Texas Stars Weekly: Week 11
Texas Raids Abbotsford, Takes 3-of-4 Points In B.C.
2012-13 Record: 13-8-2-2, 30 points (5-5-2-1 Home, 8-3-0-1 Road), Third Place – South Division
Texas put up another strong showing on the road in Week 10 as they powered through the daunting challenge of traveling the long distance to Abbotsford, British Columbia to square off with the first place Heat in their own building. Friday night, as was to be expected, the two teams battled to a low-shooting defensive battle early. Then the Stars exploded for three goals in the second period to seize control of the game. Reilly Smith scored a power play goal, Taylor Vause had a superb finish for the game-winning goal (his first of the season) and Cody Eakin gave the team some insurance. Cristopher Nilstorp continued his winning ways with 20 saves on 21 shots for his ninth win of the season.
Saturday night was a very close contest as Heat goaltender Barry Brust faced a barrage of shots from the Stars early in the game. Leading goal scorer Matt Fraser put Texas in the lead with a one-timer on a five-on-three power play five minutes into the second period. Krys Kolanos tied the game three minutes later and the rest of regulation was dominated by the stellar play of Brust and Stars rookie Jack Campbell. After a scoreless overtime, Abbotsford scored shootout goals with their first two shooters, before Tomas Vincour and Jordie Benn responded to tie it up at two. Kolanos found the net again, with the last shot in the fifth round, to give the Heat a 2-1 shootout victory. Even though Texas did not win on Saturday, they rolled out of Canada sporting the plunder of three out of a possible four points against the first place team in the Western Conference.
The Stars make a brief cameo at Cedar Park Center for one game before heading right back out on the road for two games leading into the AHL’s holiday break. Texas welcomes division foe San Antonio on Wednesday, December 19th at 7:30 p.m. for another H-E-B Night and Winning Wednesday. Then the team hits the highway for a two-game weekend trip to Oklahoma City and the high-scoring Barons on Friday, December 21st and Saturday, December 22nd at Cox Convention Center. The Stars are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference standings and eighth overall in the league table. They are on a six-game point streak (4-0-1-1, 10 points), and have gone 7-1-1-1 in their last ten games played. Texas trails Houston by two points for second place and Charlotte by six points for first place in the South Division standings. Wednesday’s home game against San Antonio begins a busy stretch for the Stars, as they play seven games in 13 days to close out the 2012 calendar year. Since losing 6-4 to Oklahoma City on November 21st in Cedar Park, Texas has gone 7-1-2-1 (17 points) in its last 11 games and has points in 13-of-15 games, collecting 23 out of a possible 30 points.
Center Cody Eakin continues to lead the Stars in scoring with 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) and he has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in his last five games played. Left wing Reilly Smith has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +1 rating in his last three games played. Left wing Matt Fraser leads the team in goals (10) and has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and a +2 rating in his last five games played. Goalie Cristopher Nilstorp has gone 5-1-0 in his last six starts, with his only loss a tightly contested 2-1 overtime defeat against Houston on December 7th.
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Wednesday, December 19 – 7:30 p.m. – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX
vs. San Antonio Rampage (10-15-0-3, 23 pts)
- Team Notes: San Antonio has been on a roller coaster ride over the last month. In mid-November the team suffered an eight-game winless streak (0-6-0-2), and then rattled off a season high four-game winning streak, which included two-game sweeps of Abbotsford and Oklahoma City. The Rampage have dipped back down again recently, having lost their last four games in a row and have been outscored in those games 17-6. Two weeks ago San Antonio bolstered their veteran presence with the free-agent signings of left wing Jon Sim and defenseman Mike Mottau, who combine for nearly 800 games of NHL experience. Dallas Stars fans might remember Sim, who played in 77 games for Dallas over five seasons (1998-2003) and was a member of the 1999 Stars Stanley Cup winning team; he also won the 2005 Calder Cup with the Philadelphia Phantoms. Sim scored the 14th hat trick in Rampage history on Saturday in a 5-3 loss to Oklahoma City, but was only the game’s second star behind Barons forward Jordan Eberle, who had a five-point game (4 goals, 1 assist). LW Eric Selleck is tied for fourth in the AHL with 109 penalty minutes. San Antonio is 29th in the league in shots on goal per game (25.00).
- Leading Scorer: Jon Rheault (C) – 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) and +1 in 28 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (G) – 2.89 GAA, 0.910 save pct., 8-9-1, 1 SO in 18 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Jon Sim (LW) – Has four goals and a +1 rating in his last three games played. Jon Rheault (C) – Leads the team in points (21) and assists (14) and has two assists in his last two games played. Greg Rallo (C) – Leads the team in goals (10), is third in points (15) and has nine points (7 goals, 2 assists) and a -2 rating in his last 11 games played.
Friday, December 21 – 7:00 p.m. – Cox Convention Center – Oklahoma City, OK
@ Oklahoma City Barons (13-9-1-3, 30 pts) Fourth Place, North Division
@ Oklahoma City Barons (13-9-1-3, 30 pts)
- Team Notes: Oklahoma City has also been streaky of late. The Barons won a season-high five straight games in mid-November, then lost four in a row and now have points in three consecutive contests (2-0-0-1). They are 2-4-0-2 in their last eight games, taking just six out of a possible sixteen points. They will continue to be without the services of center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rest of December and possibly a week or two into January as he is playing for Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF U-20 World Junior Championship in Russia. Jordan Eberle has led the offense of late, registering points in nine of his last 11 games, totaling 19 points (13 goals, 6 assists) and a +9 rating over that span. Eberle leads the AHL in goals (19) and shooting percentage (27.5%) and is tied for first in points (38) with teammate Justin Schultz, who also leads the league in assists (24). Eberle tied an AHL individual game high this season with four goals and five points last Saturday in a 5-3 win over San Antonio. The Barons have the AHL’s best power play rating (23.9%), but are ranked last in penalty kill (79.3%). Oklahoma City has beaten Texas in both meetings so far this season and will face the Stars in the next three games (and four of the next five).
