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Texas Takes Down Houston, Continues To Lead The Ahl

February 5, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Texas Stars

Week 17 Recap:

Texas kept on rolling in Week 17 by coming from behind to beat the Houston Aeros 2-1 on Friday night. In front of 11,315 fans at Toyota Center, the Aeros grabbed the lead when a beautiful passing sequence set up Johan Larsson for a back-door tap-in power play goal midway through the first period. Texas turned up the defense in the second period, holding Houston to just one shot on goal, but could not get any pucks past rookie goalie Darcy Kuemper. The Stars finally solved Kuemper in the third period when Matt Fraser tied the game at 7:48, tallying his 21st goal of the season. Texas then silenced the large crowd less than five minutes later as Reilly Smith made a stunning cross-ice pass to an unmarked Tyler Sloan in the high slot and the veteran defenseman beat Kuemper upstairs to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Mike Hedden almost scored an empty net goal in the closing seconds of play, but his long-range effort from center ice hit off the outside of the left post. The win for the Stars was their fourth straight over Houston and vaulted the team back over Charlotte into the top spot in the AHL.

The Stars lineup was bolstered with the return to action of left wing Francis Wathier Friday night in Houston. The St. Isidore, Ontario native missed 14 straight games due to injury and had not played for Texas since December 27th vs. Oklahoma City. Wathier, who centered a line of Luke Gazdic and Austin Smith, was playing in his first game of the 2013 calendar year and the 440th of his pro career.

Week 18 Preview:

Texas is back to a busier schedule this week, after playing only one game over the previous nine days. The Stars begin the week at home on Tuesday, February 5th as they host the Rockford IceHogs for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Cedar Park Center; it's the first time Rockford has come to Texas this year. The team then hits the road for their second trip to Canada this season and their only visit to Ontario. Texas will battle the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m. CST at Copps Coliseum and will then face the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, February 10th at 2:00 p.m. CST at Ricoh Coliseum.

Left wing Matt Fraser leads the team points (31), he leads the AHL in power play goals (10), is tied for second in the league in goals (21) and is on a season-high ten-game point streak, with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) and a +7 rating during that span. Defenseman Tyler Sloan has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +4 rating in his last five games. Right wing Colton Sceviour ranks second on the team in goals (12), third in points (25) and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +4 rating in his last five games. Center Justin Dowling has seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) and a +3 rating in his last six games.

Week 18 Schedule:

(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)

Tuesday, February 5 - 7:30 p.m. - Cedar Park Center - Cedar Park, TX

vs. Rockford IceHogs (20-23-1-1, 42 pts.)

Fifth Place, Midwest Division

Team Notes: Rockford enters Tuesday's game on a franchise record six-game losing streak. The IceHogs have not won since a 3-1 victory over Peoria on January 18th, which gave them a three-game winning streak at the time. Rockford leads the AHL in penalty minutes (1,166) and average penalty minutes (25.91 per game), while also boasting the most 10-minute misconducts (20) and game-misconducts (14). The IceHogs ranks 3rd in the league in minor penalties (278) and tied for fourth in majors (52). Texas has won both meetings so far this season, erasing a pair of 3-0 first period deficits at BMO Harris Bank Center. The Stars won 5-4 on November 27th and 6-3 on January 21st. The Stars are 13-6-1-0 all-time against the IceHogs, while Rockford is 7-9-3-1 against Texas. Goalie Carter Hutton has played in 17 of the last 20 games for Rockford. Hutton ranks second in the AHL in minutes played (2,030:26) and losses (17) and is third in saves (911). Leading Scorer: Martin St. Pierre (C) - 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) and +6 in 45 GP.Leading Goaltender: Carter Hutton (G) - 2.90 GAA, 0.903 save pct., 16-17-1, 1 SO in 36 GP.Who's Hot: Jimmy Hayes (RW) - Is tied for fourth on the team in goals (13) and has seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) and a -5 rating in his last six games. Jeremy Morin (LW) - Is third on the team in goals (14) and has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last five games. Adam Clendening (D) - Leads the team in assists (22), ranks fourth in points (26) and has three assists and a -1 rating in his last three games. Martin St. Pierre (C) - Leads the team in goals (16) and points (36), is tied for second in assists (20) and has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and a -2 rating in his last five games.

