Texas Stars Weekly: Week 12
Back-To-Back Shutouts Highlight Stars Week 11 Action Texas Exits Holiday Break to Battle Division Rivals
The Stars won two of three last week before receiving a much needed three days off for the AHL holiday break. Texas blanked the San Antonio Rampage 2-0 Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center thanks to a stellar performance from Cristopher Nilstorp and goals from rookies Reilly Smith and Alex Chiasson. Friday night in Oklahoma City Nilstorp was at it again as he recorded back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season, giving him four shutouts for the season, which is the second most in the AHL. Smith scored again, Luke Gazdic tallied his first goal of the season and Brenden Dillon scored an empty net goal from the red line in the 3-0 win over the Barons. However, Texas had its season-long eight-game point streak (6-0-1-1, 14 points) snapped on Saturday night with a 6-2 loss to Oklahoma City. The Barons exploded with four goals in the first period, unleashing a lot of pent up frustration from the previous night’s loss to Texas. Reilly Smith scored two goals, raising his season total to 10, but the Stars lost 6-2 to Oklahoma City.
The Stars have three games on the schedule this week, part of four games in the next six days. Texas travels to Houston on Wednesday, December 26th, looking for their second win at Toyota Center this season in three attempts. The Stars are back at Cedar Park Center to host Oklahoma City on Thursday, December 27th at 7:30 p.m. and then host the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday, December 29th at 7:00 p.m. Thursday’s game with the Barons is another H-E-B Night and a $3 Beer Night. Saturday is a Family Four Pack Night and the 2013 Stars Calendar Giveaway presented by TimeMasters. After both Thursday and Saturday’s games the Stars are hosting post-game open ice, allowing fans to take the ice after the final whistles. Log on to www.TexasStarsHockey.com for more information about this week’s post-game open ice sessions.
The Stars are 9-2-1-1 in their last thirteen games played and have points in 16-of-19 games, collecting 28 of a possible 36 points. Texas’ penalty kill held the AHL’s No. 1 ranked power play to 1-for-7 in the two-game weekend series. The Stars have allowed only two power play goal in their last eight games, going 26-for-28 (92.9%).
Left wing Reilly Smith is tied for the team lead in goals (10), is second in points (17), he is on a three-game goal streak (4 goals) and has nine points (7 goals, 2 assists) and a +4 rating in his last six games played. After not scoring a goal in his first 16 games this season, Smith now has 10 goals in his last 12 games. Center Cody Eakin (8-11-19) leads the Stars in points (19) and assists (11) and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +4 rating in his last six games played. Right wing Alex Chiasson has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last five games.
(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)
- Team Notes: In their ten games from November 13th to December 11th the Houston Aeros went 8-2-0-0 (16 points). They have gone 1-3-0-1 in their last five games and lost back-to-back games to the Lake Erie Monsters last week at Quicken Loans Arena. It was just the second time all season that Houston has lost consecutive games in regulation. After falling to Lake Erie 4-3 on Thursday night, Houston trailed 3-2 in the third period and then Lake Erie scored two empty net goals in the final minute of play to cap off a 5-2 Monsters victory. Leading scorer Jason Zucker tallied a massive 13 shots on goal in one game on December 16th against Oklahoma City; the stat is not tracked by the AHL but it is believed to be the league’s single-game high for the 2012-13 season to date. Zucker is tied with Providence’s Jamie Tardif for the AHL lead with seven power play goals and is third in the league in rookie scoring. Goalie Matt Hackett has been the work horse for the Aeros, playing in 14 of the last 15 games and 18 of the last 20. Hackett leads the AHL in minutes played (1,361:38), he is tied for the league lead in shootout losses (3) and is tied for 2nd in the AHL in shootout wins (3). Houston is tied with Abbotsford and Worcester for the most overtime/shootout games this season (9). The Aeros are 2-1 in overtime games this season and 3-3 in shootout games. Houston has accumulated the fewest penalty minutes of any team in the AHL this season and are 30th in PIMs per game (12.71); the Stars are 24th in average penalty minutes (14.57)
- Leading Scorer: Jason Zucker (C) – 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) and -8 in 24 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Matt Hackett (G) – 2.64 GAA, 0.902 save pct., 11-8-3 in 23 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Nick Palmieri (RW) – Is tied for third on the team in both goals (8) and points (17) and has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and a +2 rating in his last three games played. Jarod Palmer(RW) – Has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last two games played. Jason Zucker (LW) – Leads the team in goals (13) and points (23) and has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a -5 rating in his last three games played.
- Team Notes: Oklahoma City continued their streaky play last week as they were blanked by the Stars 3-0 on Friday and then rallied with a strong 6-2 win over Texas on Saturday. The Barons four-goal first period was the second time this season they have scored four in one period against Texas (November 21st). They are 3-5-0-2 in their last ten games, taking eight out of a possible 20 points. The Barons, who are in the middle of playing Texas four times in five games, begin a jam-packed schedule Thursday as they play seven games in 11 days from December 27th to January 6th. Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz remain tied for the AHL lead in points (40). Eberle leads the league in goals (19), while Schultz is tied with Toronto’s Keith Aucoin for the AHL lead in assists (24). The Barons have the AHL’s best power play rating (23.3%), but are ranked last in penalty kill (79.4%). Oklahoma City has won three of the four meetings with Texas this year, with eight more games remaining in the season series. The two teams will play a 6:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve game at Cox Convention Center.