- Leading Scorer: Jordan Eberle (RW) – 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) and +13 in 26 GP & Justin Schultz (D) – 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists) and +13 rating in 26 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Yann Danis (G) – 2.63 GAA, 0.916 save pct., 10-6-3, 0 SO in 19 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Jordan Eberle (RW) – Leads the team in goals (19), is tied for the team lead in points (38) and has eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating in his last three games played. Justin Schultz (D) – Leads the team in assists (24), is tied for team lead in points (38) and has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last four games; he is also on a three-game goal streak. Mark Arcobello (C) – Is on a four-game assist streak and has eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) and a +1 rating over that span. Taylor Hall (LW) – Is third on the team in points (23) and has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his last five games played.
December 14, 2012 Texas 3 @ Abbotsford 1
December 15, 2012 Texas 1 @ Abbotsford 2 – SO
Cody Eakin – C – #20 2 GP, 3 points (1 G, 2 A), +1, 0 PIMs
Center Cody Eakin continues to be a massive presence in the Texas Stars lineup this season. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had a team-best three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a +1 rating in two games last weekend, helping the Stars take three out of four points on the road against first place Abbotsford. On Friday night he assisted on the Stars opening power play goal and then scored one of his own in a 3-1 win over the Heat. Saturday night he assisted on Texas’ only goal of the game, extending his assist and point streak to three straight games. Eakin leads the team in points (18), is tied for the team lead in assists (10) and ranks second in goals (8).
·THEY SCORED FIRST, TWICE – The Texas Stars scored first in both games last weekend at Abbotsford, the first time all season that the Stars had done so in back-to-back games. However, Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss marked the first time Texas has not won a game in which it scored first, leaving the Hamilton Bulldogs as the only AHL team with a perfect record this season when scoring first. The Stars are now 5-0-0-1 in games where they found the net first and along with Hamilton are the only two teams in the league not to have a regulation loss when scoring first.
·SLAYING THE DRAGON – The Texas power play found success in Abbotsford where most AHL power play units perish. The Heat boast the top penalty kill in the league, allowing only seven power play goals in 88 attempts before the Stars came to town. Texas scored a power play goal in each game, going 2-for-12 with the man-advantage. Their 16.7% success rate in the weekend series was more than double the rate that Abbotsford had allowed power play goals this season.
·A SEXCENTENNIAL – Head coach Willie Desjardins recorded his 600th career game as a head coach on Friday night at Abbotsford. In 601 career games behind the bench in North America, Desjardins has a record of 346-190-33-32 and a 0.630 career winning percentage. He is just four wins away from his 350th career victory.
·STARS DEFENSE ALIGNS – The Stars defense has been rock solid of late and it shots in the statistics. Texas is fifth in the AHL in team goals-against average (2.60) and ranks third in the league in shots-against average (26.56).
-SWEDISH STREAK – Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp picked up his ninth win of the season on Friday night in a 3-1 win over Abbotsford. The Malmo, Sweden native has not lost in regulation in his last eight starts, going 5-0-2-0 (with one no-decision due to food poisoning) during that span. Nilstorp is currently seventh in the AHL in goals-against average (2.18)
·EXPERIENCE – Right wing Colton Sceviour played in his 250th pro game on Friday night at Abbotsford and on Saturday he appeared in his 250th career AHL game. Left wing Matt Fraser notched his 100th pro game on Friday and his 100th AHL game on Saturday. Also on Saturday, center Travis Morin played in both his 400th pro game and his 250th AHL game.
·BONUS HOCKEY – Texas has now been to overtime eight times this season, following their 2-1 shootout loss at Abbotsford on Saturday. The team is one overtime game below the AHL lead of nine, held by Abbotsford, Houston and Worcester. The Stars have an overtime/shootout record of 4-2-2, with three shootout wins, one overtime victory, two overtime losses and two shootout defeats.
·APPROACHING MILESTONES – Defenseman Jordie Benn is 3 GP shy of his 250th career pro game and 6 GP shy of his 150th career AHL game. Right wing Tomas Vincour is 9 GP away from his 100th career AHL game. Center Antoine Roussel needs 10 GP to record his 100th career pro game. Left wing Mike Hedden is 13 shy of his 100th career AHL game.
December 17 –ADD – Hubert Labrie (D) – Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Idaho (ECHL).
December 15 – DELETE – Cam Barker (D) – Released from PTO.
December 12 – DELETE/ADD – Taylor Vause (C) – Released from expiring PTO, Signed new PTO.
Games Played: 11 players tied (25)
Goals: Matt Fraser (10)
Assists: Cody Eakin, Travis Morin & Tomas Vincour (10)
Points: Cody Eakin (18)
Plus/Minus: Cody Eakin (+7)
Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (79)
Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (5)
Short Handed Goals: Cody Eakin (2)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (3)
Shots: Matt Fraser (69)
Shooting Percentage: Scott Glennie (28.6%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (377)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (9)
GAA: Cristopher Nilstorp (2.18)
Save Percentage: Cristopher Nilstorp (0.913)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (2)
The Texas Stars return to action on Wednesday, December 19th as they host the San Antonio Rampage at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center for another Winning Wednesday and H-E-B Night. 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.