minus: Cody Eakin (+8)
Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (72)
Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (4)
Short Handed Goals: Cody Eakin (2)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (2)
Shots: Cam Barker (59)
Shooting Percentage: Scott Glennie (33.3%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (292)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (6)
GAA: Cristopher Nilstorp (2.49)
Save Percentage: Cristopher Nilstorp (0.904)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (2)