Saturday, February 9 - 6:00 p.m. - Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, ON

@ Hamilton Bulldogs (14-23-1-5, 34 pts.)

Fifth Place, North Division

Team Notes: Hamilton has the fewest points of any team in the AHL to this point and has gone 1-5-0-2 (4 points) in its last eight games. The Bulldogs rank last in the league in goals per game (2.09), scoring an AHL-low 90 goals in 43 games, and are 28th in goals-against (3.23). Hamilton is 30th in power play percentage (9.7%) and 24 in penalty kill (80.9%). Saturday's game with Texas will be the first of two meetings this season; the other comes on April 6th at Cedar Park Center. The Bulldogs will play at Toronto on Wednesday and then host Chicago on Friday before facing the Stars on Saturday. Texas is 1-3-1-1 all-time against Hamilton, while the Bulldogs are 5-1-0-0 in six prior regular season meetings with the Stars.Leading Scorer: Gabriel Dumont (C) - 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) and +5 in 41 GP.Leading Goaltender: Cedrick Desjardins (G) - 2.88 GAA, 0.904 save pct., 6-12-2, 2 SO in 20 GP.Who's Hot: Gabriel Dumont (C) - Leads the team in goals (14) and points (25), is tied for the team lead in assists (11) and has five points (4 goals, 1 assist) and a +1 rating in his last seven games. Frederic St-Denis (D) - Tied for fourth on the team in points (13) and has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in his last four games. Zack Stortini (RW) - Leads the team in penalty minutes (152) and has two goals and an even rating in his last four games.

Sunday, February 10 - 2:00 p.m. - Ricoh Coliseum - Toronto, ON

@ Toronto Marlies (24-14-2-2, 52 pts.)

Tied-Second Place, North Division

Team Notes: In the first meeting this season, Toronto beat Texas 3-0 as goaltender Jussi Rynnas posted a 31-save shutout on November 9th at Cedar Park Center. Since that loss the Stars have gone 24-6-4-2 (0.750 point-percentage) earning 54 of their 60 points this season. Sunday's matchup with the Marlies will be the last of the two-game season series. Texas is 4-3-0-0 all-time with Toronto, while the Marlies are 3-2-1-1 against the Stars. Toronto ranks 4th in the AHL in goals per game (3.29) and 9th in the league in goals-against (2.64). The Marlies also boast strong special teams: tied for 10th in power play (18.7%) and tied for 9th in penalty kill (84.7%). After posting one of the best records in the AHL, Toronto has cooled slightly, going 2-4-1-0 in its last seven games. The Marlies lost their two leading scorers in January as center Keith Aucoin (37 points in 34 GP) was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders and defenseman Mike Kostka (34 points in 34 GP) was recalled by the Maple Leafs. Goalie Jussi Rynnas has been the workhorse for the Marlies, playing in seven of the last nine games since Ben Scrivens (14-7-1, 2.22, 0.917) was recalled to the NHL. The Maple Leafs loaned NHL veteran Tim Connolly (697 NHL GP) to the Marlies on January 18th and he has three goals in five career AHL games.Leading Scorer: Ryan Hamilton (LW) - 27 points (18 goals, 9 assists) and Even in 38 GP.Leading Goaltender: Jussi Rynnas (G) - 2.40 GAA, 0.920 save pct., 7-6-1, 3 SO in 14 GP.Who's Hot: Nicolas Deschamps (LW) - Has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last four games. Spencer Abbott (RW) - Ranks seventh on the team in points (19) and has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a +2 rating in his last four games. Joe Colborne (C) - Is tied for third on the team in assists (18), ranks fifth in points (23) and has three assists and a +3 rating in his last four games.

