“The Idaho Steelheads are an important development tool for the Dallas Stars,” said Texas Stars General Manager Scott White. “Over the years, Boise has consistently been a great place for our younger players to earn valuable ice time as they begin their pro careers. We look forward to Head Coach Hardy Sauter developing Dallas Stars prospects.”
The Idaho Steelheads play at the 5,006-seat Qwest Arena, which opened in downtown Boise in 1997, and the club played host to over 156,000 fans last season. The Steelheads have qualified for the playoffs every year since joining the ECHL for the 2003-04 season. Idaho reached the Western Conference Semifinals in 2010-11 after posting a 32-27-4-9 regular season mark.
In 2009-10, the Steelheads posted the best regular season record in the ECHL at 48-17-2-5. Idaho finished two wins short of winning the team’s third Kelly Cup. It marked the club’s seventh consecutive appearance in the ECHL Playoffs. The Steelheads won the ECHL’s Patrick J. Kelly Cup as the development affiliate of the Dallas Stars in both 2004 and 2007.
Forwards Michael Neal
, Sean Backman, Mark Derlago and Kael Mouillierat all skated for both Texas and Idaho during the 2010-11 season. Goaltender Tyler Beskorowany
and defenseman Guillaume Monast also spent time with both clubs. Current Texas Stars Francis Wathier
, Mathieu Tousignant
, Luke Gazdic
and Richard Bachman
spent time in Idaho earlier in their careers. Current Dallas Stars center Tom Wandell
skated with the Idaho Steelheads along his development path.
Considered the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, in 2010-11 the ECHL had affiliations with 27 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League. Additionally, the ECHL also had affiliations with 27 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League, creating a true minor league system where players can be promoted within the given parent organization.
Texas will play three preseason games starting on Friday, September 30 at 7:30 PM with the San Antonio Rampage visiting the Cedar Park Center. The team will then visit the Rampage on Saturday, October 1 at 3:00 PM in San Antonio. The game will be played at the Ice Center at Northwoods in San Antonio. Texas will round out its preseason schedule by hosting the Houston Aeros at 5:00 pm at Cedar Park Center.
The Texas Stars will host Opening Night at Cedar Park Center on Sunday, October 9th. The complete 2011-12 American Hockey League season will be announced later this summer.
2011-12 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
. Anyone interested in purchasing season tickets, suites, group tickets or mini-plans may call the Texas Stars front office.