CEDAR PARK, Tex. – The Texas Stars opened the Willie Desjardins era and their first preseason contest of the new season with a commanding 7-2 win over the Houston Aeros.
WATCH: Postgame Jack Campbell
Colton Sceviour took advantage of an early Texas power play with a shot from the point and opened up the scoring to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
The game was a special teams contest at first, as both teams traded power plays to start the game. The Stars would come out on top after the first period with a 2-1 lead.
The game was 3-2 heading into the third period before Texas broke it wide open in the third. The Stars would score four goals in the third period to send them cruising to a 7-2 victory.
“We worked hard, did the right things early, stayed disciplined and I think our power play was successful tonight,” said forward Francis Wathier who earned four points tonight. “It was a sixty-minute effort, nobody quit.”
Texas will play their second preseason contest this Friday against the San Antonio Rampage in Cedar Park and will close out the preseason on Saturday at San Antonio.
They open the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 13 at San Antonio.
Notes and observations:
* Willie Desjardins made his AHL head coaching debut tonight after being an associate coach for Dallas the last three seasons.
* Francis Wathier had a terrific night, he earned two goals and two assists en-route to a first-star performance.
* Special teams were the difference for the Texas Stars tonight. They went 4-for-7 on the power play and were perfect on the penalty kill stopping all five Houston power plays.
* Cody Eakin scored a goal off of a rebound in front of the Houston net. Willie Desjardins said he’s thrilled to have Eakin as a part of the Stars. “He works hard. He’s a good kid, he’s very strong. He has a little bit of an edge and is a good find for the organization.” – Willie Desjardins
* Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell played the entire game and had a solid outing, stopping 22-of-24 shots. Many of the saves were in tight, including one crucial breakaway save at the beginning of the second period.
* Jamie Oleksiak and Brenden Dillon were paired together on defense. They are both big bodies (over 6-foot-2), but they can both skate extremely well for their size.
* Toby Petersen is expected to provide veteran leadership for Texas this season. That was on display tonight, as he blocked several shots.
* Colton Sceviour left the game after blocking a shot and is expected to be out for “a little while” according to Desjardins.