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Texas Stars stumble to open tough road stretch

Dallas' AHL affiliate drops four straight away from home but hangs on to the division's final playoff spot

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars opened the road-heavy portion of their schedule over the past week, and it was a bumpy start.

The Stars went 0-4-0 to open a stretch that has them playing 13 of their next 18 games and 19 of their next 28 away from home.

Despite losing the four straight games, Texas (21-15-5) remained in the fourth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Central Division. Texas has one more game on their current road trip before returning to Cedar Park where they will begin a three-game homestand.

Here's the latest on the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

 

Wednesday, January 16: San Diego 2, Texas 1

The Stars had a three-game winning streak and a five-game point streak come to an end with a 2-1 loss at San Diego Wednesday.

The Gulls scored two goals in a 1:58 span late in the first period, including a shorthanded tally by former Stars forward Adam Cracknell, to take a 2-0 lead.

Erik Condra scored on the power play late in the second to make it a 2-1 game, but the Stars could not get the equalizer. Landon Bow got the start in goal and made 30 saves.

 

Friday, January 18: San Jose 2, Texas 1

Texas lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 23 and 24, falling 2-1 at San Jose Friday.

For a second straight game, the Stars found themselves down 2-0 after the first period. Gavin Bayreuther scored just under five minutes into the second period to cut the San Jose lead to 2-1, but the Stars couldn't get that second goal to pull even.

Landon Bow stopped 29 shots.

 

Saturday, January 19: Stockton 4, Texas 2

The Texas Stars saw their winning streak hit three games with a 4-2 loss at Stockton Saturday. It was the first time Texas had lost three straight in regulation since late October/early November.

For the third time on the trip, the Stars found themselves down 2-0 after one period. Colin Markison scored to make it a 2-1 game in the second, but the Heat extended the lead to 3-1 in the third. Just 31 seconds later, Shane Hanna scored to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Stars couldn't get the game-tying goal and Stockton sealed the win with a late empty-net goal.

Philippe Desrosiers got the start in goal and stopped 18 of 21 shots.

 

Monday, January 21: Tucson 6, Texas 3

The Texas Stars matched their longest losing streak of the season, dropping their fourth straight game Monday in a 6-3 defeat at Tucson.

The Stars also lost four games in a row in regulation from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3. The Stars had 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 leads on Monday but the Roadrunners scored the final four goals of the game. Bayreuther, Denis Gurianov, and Michael Mersch scored for the Stars.

Bow stopped 14 of 19 shots.

 

Prospect spotlight
  • Gurianov and Joel L'Esperance will represent the Texas Stars at this weekend's AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts. Gurianov was among the initial 48 players -- 12 from each of the AHL's four divisions -- named to the All-Star Classic at the beginning of the month and L'Esperance was added to the roster last week. The weekend will include a skills competition between players from the two AHL conferences and a 3-on-3 tournament involving All-Star teams from the AHL's four divisions.

  • Gurianov tallied one goal and one assist Monday as he returned from his one-game stint in the NHL. Gurianov has 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 30 games with Texas. He ranks 18th in the league in points per game (1.10).  

  • L'Esperance did not record any points last week, but he still ranks second in the AHL in goal scoring with 22 in 41 games and is third among AHL rookies in points with 35.

  • Center Roope Hintz, who was assigned to Texas Saturday, played in his first AHL game in almost a month on Monday. He centered a line with Gurianov and Nick Caamano in the game against Tucson, registering no points and three shots on goal.

  • Defenseman Connor Carrick, who was assigned to Texas on a conditioning loan Saturday, played in Monday's game at Tucson. He was paired with Gavin Bayreuther and had no points and one shot on goal.

  • Bayreuther tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in four games over the past week. Bayreuther has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 18 games with Texas.

  • Defenseman Ben Gleason picked up one assist over the past week, giving him 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 38 games. He ranks second among AHL rookie defensemen in scoring.

 

Texas lineup

Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.

Denis Gurianov - Roope Hintz - Nick Caamano
Michael Mersch - Justin Dowling - Adam Mascherin
Travis Morin - Joel L'Esperance - Erik Condra
Colton Hargrove - James Phelan - Colin Markison

Gavin Bayreuther - Connor Carrick
Dillon Heatherington - Joel Hanley
Ben Gleason - Niklas Hansson

Landon Bow
Philippe Desrosiers

 

Upcoming schedule
  • Wednesday, Jan. 23, Texas at Tucson, 8:05 p.m.

  • Friday, Jan. 25, Stockton at Texas, 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, Jan. 26, San Diego at Texas, 7 p.m.

 

Idaho Steelheads (ECHL)

The Idaho Steelheads won three of four games last week to improve to 26-12-3 on the season. The Steelheads are in first place in the ECHL's Mountain Division.

Colton Point stopped 23 of 26 shots in a 4-3 overtime win over Allen on Saturday. Point is 4-1-1 with a 3.10 goals against average and .895 save percentage.

Defenseman Ondrej Vala picked up two assists last week, giving him seven points (two goals, five assists) in 24 games with Idaho.

Defenseman John Nyberg, assigned to Idaho last week, picked up one assist in his first four games with the Steelheads.

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

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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