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Texas Stars Report

Texas can't get on track during four-game homestand, Denis Gurianov returns from injury

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars couldn't take advantage of a four-game homestand over the past week, posting a 1-2-1 record. Texas is 27-29-4 on the season and in seventh place in the AHL's Pacific Division. The Stars got off to a good start on the homestand, rallying for a win over the top team in the West, Grand Rapids, but then dropped three straight. Dallas signed Texas/Idaho goaltender Landon Bow to an entry-level contract and forward Denis Gurianov returned to the lineup after missing nine games due to injury. Here's the latest on the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.  

Wednesday, March 8: Texas 5, Grand Rapids 4

Gemel Smith notched his first career hat trick, including two shorthanded goals in 44 seconds that fueled a third-period rally as the Stars defeated Grand Rapids, 5-4, Wednesday at H-E-B Center Wednesday. With Texas down 4-2 in the third period, Smith scored twice shorthanded on the same Grand Rapids power play to tie the game 4-4 with 4:18 remaining. Brandon DeFazio then scored the game-winner 50 seconds later.

"Give our guys credit. They never said die," said Texas coach Derek Laxdal. "We challenged them after the second period to say 'Hey, it's not over until it's over.' I like the way we responded."

Travis Morin also scored for Texas. Justin Peters stopped 19 of 23 shots in goal.

Friday, March 10: Iowa 5, Texas 1

Iowa scored twice in 47 seconds to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back, defeating the Stars, 5-1, Friday in Cedar Park. Ethan Werek scored for Texas, cutting the lead to 2-1, but the Wild blew the game open with three goals in the third. Justin Peters got the start in goal but was pulled in the first period after allowing two goals on three shots. Max Lagace played the rest of the way and stopped 15 of 18 shots.

Saturday, March 11: Iowa 3, Texas 2

The Stars dug themselves a 3-0 hole and couldn't climb out of it, falling 3-2 to Iowa Saturday in Cedar Park. Matej Stransky and Brandon DeFazio scored goals in the third period to pull the Stars to within one, but the Stars couldn't get the equalizer. Justin Peters got the start in goal and stopped 14 of 17 shots.

Monday, March 13: San Antonio 2, Texas 1 (SO)

The Stars lost their third straight game, falling 2-1 in a shootout to San Antonio at H-E-B Center Monday night. Mark McNeill scored on the power play in regulation for the Stars, giving them a 1-0 lead in the second period. But Rocco Grimaldi's power-play goal tied the game with 3:53 remaining and ex-Texas forward Brendan Ranford scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Rampage picked up the extra point. Justin Peters made 26 saves and stopped one of two shooters in the shootout.

Notes: Dallas signs goaltender Bow, Gurianov returns from injury

*The Dallas Stars signed goaltender Landon Bow, who has played for both Texas and Idaho (ECHL) this season, to a two-year entry-level contract. Bow, who is under contract to Texas this season, has spent a majority of the season in the ECHL, where he is 15-5-2 and ranks second in both goals-against average (2.24) and save percentage (.929). Bow, who was undrafted out of the Western Hockey League, has also played with Texas this season, posting a 7-7-0 record, 3.17 GAA and .894 SV%.

"He's come in and had a great season," Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said. "He's gone to the ECHL, and he's No. 2 in the league there. It's a good story to show perseverance, hard work and he's earned a contract because of it. He's got the tools. He has to continue to work hard. The opportunity is there."

*Center Gemel Smith left Saturday's game after taking a high hit from Iowa defenseman Nick Seeler in the neutral zone. Seeler was given a match penalty for an illegal check to the head. On Monday, the AHL suspended Seeler three games for the hit. Smith did not play in Monday's game against San Antonio.

*Forward Denis Gurianov returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury and picked up two assists in four games over the past week. Gurianov, the first-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2015, has registered 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 43 games this season.

*The Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals swapped AHL defenseman last week without making a trade. The Stars loaned defenseman Mattias Backman to Washington's AHL affiliate, Hershey, and the Capitals loaned defenseman Darren Dietz to the Texas Stars. Backman, a restricted free agent at the end of the season, remains in the Dallas system for now.

Texas Lineup

Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.

Brandon DeFazio - Travis Morin - Matej Stransky
Denis Gurianov - Jason Dickinson - Mark McNeill
Coly Ully - Justin Dowling - Ethan Werek
Austin Fyten - Mike McMurtry - Matt Mangene

Dillon Heatherington - Julius Honka
Andrew Bodnarchuk - Nick Ebert
Justin Hache - Darren Dietz

Justin Peters
Max Lagace

Week Ahead

Wed., March 15, Texas at Chicago, 7:00 p.m.
Fri., March 17, Texas at Cleveland, 6:00 p.m.
Sat., March 18, Texas at Cleveland, 6:00 p.m.

Transactions

3/8: D Mattias Backman assigned by Dallas (NHL) to Hershey (AHL)

3/8: D Darren Dietz assigned by Washington (NHL) to Texas (AHL)

Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads went 1-1-0 last week and are 34-19-7 on the season. They rank third in the ECHL's Mountain Division. Landon Bow made one start for Idaho, stopping 16 of 20 shots in a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati.

Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers made two starts for Norfolk in the ECHL, going 1-1-0 and stopping 58 of 68 shots.

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.

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