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AHL Report: L'Esperance having solid stretch for Texas Stars

On a four-game point streak, the young center is tied for the goal-scoring lead among AHL rookies

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars played just twice last week, winning one and losing one. The schedule will pick up a little this week with Texas playing three games in three nights against division rival San Antonio.

The Stars, who have won three of their past four games, are 7-6-2 on the season. Center Justin Dowling is the new captain of the Texas Stars and rookie center Joel L'Esperance has been on a nice run recently.

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


Wednesday, November 14: Manitoba 5, Texas 4

Texas had 2-1 and 3-2 leads, but Manitoba scored three straight goals to go ahead in the game and then held off the Stars for a 5-4 victory at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park Wednesday. Joel L'Esperance tallied one goal and one assist for the Stars. Roope Hintz, James Phelan, and Colton Hargrove also scored. Hargrove's goal with 3:09 pulled Texas to within one goal, but the Stars couldn't get the equalizer. Landon Bow got the start in goal and stopped 15 of 20 shots.


Friday, November 16: Texas 5, Rockford 1

Roope Hintz and Taylor Fedun both tallied one goal and one assist as the Texas Stars won for the third time in the last four games, defeating Rockford, 5-1, at H-E-B Center Friday. Hintz staked the Stars to a 1-0 lead in the first period, and after Rockford tied the game in the second, Fedun snapped the tie 15 seconds into the third. Travis Morin, Sam Laberge, and Colton Hargrove added goals in the third to push the final score to 5-1. Landon Bow stopped 15 of 16 shots.


Prospect spotlight
  • Six players who were in Texas' opening night lineup vs. Grand Rapids on Oct. 5 have suited up for Dallas in the NHL this season: defensemen Gavin Bayreuther, Joel Hanley , Ben Gleason , and Dillon Heatherington and forwards Denis Gurianov and Justin Dowling.

  • The Texas Stars have named Dowling as the sixth captain in franchise history. Dowling is playing in his seventh season with Texas. Travis Morin and Erik Condra will serve as alternate captains. "Justin's captaincy is well deserved," said Dallas Stars assistant GM/Texas Stars GM Scott White. "He has been a key part of this organization for the last seven seasons and embodies the Stars organization through the strong leadership, character and work ethic he demonstrates both on and off the ice."

  • Center Joel L'Esperance is on a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists). He ranks second on Texas in scoring with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists). Among AHL rookies, L'Esperance is tied for the goal-scoring lead and is tied for third in points.

  • Forward Colton Hargrove, a Rockwall native who is under an AHL contract with Texas, is on a four-game goal scoring streak and has scored a goal in five of the last six games. Hargrove has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 15 games. 

  • Before being called back up to the NHL on Saturday, Roope Hintz was on a three-game goal scoring streak and four-game points streak (three goals, four assists) with Texas. Hintz has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in nine games with Texas.

  • Gurianov picked up an assist in Friday's game. Gurianov leads Texas in scoring with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 14 games.

  • Texas' power play ranks third in the AHL at 27.4 percent. Gurianov and L'Esperance lead Texas with three power-play goals each. Dowling is tops with seven assists on the power play.


Texas lineup

Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.

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

Dillon Heatherington - Taylor Fedun
John Nyberg - Ben Gleason
Shane Hanna - Nicklas Hansson

Landon Bow
Philippe Desrosiers


Upcoming schedule

Fri., Nov. 23, at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 24, vs. San Antonio, 7:00 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 25, at San Antonio, 3:00 p.m.


Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads went 2-0-1 over the past week and are 7-7-3 on the season. Stars goaltending prospect Colton Point posted a 1-0-1 record last week, stopping 57 of 60 shots. Point, who was assigned back to the Texas Stars on Sunday, posted a 2-0-1 record in Idaho with a 2.32 goals against average and .918 save percentage. Right wing Tony Calderone, who had one assist in six games with Idaho, also was assigned back to Texas on Sunday as well.

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 since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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