Week 17 Game Results:

February 1, 2013 Texas 2 @ Houston 1

Stars Player of the Week: (Week 17)

Matt Fraser - LW - #25 1 GP, 2 points (1 G, 1 A), +2, 0 PIMs

All-Star Matt Fraser has been enjoying a fantastic season so far for the Texas Stars. During the team's only game in Week 17, the Red Deer, Alberta native scored his 31st goal of the season mid-way through the third period to tie the game and then added an assist on the game-winning goal in Friday's 2-1 win at Houston. For the season Fraser now has a team-leading 31 points (21 goals, 10 assists) and is tied for the lead in plus-minus (+13), while appearing in all 45 games for the Stars. He currently leads the AHL in power play goals (10) and is tied for second in the league in goals.

Stars Quick Hits:

- NEW CLUB RECORDS - All-Star left wing Matt Fraser set a new Texas Stars record on Friday by recording at an assist for the sixth consecutive game. The Red Deer, Alberta native has six assists during his current streak, passing the previous Stars record five-game assist-streaks set by Raymond Sawada and Greg Rallo. Fraser has also equaled a club record 10-game point streak, scoring 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) from January 11, 2013 to February 1, 2013. Fraser tied his own record, which he set from December 3, 2011 to December 29, 2011, although he had 12 points during the old streak (7 goals, 5 assists).

- NO SMALL FEAT - The Stars' came back from a 1-0 third period deficit to beat the Houston Aeros 2-1 last Friday at Toyota Center. It was just the third time this season that Texas has won a game it trailed after two periods. The Stars are now 3-12-2-0 when behind going into the third period.

- AND THEN THERE WERE TWO - Captain Maxime Fortunus and left wing Matt Fraser are the only two players to play in all 45 Texas Stars games so far this season. Center Toby Petersen has only missed one game, playing in 44 games so far for the Stars.

- WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE - The Stars earned their 27th win and 60th point of the season on Friday at Houston, doing so in their 45th game of the year. Last year Texas did not earn its 27th win until its 59th game, a 4-3 overtime win vs. San Antonio on March 9, 2012. They did not record their 60th point until their 66th game of the 2011-12 season, a 4-2 win at Toronto on March 25, 2012.

- 30 AND COUNTING - Stars' leading scorer Matt Fraser had two points (1 goal, 1 assist) on Friday at Houston, becoming the first Texas player to hit the 30-point mark of the 2012-13 season. Fraser has 31 points (21 goals, 10 assists) in 45 games played.

- BY THE NUMBERS - The 2-1 win at Houston on Friday improved the Stars record in the 2013 calendar year to 11-1-1-0 (23 points) and a 0.885 point-percentage. Texas is also 9-2-4-2 (24 points, 0.706) in one-goal games this season.

- A NEW STAR - Left wing Austin Fyten made his AHL and Texas Stars debut on Friday night at Houston. The Sundrie, Alberta native attended the Stars AHL training camp this fall and has played in 43 games for the Idaho Steelheads, posting 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists).

- APPROACHING STARS MILESTONES: LW Luke Gazdic needs 1 point for his 50th career AHL point. D Gord Baldwin needs 1 point for his 50th career AHL point and 5 GP to reach his 250th career AHL game. C Justin Dowling is 1 GP away from his 100 career pro game. D Maxime Fortunus is 4 GP shy of his 550th career AHL game. D Tyler Sloan needs 4 GP to reach his 600th career pro game and 8 GP to reach his 400th career AHL game.

