The Texas Stars picked up three of four points from the defending Calder Cup champs over the weekend. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth made an impact in the first game of his conditioning assignment with Texas. And Texas forward Denis Gurianov was an impact player at the World Junior Championship. Here's the latest on the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.
Friday, January 6: Texas 4, Cleveland 2
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, playing in the first game of his conditioning assignment from Dallas, recorded one goal and one assist as Texas defeated defending Calder Cup champion Cleveland, 4-2, at H-E-B Center Friday. Nemeth assisted on Texas' first goal and then scored shorthanded to tie the game 2-2 in the second period. After the game, Nemeth talked with local media about his conditioning assignment.
"Just to get some confidence and to get some games. To get in a groove," said Nemeth, who had been a scratch in 16 of the past 19 games in Dallas. "It's been a couple years where it's not been a lot of games up there. It's come down here and play with these guys, work on some stuff and get some confidence. That's huge."
Nemeth said he expects to be with Texas 10-12 days.
Jason Dickinson's goal 11:18 into the third period snapped the 2-2 tie and held up as the game-winner. Remi Elie and Matej Stransky also scored for Texas. Max Lagace stopped 23 of 25 shots as the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak.
Saturday: January 7: Cleveland 2, Texas 1 (SO)
The Stars couldn't make it two wins in a row over Cleveland, falling 2-1 in a shootout to the Monsters Saturday night in Cedar Park. Caleb Herbert scored the only goal in regulation for the Stars and Max Lagace stopped 28 of 29 shots. Herbert scored the lone goal in the shootout for Texas, but the Monsters scored twice on four shots to pick up the extra point.
Notes: Stars hit the road
*After playing nine of their past eleven games at home and their past eleven games within the state of Texas, the Stars hit the road for three games this week, playing one in Ontario, California and then two in Tucson, Arizona.
*The Stars are 16-13-3 on the season and rank fifth in the AHL's Pacific Division.
*Defenseman Mattias Backman returned to the Texas lineup last week after missing 12 games due to injury.
Gurianov shines at World Juniors
Forward Denis Gurianov returns to the Texas Stars after an impressive showing with Russia at the World Junior Championship in Canada. Gurianov recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in seven games. He scored two goals and twice in the shootout in a semifinal loss to the USA and then scored in overtime to lift Russia to a win over Sweden in the bronze medal game.
ESPN recognized Gurianov as one of the standouts in the tournament. Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff liked what he saw of Gurianov, the team's first-round pick in 2015.
"Started slow but finished the tournament right at the top on that team," Ruff said. "I loved his speed, loved him driving in wide and scoring goals. It just looked like his confidence grew as soon as he got the first one. And for him to get the winner [in the bronze medal game], it's always great to see your players getting the job done."
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Brandon DeFazio - Travis Morin - Brendan Ranford
Jason Dickinson - Justin Dowling - Remi Elie
Cole Ully - Gemel Smith - Matej Stransky
Austin Fyten - Ethan Werek - Caleb Herbert
Ludwig Bystrom - Julius Honka
Patrik Nemeth - Mattias Backman
Dustin Stevenson - Matt Mangene
Wed., January 11: Texas at Ontario, 9:00 p.m.
Fri., January 13: Texas at Tucson, 8:05 p.m.
Sat., January 14: Texas at Tucson, 8:05 p.m.
1/9: F Mike McMurtry assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/6: F Denis Gurianov assigned to Texas (AHL) from Team Russia (World Juniors)
1/6: D Patrik Nemeth loaned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL) for conditioning
1/5: D Brandon Anselmini assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
The Idaho Steelheads went 2-0-1 last week to extend their points streak to five games (4-0-1). The Steelheads are 20-11-4 on the season and are in third place in the ECHL's Mountain Division. Dallas goaltending prospect Philippe Desrosiers got one start, stopping 31 of 32 shots in a 4-1 win over Alaska on Friday. Desrosiers is 3-2-0 in the ECHL with a 3.49 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.