The Texas Stars went 0-1-1 over the past week and are 25-18-13 on the season. They currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference. Goaltender Jack Campbell returned from the ECHL and started both games for Texas this past week. And Dallas made a couple of paper transactions to make players eligible to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Friday February 27: Rockford 4, Texas 3 (OT)
Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak’s goal with 3:00 left in regulation forced overtime, but Rockford forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored with 22 seconds left in overtime to give the IceHogs a 4-3 victory at Cedar Park Center Friday night. Scott Glennie and Greg Rallo also scored for Texas. Jack Campbell, who is back with Texas after a stint in the ECHL, played well in net stopping 24 of 28 shots.
“Jack deserved a better fate tonight,” Rallo told media after the game. “He really stepped up coming back from Idaho and played a really solid game. He stopped I don’t know how many breakaways leading up to the final one there. It’s too bad we couldn’t get him the win tonight.”
Saturday February 28: Rockford 6, Texas 3
The Stars dropped a second straight game to Rockford over the weekend, falling 6-3 to the IceHogs Saturday night at Cedar Park Center. The Stars led 3-2 after two periods, but Rockford scored four times in the third.
“If you go back and reflect on the game, I don’t think we played that great start to finish,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game. “We got up 3-2 … but when you really look at it we probably didn’t deserve to win tonight.”
Justin Dowling, Kevin Henderson and Travis Morin scored goals. Jack Campbell, making his second consecutive start, stopped 35 of 40 shots.
The week ahead
Friday March 6, Iowa at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Transactions make McKenzie, Ritchie eligible for AHL playoffs
The Dallas Stars assigned forwards Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie to Texas just prior to the NHL trade deadline and then recalled them. It was a paper transaction that made them eligible for the AHL playoffs. Players needed to be on the AHL roster prior to the NHL trade deadline to be able to play in the Calder Cup playoffs. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who was already on the AHL roster prior to the deadline, will be eligible to play in the AHL playoffs as well. Nemeth was recalled to Dallas late Monday afternoon.
*Following Saturday’s game, Texas entered a stretch where it will play just four games over the next two weeks.
*Texas is 2-12 in games settled in the AHL’s four-on-four/three-on-three overtime this season.
*Texas center Travis Morin ranks 12th in the league in scoring with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 45 games.
*Texas forward Derek Hulak is tied for 11th in rookie scoring with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 51 games.
Here is where Texas ranks in some key statistical categories.
Goals for: 2.95 (7th)
Goals against: 2.93 (21st)
Shots for: 31.7 (7th)
Shots against: 31.6 (23rd)
Power play: 18.9 (7th)
Penalty kill: 86.5 (5th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Derek Hulak – Travis Morin – Greg Rallo
Gemel Smith – Justin Dowling – Scott Glennie
Kevin Henderson – Eric Faille – Matej Stransky
Brendan Ranford – Jesse Root – Matt Mangene
Jamie Oleksiak – Cameron Gaunce
Patrik Nemeth – Derek Meech
Julius Honka – Scott Valentine
3/2: D Patrik Nemeth recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
3/2: RW Brett Ritchie recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
3/2: LW Curtis McKenzie recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
3/2: RW Brett Ritchie assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
3/2: LW Curtis McKenzie assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
2/26: G Henri Kiviaho assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
2/26: G Jack Campbell assigned to Texas (AHL) from Idaho (ECHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 3-0-0 last week. Idaho is 35-16-4 and ranks first in the Pacific Division.
Jack Campbell won his final start in Idaho before getting assigned back to Texas, stopping 33 of 34 shots in a 4-1 win over Bakersfield on Wednesday. At the other end of the ice in that game was Dallas goaltending prospect Max Lagace, who stopped 18 of 21 shots for Bakersfield.
Dallas goaltending prospect Henri Kiviaho played the next two games for Idaho, stopping 66 of 72 shots in two victories over Bakersfield. Kiviaho and Lagace squared off Saturday. Kiviaho made 28 saves, and Lagace stopped 39 shots in Idaho’s 3-2 shootout victory.
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.