Affiliate News:

Dallas Stars (NHL) - Dallas is 4-5-1 (9 points) in ten games and is fourth in the Pacific Division. After splitting a home-and-home series with Phoenix, the Stars had two goals from Jamie Benn, a goal from Brenden Morrow and 29 saves on 31 shots from Kari Lehtonen to earn a big 3-2 road victory over Colorado on Monday night. Monday Dallas' lineup was received a boost as Derek Roy was activated from Injured Reserve, but took a blow when it was announced that Ray Whitney would be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured foot. Last Friday at American Airlines Center was a big night for some Texas Stars as Dallas beat Phoenix 4-3 in a shootout. Jamie Oleksiak and Antoine Roussel made their NHL debuts and Roussel scored his first career NHL goal on his first ever shot in the league, scoring the first goal of the game. Defenseman Brenden Dillon scored his first career NHL goal, had an assist and also a fight to record the first Gordie Howe hat trick by a Dallas player since Morrow had one on January 23, 2006. The Stars are back in action on Wednesday as they travel to Alberta for a 9:00 p.m. CST faceoff with the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Dallas is back home on Friday to face Anaheim. Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney lead Dallas with six points each (2 goals, 4 assists).

Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) - Idaho split a two-game weekend series at Stockton last weekend, beating the Thunder 3-2 on Friday and then falling short 3-2 on Saturday. Friday, Jace Coyle scored the game-tying power play goal midway through the third period, David Toews scored the game-winning goal and added an assist and Josh Robinson stopped 43-of-45 shots for his 15th win of the season. Saturday the teams scored all five goals in a span of eight and a half minutes of the second period. The Steelheads lost a 1-0 lead by conceding three-straight goals to Stockton, including two from Harrison Reed. Idaho got one back with a power play goal, but failed to close the gap. The Steelheads are 28-12-1-4 (61 points) and sit in second place in the Mountain Division and third in the Western Conference. With the top five scorers called up to the AHL (Justin Dowling, Austin Fyten, Andrew Carroll, Austin Smith, Kael Mouillierat) the team's active points lead is shared by Tristan King (14-13-27) and Sam Carrick (11-16-27). Idaho has a daunting schedule this week with four games in five days against the Utah Grizzlies. The Steelheads will host Utah on Wednesday and Friday at CenturyLink Arena and will then travel to Maverik Center for games against the Grizzlies on Saturday and Sunday.

Stars Week 17 Transactions

February 4 - ADD - Cristopher Nilstorp (G) - Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).

February 4 - ADD - Jordie Benn (D) - Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).

February 2 - DELETE - Reilly Smith (LW) - Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).

January 30 - DELETE - Antoine Roussel (C) - Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).

January 30 - DELETE - Jamie Oleksiak (D) - Recalled from loan by Dallas (NHL).

January 30 - ADD - Reilly Smith (LW) - Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).

January 30 - ADD - Austin Fyten (LW) - Signed PTO; called up from Idaho (ECHL).

January 30 - ADD - Tyler Beskorowany (G) - Reassigned by Dallas (NHL) from Idaho (ECHL).

January 29 - ADD - Colton Sceviour (RW) - Returned on loan from Dallas (NHL).

Texas Stars Team Leaders:

Games Played: Maxime Fortunus & Matt Fraser (45)

Goals: Matt Fraser (21)

Assists: Jamie Oleksiak (20)

Points: Matt Fraser (31)

Plus/Minus: Patrik Nemeth (+13)

Penalty Minutes: Antoine Roussel (103)

Power Play Goals: Matt Fraser (10)

Short Handed Goals: Cody Eakin & Colton Sceviour (2)

Game-Winning Goals: Jordie Benn, Justin Dowling, Matt Fraser & Colton Sceviour (3)

Shots: Matt Fraser (130)

Shooting Percentage: Justin Dowling (29.4%)

Saves: Cristopher Nilstorp (598)

Wins: Cristopher Nilstorp (16)

GAA: Cristopher Nilstorp (2.13)

Save Percentage: Richard Bachman & Cristopher Nilstorp (0.916)

Shutouts: Cristopher Nilstorp (4)

The Texas Stars return home on Tuesday, February 5th, for another H-E-B Night as they host the Rockford IceHogs for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Cedar Park Center. As part of H-E-B Night, fans may bring any H-E-B brand non-perishable food item for $5 off the gate price of a ticket on February 5th. 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.

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