The Texas Stars won two of three games over the past week, giving them six wins in their past eight games. The Stars are 23-16-6 and rank third in the AHL’s Pacific Division. Radek Faksa and his linemates – Derek Hulak and Greg Rallo – had a big week, combining for 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) in Texas’ two victories. Esa Lindell is back with Texas after a brief stint in the NHL. And goaltender Jack Campbell continues to put up impressive numbers with the Idaho Steelheads. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ minor league affiliates.
Friday, January 22: San Diego 3, Texas 2
Matej Stransky scored to tie the game with 3:15 left in the third period, but San Diego’s Stefan Noesen scored just 42 seconds later to lift the Gulls to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center. Texas, which came into the game averaging almost 35 shots per game, was held to just 21 shots. Curtis McKenzie scored the other goal for Texas. Philippe Desrosiers got the start in goal and stopped 23 of 26 shots.
Saturday, January 23: Texas 5, San Diego 2
Radek Faksa recorded one goal, two assists and a plus-four rating as the Texas Stars defeated San Diego, 5-2, at Cedar Park Center. Faksa’s linemates - Derek Hulak and Greg Rallo – both had one goal and two assists, and Mattias Backman registered one goal and one assist. Brendan Ranford also scored for Texas, which scored five goals on 25 shots. Maxime Lagace got the start in goal and stopped 29 of 31 shots.
Sunday, January 24: Texas 6, San Antonio 1
Radek Faksa, Derek Hulak and Greg Rallo all registered three points for a second straight game as the Texas Stars won 6-1 at San Antonio Sunday. Rallo tallied two goals and one assist and Faksa and Hulak both had one goal and two assists. Curtis McKenzie and Travis Morin both registered one goal and one assist for the Stars, who built a 4-0 lead by the 7:24 mark of the second period. Maxime Lagace got a second consecutive start and stopped 30 of 31 shots.
Lindell returns from NHL
Dallas assigned defenseman Esa Lindell back to the Texas Stars Tuesday. Dallas doesn’t play until next week and when it does resume playing Jordie Benn (lower-body injury) and Jamie Oleksiak (conditioning assignment) are expected to be back, giving the team eight defensemen.
So, it’s back to the AHL for Lindell, who got into four games in his first taste of the NHL.
“It’s been a good experience,” Lindell said before being sent back down. “It’s helped me much because I got to know the game here. It’s a faster game.”
Lindell averaged 14:02 of ice time in the four games, registering no points and a minus-three rating.
“For his first NHL experience, I thought he was good,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought he got a really good taste of the pace up here, how quick it is. He can go back and realize the game here is just another level above.”
*C Radek Faksa has 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 25 games with Texas. Faksa has scored ten goals in his past 17 games.
*Texas has three of the top scorers in the AHL. C Travis Morin ranks fourth with 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) in 45 games. RW Brendan Ranford ranks sixth with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 45 games. RW Greg Rallo is tied for seventh with 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) in 45 games.
*Rallo is tied for the league lead with 11 power play goals.
*C Jason Dickinson is tied for sixth in rookie scoring with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games.
*Texas ranks second in the AHL in goal scoring at 3.82 per game.
*Texas ranks last in the league in goals against at 3.31 per game.
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Derek Hulak – Radek Faksa – Greg Rallo
Remi Elie – Jason Dickinson – Matej Stransky
Cole Ully – Gemel Smith – Cory Kane
Jamie Oleksiak – Stephen Johns
Mattias Backman – Julius Honka
Brennan Evans – Ludwig Bystrom
1/25: D Esa Lindell assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL).
1/22: RW Branden Troock assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/21: D Zack Kamrass called up to Texas (AHL) from Idaho (ECHL)
1/20: F Brandon Magee loaned to South Carolina (ECHL)
Wednesday, January 27: San Jose at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 29, Texas at Lake Erie, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, Texas at Lake Erie, Noon
Idaho Steelheads update
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 2-1-0 last week. The Steelheads are 19-18-5 and rank second in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference.
Jack Campbell won both his starts last week, stopping 71 of 72 shots. He picked up his third shutout in nine games, making 34 saves in 2-0 win at Alaska on Friday. Campbell is 6-3-0 with a 1.45 goals-against average and .951 save percentage since being assigned to Idaho from the Texas Stars.
Forward Emil Molin registered three points (two goals, one assist) in three games last week. Molin leads the Steelheads in goals (17) and ranks second in points (35) in 39 games.
Forward Branden Troock, assigned to Idaho from Texas last week, scored one goal in three games.
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.