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Gameday Preview - Grand Rapids at Texas Stars

January 18, 2011 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Texas Stars News Release

Texas and Grand Rapids meet for the third time this season and the ninth time in AHL history. The two teams will play a total of six games this season, including two more at Cedar Park Center after Tuesday's game. Texas and Grand Rapids split a pair of games at the Van Andel Arena in Mid-December earlier this season. The Griffins lead the all-time series with a 5-2-0-1 record against the Stars, including a 3-1-0-1 mark on home ice.

The Stars are 11-7-2-1 at home this season and 6-3-0-1 in the last ten games. The Stars have two of their last three games and are 10-1-2-2 in one-goal games this year. Texas is the most disciplined team in the AHL, taking only 12.27 penalty minutes per game.

The Griffins are deeply entrenched in the middle of the pack of the North Division. Grand Rapids is 10-10-0-0 on the road this season and 5-5-0-0 in the last ten games played. The Griffins are 8-14-1-3 against West Division opponents this season. Grand Rapids is fifth overall in the league, averaging 21.01 minutes per game. The Griffins are 9-9-1-4 in one-goal games this season.

Travis Morin leads all Texas scorers with a goal and two assists for three points in two games against the Griffins. Grand Rapids skaters Brendan Smith and Tomas Tatar each have three points in two games against the Stars this season.

Dallas Trades Brunnstrom to Toronto

Frisco, TX - The Dallas Stars announced on Thursday that the club has traded left wing Fabian Brunnstrom to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for right wing Mikhail Stefanovich.

Brunnstrom, 25, has played in 37 games for the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the AHL, posting 21 points (11g, 10a). He has played 99 career NHL games, all with Dallas, collecting 40 points (19g, 21a). The Jonstrop, Sweden, native agreed to a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $675,000 on July 23, 2010 with Dallas. Brunnstom was originally signed as a free agent by Dallas on May 8, 2008.

Stefanovich, 21, has played 15 games with Minsk Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), recording one goal and two penalty minutes. The Minsk, Belarus, native, dressed in two games for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) going scoreless and appeared in four games for the Reading Royals (ECHL), collecting five points (3g, 2a) this season.

Travis Morin Named Western Conference All-Star Starter

The Texas Stars, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced on Tuesday that Texas Stars center Travis Morin has been named a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team. The 2011 AHL All-Star game is at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 31 with the Eastern Conference meeting the Western Conference in Hershey, PA at the Giant Center.

Morin will make his AHL All-Star debut after leading the Texas Stars in scoring through the first 38 games of the season with a team-high 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points. He is also second on the team with a +10 and five power-play goals. The Brooklyn Park, MN native is one of two Texas Stars to have played in every game in team history, including the post season. The 26-year old has played 117 straight games, placing second in team history with 34 goals and first with 46 assists and 80 points. The second-year AHLer also played in 24 Calder Cup Playoff games with 12 assists and 16 points.

Dallas Assigns Brandon Segal and Returns Larsen

Cedar Park, TX - The Dallas Stars announced on Thursday that the club has assigned defenseman Philip Larsen to the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Dallas announced on Tuesday that the club has assigned right wing Brandon Segal to the Texas Stars.

Larsen, 21, has skated in six games for Dallas this season, collecting two assists. He has spent the majority of 2010-11 with Texas, playing in 29 games, recording 13 assists and eight penalty minutes with a +7 plus/minus rating. The Esbjerg, Denmark, native made his NHL debut last season with Dallas, dressing in two games and posting one assist.

Segal, 27, has played in 36 games for Dallas this season, recording four goals and five assists with 34 penalty minutes. He posted a career-high four-game point streak (2g, 3a) this season from Dec. 2-8. Segal was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2010. He has played in 82 career NHL games, collecting 21 points (10g, 11a). The Richmond, British Columbia, native was selected by Nashville in the fourth round (102nd overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. From 2003-10 Segal played in eight AHL seasons for Milwaukee, Norfolk, Manchester and Portland. In 425 AHL contests, Segal has 100 goals and 91 assists for 191 points with 507 penalty minutes.

Monast Heads Back to Idaho, LeMay Called up from Allen

The Texas Stars announced on Monday that defenseman Guillaume Monast has been reassigned to the Idaho Steelheads, Texas' ECHL Affiliate. The Stars also announced that goalie Adrien LeMay has been recalled from the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League.

What's Ahead:

DATE OPPONENT TIME TV/RADIO

Friday, Jan. 21 at Houston 7:05 PM 104.9 FM

Saturday, Jan. 22 vs. Milwaukee 7:00 PM 104.9 FM

Monday, Jan. 24 vs. San Antonio 7:30 PM 104.9 FM

Friday, Jan 28 at Oklahoma City 6:05 PM 104.9 FM

Saturday, Jan. 29 vs. Abbotsford 7:00 PM 104.9 FM

* All times listed are central time

GAME RECAPS:

Texas 3 at Peoria 1 1/15/11

The Texas Stars defeated the Peoria Rivermen 3-1 on Saturday night at Carver Arena. Texas claimed the lead at 10:39 of the first period and cruised past the West Division leaders for the win. Stars forwards Greg Rallo and Brandon Segal each scored as Texas improved to 12-7-0-1 on the road this year. Defenseman Philip Larsen scored his first pro goal as the Stars pulled within three points of first place in the West Division. Texas rookie goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 30 of 31 Rivermen shots in the win. Peoria rookie goalie Jake Allen made 36 saves on 38 Texas shots for the defeat.

