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'It was tragic': On, off ice, Stars family comes together in time of need

The team rallied around one another following Sunday's tornadoes, which damaged the homes of Bishop and Seguin

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

DALLAS -- There is a chimney in Ben Bishop's backyard.

He doesn't know where it's from.

That's how significant the damage is from the tornado that swept through Bishop's Preston Hollow neighborhood Sunday night. Bishop was at home with his wife, Andrea, and 17-month-old son, Benjamin, when the storm hit.

"It just happened so quick," Bishop said. "I was watching the football game and the sirens were going off. Then I changed the channel and went to go look outside and they said a tornado hit the (Dallas North) Tollway. So, I grabbed my child and we ran into the bathroom. I went to go peek out my closet window, and the trees were obviously blowing. So, I ran right back into the bathroom and our bedroom windows were breaking.

"You could hear it, and it probably lasted 10 seconds, but you could just hear all the debris hitting the house."

Video: Benn reacts to Dallas-area storms, expresses support

Bishop said that Stars captain Jamie Benn called him soon after the tornado hit, and then came to pick him up and take him to his house.

"Jamie called me to ask if I was OK and I told him there were some windows broken and whatnot, but then my phone died," Bishop said. "One of our full-grown trees was down in our driveway, and 45 minutes later Jamie was at my door and came and picked us up and we went over to his house. We're going to be there until whenever."

The Stars won a hockey game Monday night, beating the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, and putting together their most complete performance of the season. Dallas had a 43-20 advantage in shots on goal and a 77-35 advantage in shot attempts -- those have been areas that have gone against the Stars in most games this season, so turning them around was important.

To do that in this emotional time is not insignificant.

Bishop's house did not suffer the damage that other's nearby did, but it lost a bunch of windows, and Bishop wanted to make sure the rain didn't do further damage. So, in addition to trying to get his wife and child and their things moved to Benn's house, he said he tried to stay and get his windows covered Sunday night.

Tweet from @tseguinofficial: Thanks to everyone reaching out about the news tonight, I am safe. Luckily this is my house for sale and I have moved into a new one. I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see. Prayers to everyone affected by the tornado. https://t.co/wT6XlUBi8N

Tyler Seguin has two houses -- the one he lives in and the one he moved out of last November and is trying to sell. That second house was destroyed by the tornado. He spent much of Sunday night surveying the damage and just wandering around the neighborhood.

"I feel like you see tornado warnings sometimes in Dallas, but you never really believe that it touches down," said Seguin, whose new house is nearby the one that was damaged. "I saw a picture of my house on Twitter, looked at it and I said, 'I'm pretty sure that's my house.' And then someone said it was my house, as I was walking over to it, and I was like, 'That's mine.' That whole area, it was tragic."

Bishop took the morning skate off because Anton Khudobin was the scheduled starter, but the rest of the Stars went through their normal routine Monday. They are off to a slow start to the season, and with aspirations of a long playoff run, they need to fix their now 3-7-1 record during a stretch where they have six of seven games at home.

This was a good start.

Joe Pavelski and Radek Faksa scored goals. John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov bounced back from a couple of bad games. Khudobin was solid in net.

"It was a good 60 minutes," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "I just think we're rounding into form. It's still only two games where we have played the right way. We've got to continue to build on it, and we will."

And the building was off the ice, as well. The family is taking care of each other.

Seguin made a good point when he was asked about what sort of struggles he will have dealing with his totaled home. He said he's lucky compared to others.

"At the end of the day, it puts life into perspective," Seguin said. "It's not tough for me, just because I'm not going through what other families are going through -- the families that have lost their homes, aren't in another home, had to find shelter last night or, the worst-case scenario, are injured or worse. For me, talk to insurance, all of that stuff, that's nothing compared to what some other people have to go through, and I'm praying for them."

Benn said driving to pick up Bishop and his family was emotional.

Tweet from @DallasStars: "I can't wait to see the resilience and the strength of the city and how everyone comes together now and puts in the work out there.���#GoStars https://t.co/xDKHWKviY9

"It's something I've never seen before," Benn said. "Pretty surreal, just the debris and trees everywhere, it's a pretty crazy situation and scene. I think everybody responded in the right way, and everybody's helping out everybody. It was definitely good to see."

The Stars play hockey for a living. It's a nice job, but it's also a huge part of their life. That was never more clear than on Monday when they had to get up and go to work amid the chaos that surrounded them.

"You just want to start crying," Bishop said. "People are just standing at their homes in shock. And you see it on the news, but to see it first-person, it's extremely sad. But to think how close we were to being a street away … it could have been us.

"I think everybody is OK, and that's the main thing, because a lot of that stuff can be replaced and family can't."

And just like the neighborhoods, this season can be rebuilt. The process continued on Monday, brick by brick.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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