The Texas Stars had a rough week, going 0-2-1 on a road trip that took them to Illinois and Michigan. The Stars are 14-12-4 on the season and currently rank fourth in the AHL’s Pacific Division as they head into a holiday break. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Thursday, December 17: Chicago 4, Texas 3 (SO)
The Stars rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third period to force overtime and earn a point but fell, 4-3, in a shootout at Chicago on Tuesday. Brett Ritchie, Greg Rallo and Mattias Backman scored in the third to tie the game. Backman, who scored the equalizer with 2:26 remaining, scored his first AHL goal. John Muse got the start in goal but was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on nine shots. Jack Campbell played the rest of the way, stopping all 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime. Chicago’s Jordan Schmaltz scored the only goal of the shootout.
Friday, December 18: Grand Rapids 5, Texas 4
The Stars had 2-0 and 3-2 leads in the game, but Grand Rapids scored three straight goals in the third period to take a 5-3 lead and went on to defeat the Stars 5-4 at Van Andel Arena Friday night. It was the 13th straight win for the Griffins. Curtis McKenzie and Travis Morin both had one goal and one assist for the Stars. Brendan Ranford and Justin Dowling also scored. Jack Campbell got the start in goal and stopped 36 of 41 shots.
Saturday, December 19: Grand Rapids 6, Texas 1
Grand Rapids won its 14th straight game, blowing out the Stars, 6-1, Saturday at Van Andel Arena. Six different players scored for Grand Rapids. Mattias Backman scored the lone goal for Texas, his second in three games. Jack Campbell went the distance in goal, stopping 31 of 37 shots.
*Right wing Brett Ritchie has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in seven games since returning from a wrist injury.
*Left wing Curtis McKenzie registered his 100th career AHL point in Friday’s game at Grand Rapids. McKenzie, who later scored a goal in the game, has 101 points (37 goals, 64 assists) in 128 AHL games.
*Defenseman Mattias Backman leads Texas with a plus-ten rating.
*Texas ranks second in the AHL in goal scoring (3.80 per game).
*Texas ranks 29th in goals against (3.53 per game).
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Greg Rallo
Derek Hulak – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Brendan Ranford – Jason Dickinson – Matej Stransky
Remi Elie – Gemel Smith – Branden Troock
Esa Lindell – Julius Honka
Ludwig Bystrom – Stephen Johns
Mattias Backman – Matt Mangene
Saturday, December 26: San Antonio at Texas, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 27: Texas at San Antonio, 4:00 p.m.
Idaho Steelheads update
The Idaho Steelheads went 2-0-1 over the past week to run their points streak to five games (4-0-1). The Steelheads are 11-14-5 on the season and rank third in the ECHL’s West Division.
Philippe Desrosiers appeared in all three games last week, stopping 61 of 68 shots including 33 of 36 in a 6-3 win over the Allen Americans in Boise on Friday. Desrosiers is 6-6-3 with a 2.58 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.
Forward Emil Molin registered three points (one goal, two assists) in Friday’s win over Allen. Molin has 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in 27 games with Idaho.
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.