It was a busy week for the Texas Stars. They are under new ownership after the sale to Northland Properties, the parent company of the Dallas Stars, was finalized and approved by the AHL’s Board of Governors. The team played three games in three nights over the weekend, going 1-1-1. The Stars are 11-9-8 on the season, ranking 11th in the Western Conference and three points out of a playoff spot. And defenseman Julius Honka will be gone for two weeks as he tries for a second straight gold medal at the World Junior Championship. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Texas stars sale finalized
The sale of the Texas Stars to Northland Properties, parent company of the Dallas Stars, was finalized last week and approved by the AHL Board of Governors. The newly-formed Texas Stars, L.P. will now operate the city-owned Cedar Park Center. The bottom line is that Tom Gaglardi now owns both the Dallas Stars and Texas Stars.
“This is an exciting day,” Dallas Stars president Jim Lites said at a press conference in Cedar Park last week. “One of the most exciting prospects [when Tom Gaglardi became owner of the Dallas Stars] was the ability of our enterprise to own and control our American Hockey League franchise in a city and building as dynamic as this one is and has become.”
Honka joins Finland for World Junior Championship
After the Texas Stars played in Hamilton, Ontario Sunday afternoon, Julius Honka headed to join Team Finland for the World Junior Championship. He didn’t have far to travel. Team Finland is already in Ontario, where it is playing some exhibition games prior to the tournament, which will be played in Toronto and Montreal.
Honka could miss five or six games with Texas while playing at the World Juniors.
“It’s an outstanding tournament,” said Dallas GM Jim Nill. “It’s an opportunity to play against top players his own age. There are no negatives to it at all.”
Honka played for Finland last year, registering one assist in seven games as the Finns won the gold medal.
The World Juniors begin Friday. Dallas defense prospect Aleksi Makela also will play for Finland at the tournament. Dallas forward prospect Matej Paulovic is playing for Slovakia.
Friday December 19: Utica 3, Texas 2 (OT)
The Stars opened a stretch of three road games in three days with a 3-2 overtime loss in Utica, New York Friday night. Radek Faksa and Scott Glennie scored to put the Stars up 2-0 after one period, but the Comets scored one in the second and one in the third to tie. Bobby Sanguinetti tallied 1:13 into overtime to give Utica the extra point. Jussi Rynnas got the start in goal for Texas and stopped 28 of 31 shots.
Saturday December 20: Texas 3, Toronto 1
Jack Campbell stopped 32 shots for his first win since Oct. 29 as the Stars won, 3-1 in Toronto Saturday afternoon. Campbell, who was making his first start in two-and-a-half weeks and just his third in the past month, snapped a personal five-game winless streak (0-4-1). Derek Hulak, Derek Meech and Brendan Ranford scored goals for Texas.
Sunday December 21: Hamilton 5, Texas 2
Texas ended a stretch of three games in three days with a 5-2 loss at Hamilton on Sunday. Justin Dowling and Greg Rallo scored goals for Texas. Jack Campbell got his second straight start and stopped 22 of 26 shots.
The week ahead
Friday December 26: Texas at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday December 27: Charlotte at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday December 28: San Antonio at Texas, 5:00 p.m.
*Here is where Texas ranked in some key statistical categories through Monday’s games in the AHL.
Goals for: 2.64 (20th)
Goals against: 2.93 (19th)
Shots for: 33.5 (4th)
Shots against: 31.6 (20th)
Power play: 17.3 (15th)
Penalty kill: 85.7 (8th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game. The Stars dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen and used defensemen William Wrenn at forward during the game.
Curtis McKenzie – Radek Faksa – Greg Rallo
Kevin Henderson – Justin Dowling – Derek Hulak
Brendan Ranford – Jesse Root – Scott Glennie
Matej Stransky – Gemel Smith – William Wrenn
Cameron Gaunce – Maxime Fortunus
Derek Meech – Julius Honka
Scott Valentine – Matt Mangene
12/20: LW Curtis McKenzie assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
12/20: D Matt Mangene signed to PTO by Texas (AHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 2-2-0 over the past week and are 17-10-2 on the season. The Steelheads rank first in the Pacific Division. Dallas goaltending prospect Henri Kiviaho made one start last week, stopping 23 of 25 shots in a 3-1 loss at Stockton. Kiviaho is 3-4-1 this season with a 3.07 goals against average and .886 save percentage.
Click here for Texas Stars statistics
This story was not subject to the 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.