- Leading Scorer: Jordan Eberle (RW) – 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) and +13 in 28 GP & Justin Schultz (D) – 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) and +14 rating in 28 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Yann Danis (G) – 2.57 GAA, 0.919 save pct., 11-7-3, 0 SO in 21 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Jordan Eberle (RW) – Leads the team in goals (19), is tied for the team lead in points (40) and has ten points (5 goals, 5 assists) and a +5 rating in his last five games played. Justin Schultz (D) – Leads the team in assists (24), is tied for team lead in points (40) and has six points (5 goals, 1 assist) and a +4 rating in his last five games. Mark Arcobello (C) – Has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) and a +4 rating in his last five games played. Taylor Hall (LW) – Is third on the team in points (24) and has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last five games played.
- Team Notes: Charlotte stormed out of the gates this season, going 12-3-0-2 in their first 17 games and rising to the top of the Western Conference. The Checkers were dethroned courtesy of a five-game losing streak, all at home, from November 24th to December 6th. They have righted the ship and are back to the top of the AHL in points (39) as they have gone 6-1-0-1 in their last ten games. Even though they have the most points of any AHL team, they have just the fourth best winning percentage (0.650), trailing Binghamton (0.700), Springfield (0.685) and Syracuse (0.679). Charlotte will once again face the Texas Triangle, playing at Houston on Friday night, at the Stars on Saturday and at San Antonio on Sunday. The Checkers are tied for third in the AHL in power play percentage (20.0) and are fifth in penalty kill (86.6%). Texas has won both meetings so far this season, needing a nine-round shootout to win both games; 4-3 on October 14th and 1-0 on November 17th. Charlotte ranks third in the AHL in shots on goal per game (32.87), while the Stars are 2nd in the league in fewest shots allowed per game (26.71).
- Leading Scorer: Zach Boychuk (LW) – 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) and +6 in 30 GP.
- Leading Goaltender: Justin Peters (G) – 2.41 GAA, 0.914 save pct., 11-4-1, 2 SO in 18 GP.
- Who’s Hot: Zach Boychuk (LW) – Leads the team in points (28), is tied for the team lead in goals (14), is tied for second on the team in assists (14) and is currently on a six-game assist streak; he has nine points (1 goal, 8 assists) and a +5 rating during that span. Bobby Sanguinetti (D) – Tied for second on the team in assists (14) and has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +5 rating in his last four games played. Marc-Andre Gragnani (D) – Has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last three games played.
December 19, 2012 San Antonio 0 @ Texas 2
December 21, 2012 Texas 3 @ Oklahoma City 0
December 22, 2012 Texas 2 @ Oklahoma City 6
Reilly Smith – LW – #28 3 GP, 5 points (4 G, 1 A), +3, 0 PIMs
Rookie left wing Reilly Smith has been red hot of late and he tallied goals in all three Texas Stars games in Week 11 to be the first Stars player this season with a three-game goal streak. The Toronto, Ontario native scored four goals and added one assist in three games on the week, along with posting a +3 plus-minus rating. He began the week by scoring the game-winning goal and setting up another goal in a 2-0 shutout of San Antonio; it was his first pro game-winner. Smith scored the game-winning goal on Friday at Oklahoma City in a 3-0 win over the Barons and then posted a two-goal night on Saturday. The rookie winger is currently tied with Matt Fraser for the team-lead in goals (10) and is second on the Stars in points (17). Smith did not score his first pro goal until his 17th game of the season, his 20th career pro game, and has since tallied ten goals and three assists in his last 12 games.
· QUICK STRIKE – Rookie right wing Alex Chiasson scored a crucial insurance goal for Texas on Wednesday night in a 2-0 shutout of San Antonio. Chiasson found the net 62 seconds into the third period, the fastest goal to begin a period by the Stars this season.
· FASTER STRIKE – Two games after Alex Chiasson scored the fastest goal to open a period this season, Reilly Smith scored a power play goal a mere 37 seconds into the third period of Saturday’s game at Oklahoma City. Smith now holds the distinction of the fastest goal by a Stars player to open a period.
· ROAD SHUTOUT – Cristopher Nilstorp’s 3-0 shutout at Oklahoma City on Friday was Texas’ first shutout on the road since November 6, 2011 when Richard Bachman stopped 29 shots in a 4-0 win at San Antonio. The Malmo, Sweden native has four shutouts on the season, which ranks second in the AHL behind Springfield’s Curtis McElhinney (6).
· BLUE LINE 250 – Defenseman Jordie Benn played in his 250th career pro game on Saturday at Oklahoma City. The Victoria, British Columbia native has 87 points (25 goals, 62 assists) and 174 penalty minutes in his pro career. He needs 3 GP to reach his 150th career AHL game.
· APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: RW Tomas Vincour is 6 GP away from his 100th career AHL game. C Antoine Roussel needs 7 GP to record his 100th career pro game. LW Mike Hedden is 10 games shy of his 100th career AHL game. Head Coach Willie Desjardins is just two wins away from his 350th career victory.
Games Played: 11 players tied (28)
Goals: Matt Fraser & Reilly Smith (10)
Assists: Cody Eakin (11)
Points: Cody Eakin (19)
Plus/Minus: Cody Eakin (+10)
Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (88)
Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (5)
Short Handed Goals: Cody Eakin (2)
Game-Winning Goals: Colton Sceviour (3)
Shots: Matt Fraser (73)
Shooting Percentage: Scott Glennie (28.6%)
Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (435)
Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (11)
GAA: Cristopher Nilstorp (2.12)
Save Percentage: Cristopher Nilstorp (0.916)
Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (4)
The Texas Stars return to action on Wednesday, December 26th as they travel to Houston for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff with the Aeros at Toyota Center. The Stars’ next home game is scheduled for Thursday, December 27th against Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center. Thursday’s game is an H-E-B Night, a $3 Beer Night and features a post-game open ice session. 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.