The Texas Stars picked up four of a possible six points (2-1-0) on a three-game road trip over the past week. The Stars are now 15-11-8 on the season and are in the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference through Tuesday’s games. Also, two Texas Stars are headed to the AHL All-Star Classic later this month. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Saturday January 3: Texas 4, Charlotte 1
Brendan Ranford scored two goals and Jussi Rynnas stopped 24 shots as the Stars won their third straight game, defeating Charlotte, 4-1, at Time Warner Cable Arena Saturday night. Gemel Smith and Radek Faksa also scored for the Stars. Charlotte took a 1-0 lead in the second period, but the Stars scored four unanswered goals in the third. Smith scored the game-winner, tallying at the 13:40 mark to snap a 1-1 tie.
Sunday January 4: Charlotte 5, Texas 2
The Stars’ three-game winning streak came to an end with a 5-2 loss to Charlotte Sunday afternoon. Jyrki Jokipakka and Derek Meech scored for Dallas. Jussi Rynnas got the start in goal and stopped 20 of 24 shots through two periods. Jack Campbell played the final period and stopped all nine shots he faced. Charlotte scored into an empty net with 6:56 remaining when the Stars, trailing 4-1, pulled Campbell for an extra attacker during a power play.
Tuesday January 6: Texas 5, Oklahoma City 2
Travis Morin registered one goal and one assist in his first game back from the NHL to help lead Texas to a 5-2 win at Oklahoma City, ending the Barons’ winning streak at seven games. It was the fourth win in the last five games for Texas (4-1-0). Derek Hulak scored two goals and Gemel Smith and Jesse Root also tallied. Jussi Rynnas stopped 27 of 29 shots to pick up the win. After surrendering the first goal of the game six minutes in, the Stars rattled off four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead after two periods.
The week ahead
Friday January 9, Iowa at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday January 10, Toronto at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Notes: Morin, Fortunus to play in AHL All-Star Game
*Center Travis Morin and defenseman Maxime Fortunus will represent the Texas Stars at the AHL All-Star Classic, which will be held Jan. 25-26 in Utica, NY. The AHL named Morin to the roster on Tuesday. Fortunus was selected as the Western Conference’s captain last month.
*Defenseman Julius Honka returned to the Texas Stars after playing for Finland at the World Juniors and was back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game in Oklahoma City. Honka registered one goal and one assist in five World Junior Championship games for Finland, which finished seventh at the tournament.
*Gemel Smith is on a roll in the goal scoring department. The rookie forward has tallied five goals over this last six games.
*Texas center Radek Faksa attended the Dallas-Columbus game at American Airlines Center Tuesday night. He had his arm in a sling.
*Here is where Texas ranks in some key statistical categories.
Goals for: 2.88 (10th)
Goals against: 3.00 (23rd)
Shots for: 32.9 (5th)
Shots against: 31.2 (19th)
Power play: 15.8 (18th)
Penalty kill: 86.1 (7th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Derek Hulak – Travis Morin – Greg Rallo
Brendan Ranford – Gemel Smith – Scott Glennie
Kevin Henderson – Jesse Root – Matej Stransky
Mike Dalhuisen – Taylor Peters – Branden Troock
Cameron Gaunce – Maxime Fortunus
Jyrki Jokipakka – Julius Honka
Scott Valentine – Mike Mangene
1/5: C Travis Morin assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
1/5: D Connor Hardowa released from PTO by Texas (AHL)
1/3: D Jyrki Jokipakka assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
1/3: LW Taylor Stefishen released from PTO by Texas (AHL)
12/31: RW Brett Ritchie recalled by Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
12/31: G Henri Kiviaho assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, won both its games over the past week, taking a two-game series against Colorado. Idaho did not allow a goal in the series, winning 6-0 and 1-0. The Steelheads are 20-10-3 and rank second in the Pacific Division.
Dallas defense prospect Troy Vance scored a goal in Idaho’s 6-0 win on Friday. Vance has scored two goals in his past four games.
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.