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Season ends for Texas Stars, Idaho Steelheads open playoffs in ECHL

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars wrapped up their season, taking two of three games from the San Antonio Rampage last week. The Stars were 34-37-5 on the season, finishing seventh in the AHL's Pacific Division and missing the playoffs for just the second time in the franchise's eight seasons of existence.

The season ended with a 6-3 loss to the Rampage on Saturday. The Stars went 0-3 on the power play and allowed two power-play goals on five shorthanded situations.

"Tonight was kind of a synopsis of our year," Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game. "Power play hasn't been great, penalty killing has been really bad. That was the difference in tonight's game. And we played a lot of kids at different positions. It was a tough one for the guys. They know it is the end of the season. I have to give them an A for the effort."

Injuries in Dallas took a toll on Texas, especially at the forward spot where Texas used 25 different players over the course of the season. But there were ups and downs across the lineup.

"A lot of these players will be moving on to different jobs. There will be some new kids coming in next year and some guys coming back from this team," Laxdal told media in Cedar Park. "You build a new group, manage that and try to find an identity. There are a lot of areas we want to improve on. The goaltending hasn't been great this year. There are some bright spots coming. Our backend wasn't great, and we've got to make some changes there. Up front, we didn't' have enough depth to get us through the year, and that is something that Dallas will address. Dallas had all those major injuries, and we didn't even see Adam Cracknell, who was signed to be down here. Good on him that he's got an NHL deal for next year. We didn't even see Devin Shore, who was probably going to start the season down here. You can't use that as an excuse, and we just have to rebuild the group every year and start over."

In the ECHL, the Idaho Steelheads have started postseason play, and they split the first two games of their first-round series with Colorado.

Here's the latest on the minor league affiliates of the Dallas Stars.

Wednesday, April 12: Texas 4, San Antonio 3

Denis Gurianov's goal at 5:09 of the third period held up as the game-winner as the Texas Stars defeated San Antonio, 4-3, at H-E-B Center Wednesday. Gurianov scored off a rebound to extend the Texas' lead to 4-2, and the Stars held on for the victory. Gemel Smith, back from a stint in the NHL, recorded one goal and one assist. Cole Ully and Matt Mangene also scored. Justin Peters stopped 24 of 27 shots to get the win in goal.

Friday, April 14: Texas 1, San Antonio 0

Philippe Desrosiers stopped 29 shots for his first career AHL shutout, and Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the game as the Texas Stars won, 1-0, at San Antonio Friday. Desrosiers, who was recalled from Norfolk of the ECHL earlier in the week, was playing in his first AHL game since the middle of November. Gurianov's goal came with 7:16 left in the third period. He took a pass from Remi Elie, drove the net and slipped the puck past Rampage goaltender Martin Spencer for this 12th goal of the season.

Saturday, April 15: San Antonio 6, Texas 3

The Stars ended the season with a 6-3 loss at H-E-B Center Saturday. The Stars rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to tie the game 3-3, but San Antonio scored three straight goals to win the regular season finale for both teams. Matej Stransky, Remi Elie, and Dillon Heatherington scored for the Stars. Justin Peters got the start in goal and stopped 17 of 22 shots.


*Travis Morin led Texas in scoring with 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists) in 72 games.

*Matej Stransky led Texas in goal scoring with 27 in 76 games. Brandon DeFazio was next with 22 goals, also in 76 games.

*Stransky and DeFazio tied for second on the team with 47 points.

*Julius Honka led Texas defensemen in scoring with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 50 games.

*Denis Gurianov led Texas rookies in scoring with 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 57 games.

*Defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, who has signed by Dallas out of St. Lawrence University in March, registered five points (two goals, three assists) in 15 games after joining Texas.

*Forward Mark McNeill, acquired by Dallas from Chicago in the Johnny Oduya trade, recorded eleven points (three goals, eight assists) in 21 games with Texas.

*Defenseman Dillon Heatherington, acquired by Dallas from Columbus in the Lauri Korpikoski trade, tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) in 22 games with Texas.

Texas Lineup

Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.

Remi Elie - Jason Dickinson - Denis Gurianov
Nick Caamano - Gemel Smith - Matej Stransky
Brandon DeFazio - Mark McNeill - Cole Ully
Ethan Werek - Austin Fyten - Reid Sturos

Dillon Heatherington - Nick Ebert
Gavin Bayreuther - Matt Mangene
Ludwig Bystrom - Darren Dietz

Justin Peters
Philippe Desrosiers


4/13: Justin Dowling assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)

4/11: G Philipp Desrosiers assigned to Texas (AHL) from Norfolk (ECHL)

4/11: D Julius Honka assigned to Team Finland (World Championship) from Texas (AHL)

Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads split the first two games of their first-round playoff series against Colorado. The Steelheads won the first game 4-2 on Friday behind a 32-save effort from goaltender Landon Bow. The Steelheads fell 2-1 in the second game on Saturday as Bow stopped 17 of 19 shots. The next three games of the series will be played in Boise starting on Wednesday.

Idaho-Colorado Playoff Schedule (Series Tied 1-1)

Game 1: Friday, April 14 - Idaho 4 @ Colorado 2
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 - Idaho 1 @ Colorado 2
Game 3: Colorado @ Idaho - Wednesday, April 19th, 8:05 pm
Game 4: Colorado @ Idaho - Friday, April 21st, 8:05 pm
Game 5: Colorado @ Idaho - Saturday, April 22nd, 8:05 pm
Game 6: Idaho @ Colorado - Tuesday, April 25th, 8:05 pm *
Game 7: Idaho @ Colorado - Wednesday, April 26th, 8:05 pm *

*If necessary

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 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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