Texas 1 at Rockford 3 1/14/11

The Texas Stars were defeated by the Rockford IceHogs 3-1 on Friday night at the Rockford Metro Centre. Rockford rookie Jeremy Morin scored 2:47 into the third period and forward Ryan Potulny added an empty-net goal late in the third period to seal the Hogs second straight win over Texas. Rockford goalie Hannu Toivonen (8-7-3) made 29 saves for the win, while Texas goalie Richard Bachman (14-8-2) stopped 30 of 32 Rockford shots in the loss. Texas right wing Colton Sceviour had the lone Stars goal, as the team dropped to 11-7-0-1 on the road this season.

Texas 4 at Chicago 2 1/12/11

The Texas Stars defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Allstate Arena. Trailing 2-1 heading into the third period, the Stars scored three goals to claim a two-goal win. Texas forward Fabian Brunnstrom scored two goals and added an assist, as Texas improved to 4-0-0 against Chicago this season. Texas goalie Richard Bachman made 31 saves for the win, while Chicago goalie Peter Maninno (12-10-1) stopped 22 of 25 Stars shots in the loss. Defenseman Dan Spang and right wing Colton Sceviour also scored as Texas moved to 11-6-0-1 on the road this year. Stars All-Star center Travis Morin had two assists in the win.

The Texas Stars

After 41 games of action, center Travis Morin leads Texas in scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points. Right wing Greg Rallo is second on the team in scoring with 25 points (12g-13a) in 41 games played. Left wing Francis Wathier is third on the club with 22 points. Wathier is tied for second in goals scored (12) and leads the team lead with six power-play goals. Right wing Colton Sceviour (8g-13a) and is fourth on the team in points with 21. Dan Spang is fifth overall on the team with 18 points. Spang is also tied for third on the team in assists (14) and leads all defensemen in shots on goal (84). Defensemen Brad Lukowich is second on the team with 15 assists. Left wing Luke Gazdic's 68 penalty minutes lead the team.

Texas Stars goalies Richard Bachman, Tyler Beskorowany and Adrien LeMay fill the net for Texas. Brent Krahn is currently out with an injury. Bachman has appeared in 26 games, going 14-8-2 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. Bachman ranks ninth overall in the AHL for goals against average and eighth in save percentage. Bachman has started 11 of the last 13. Beskorowany has posted a 1.85 goals against average and stopped 202 of 213 shots (.948%) in his last seven games (4-2-0). Overall, Beskorowany is 4-4-0 with a 2.64 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Krahn has appeared in nine games, posting a 5-4-0 mark, a 2.93 goals against average and a .898 save percentage.

Milestones

Defenseman Matt Stephenson played in his 100th AHL game last Saturday at home against Lake Erie. Francis Wathier also played in his 300th pro game against Lake Erie. Right wing Greg Rallo needs four more games to reach his 300th pro game. Center Aaron Gagnon is five games short of his 200th AHL game.

The Grand Rapids Griffins

Grand Rapids Head Coach Curt Fraser returns for his third year with the team and his 18th year as a head coach or assistant coach at the professional level. He played 14 years in the NHL for Vancouver, Chicago and Minnesota from 1978-1990.

Grand Rapids returns 11 players from the 2009-10 team that finished 34-39-3-4 and seventh in the North Division. Forwards Ilari Filppula and Tomas Tatar lead the team lead in scoring. Tatar is currently on recall to the Detroit Red Wings after scoring ten goals and adding a team-high 20 assists for 30 points in 36 games played. Filppula is second overall in scoring and first among active skaters with 29 points and a team-high 13 goals in 40 games played. Longtime Griffins Francis Pare and Jamie Tardiff round out the Griffins top scorers. Tardiff is tied for the team lead with 13 goals and third overall with 24 points in 43 games played. Pare is second overall with 27 points in 43 games played. Third-year Griffin Jan Mursak is also on recall to Detroit after posting ten goals and 23 points in 33 games played.

The Griffins made numerous additions this summer, including center Jamie Johnson and left wing Chris MInard. Johnson posted 71 points in 80 games with Rochester, while Minard scored 22 goals in only 40 games with Springfield (AHL) in 2009-10. Rookie defenseman Brendan Smith was drafted by Detroit in the first round (27th overall) in 2007. In his first 28 AHL games, Smith leads all Griffins defenders with 14 assists and 22 points.

While Joey MacDonald and Todd McCullom are in the NHL with Detroit, the Griffins are using Jordan Pearce and Dov Grumet-Morris in net. Grumet-Morris is 0-1-0 with a 1.32 goals against average and a .935 save percentage in two AHL appearances this year. Pearce is 4-3-1 with a 3.02 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. McCullom was 5-10-2 record, a 3.11 goals against average and a .884 save percentage. He was drafted by the Red Wings in the first round (30th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. MacDonald has appeared in 18 games, going 10-7-1 with a 2.70 goals against average and an .898 save percentage.

Special Teams

After finishing second overall last season on the penalty kill, the Texas Stars penalty kill is 29th overall at 78.1%. Texas ranks 22nd best in the AHL, converting on 16.7% of its power plays. The Griffins are 12th overall on the power play, converting 18.0% of the time. Grand Rapids is 17th overall on the penalty kill, stopping 82.4% of their opponents' power plays.

Offense and Defense

The Texas Stars are seventh overall in team defense, allowing 2.63 goals against per game. Texas is ranked 13th out of 30 teams, scoring an average of 2.85 goals per game. Grand Rapids defense ranks 17th overall with a 2.77 goals against per game. The Griffins sit 21st offensively, averaging 3.07 goals per game.


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