The Texas Stars are in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in the franchise’s six-year history after clinching a spot with a 5-0 victory over Hamilton Saturday. The Stars, who are fifth in the Western Conference with a 37-22-14 record, close out the regular season this week with three games against San Antonio. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Tuesday April 7: Texas 6, Iowa 4
Six different Texas players scored goals and Jack Campbell stopped 33 shots as the Stars ran their winning streak to four games with a 6-4 win at Iowa last Tuesday. Brett Ritchie, Kevin Henderson, Gemel Smith, Greg Rallo, Devin Shore and Travis Morin all scored. Julius Honka and Scott Glennie both had two assists. Shore’s goal early in the third extended Texas’ lead to 5-3 and proved to be the game-winner.
Friday April 10: Hamilton 4, Texas 3
Jussi Rynnas, who had been out three-and-a-half weeks with a lower-body injury, was back in goal for Texas and stopped 32 shots, but the Stars fell 4-3 to Hamilton at Cedar Park Center. Branden Troock, Justin Dowling and Derek Hulak scored for Texas.
Saturday April 11: Texas 5, Hamilton 0
Jack Campbell stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of the season, and Devin Shore’s goal 2:26 into the game was the only goal Campbell would need as Texas clinched a playoff spot with a 5-0 win over Hamilton Saturday night. Greg Rallo scored two goals and Justin Dowling and Matt Mangene also scored.
“It doesn’t matter where you coach or where you are; the playoffs are tough to get into,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game. This league is especially tough because every team is deep. It’s a battle. Give our guys credit, we’ve had quite a journey. We’ve reached one destination, and now we’ve got to start another journey. That’s going to be the challenge moving forward.”
The week ahead
Tuesday April 14, Texas at San Antonio, 7:00 p.m.
Friday April 17, Texas at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 18, San Antonio at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
*Goaltender Jack Campbell’s win on Tuesday was his 47th career victory for Texas, setting a new franchise record.
*Campbell is 10-3-0 in his past 13 starts with a 2.42 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.
*Defenseman Julius Honka has registered 11 points (one goal, ten assists) in his past 14 games. Honka has 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 65 games and is tied for the scoring lead among AHL rookie defensemen.
Here is where Texas ranks in some key statistical categories.
Goals for: 3.18 (4th)
Goals against: 2.86 (19th)
Shots for: 32.0 (8th)
Shots against: 32.3 (25th)
Power play: 20.5 (2nd)
Penalty kill: 86.8 (6th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Derek Hulak – Travis Morin – Greg Rallo
Curtis McKenzie – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Brendan Ranford – Devin Shore – Scott Glennie
Kevin Henderson – Gemel Smith – Matej Stransky
Jamie Oleksiak – Maxime Fortunus
Cameron Gaunce – Julius Honka
Ludwig Bystrom – Matt Mangene
4/12: D Patrik Nemeth reassigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, closed out the regular season with a 7-3 win over Utah Wednesday. The Steelheads finished first in the Pacific Division with a 48-18-6 record and will take on Utah in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Here’s the schedule. All times are Central.
Game 1: Utah at Idaho (Wed, April 15, 8:10 PM)
Game 2: Idaho at Utah (Fri, April 17, 8:05 PM)
Game 3: Idaho at Utah (Sat, April 18, 8:05 PM)
Game 4: Utah at Idaho (Fri, April 24, 8:10 PM)
Game 5: Utah at Idaho (Sat, April 25, 8:10 PM)*
Game 6: Idaho at Utah (Mon, April 27, 8:05 PM)*
Game 7: Utah at Idaho (Wed, April 29, 8:10 PM)*
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.