Thursday, June 3, 2010

AHL Calder Cup Championship: Texas Stars Player Spotlights

John Tranchhina has done a series of stories on Texas Stars players who are looking to maybe fight for Dallas Stars Roster Spots next season as they continue to go through their professional careers.

He's done features on Raymond Sawada, Perttu Lindgren & Richard Bachman who are making big strides on the road to the National Hockey League as the Stars are in Hershey, Pennsylvania as the Calder Cup Championship Series begins tonight.

For more on the Texas Stars, log on to the blog called Hundred Degree Hockey.

By John Tranchina of the Dallas Stars Website:

RW Raymond Sawada Player Profile:

2009-2010 AHL Regular Season Stats: 60 GP 19 PTS (8G 11A, E) 92 PIM,

2010 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs: 18 GP 7 PTS (2G 5A, E) 20 PIM

2009-2010 NHL Stats: 5 GP 0 PTS (0G 0A, +1) 0 PIM

He may not have seized the opportunity when it was first presented itself, but Texas Stars right winger Raymond Sawada has seen what it takes to make it to the next level and is still determined to claim a spot on the Dallas Stars roster next season.

The 25 year old from Richmond, B.C., has played a significant role in the deep playoff run experienced by the Dallas' top minor league affiliate, which continues next week in the Calder Cup Finals against the Hershey Bears.

Through 18 playoff games, the 6'2", 205 pound Sawada has contributed two goals and seven points, but he knows he won't get back to Dallas with offense. The task will require a much more well rounded performance and Sawada has been delivering just that throughout the post-season.

"I just try to do what I have to do to get up to Dallas, which is being physical, playing good defensive hockey and trying to get the puck to the guys that can score." said Sawada, who was called up to the big club, seeing action in five NHL Games. "I think I ended off the year pretty good." I had a solid start to the playoffs and I just hope I can keep playing that same way for at least a couple of weeks.

To See the Full Story:

G Richard Bachman Player Profile:

2009-2010 ECHL Regular Season Stats (Idhao Steelheads) : 39 GP 25-10-3 2.63 GAA .892 SV%

2010 ECHL Playoff Stats (Idhao Steelheads): 8 GP 3-4 3.09 GAA .861 SV%

2010 AHL Regular Season Stats: 8 GP 4-4-0 2.15 GAA .932 SV%

He may began the season ranked fifth on the Dallas Stars org. depth chart among goaltenders, but make no mistake, Richard Bachman is determined to keep climbing the list.

After two years as one of the nation's best NCAA goaltender at Colorado College, Bachman left school last spring and has enjoyed an outstanding first season of professional hockey. He spent most of it in the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads, but is currently with the Texas Stars, Dallas' top minor league affiliate based in the Austin Suburb of Cedar Park, serving as the backup to Matt Climie.

This whole year has been a valuable learning experience for Bachman, and the higher education continues from his vintage point at the end of the bench, as Texas prepares for Game 1 of the AHL's Calder Cup Finals against Hershey Thursday Night.

"I think it has gone really well for me," said Bachman, who complied a 4-3-0 record in seven AHL Appearance's over two different call-ups during the regular season, including a shutout, with a 2.02 GAA average and a stellar .933 SV%. "Getting some time down in Idaho was really good for me, just got some games in there, get some experience, kind of learning the pro game. It's a bit different then college, a little more controlled. So that was nice. Then, getting a few chances to come up here and play was great and I had a good experience with that. Also just practicing with these guys has really helped me be more patient. It's been great so far."

To see the Full Story:

Perttu Lindgren Player Profile:

2009-2010 AHL Regular Season Stats: 74 GP 47 PTS (14G 33A, +3) 14 PIM

2010 AHL Playoffs Stats: 18 GP 14 PTS (6G 8A, +5) 2 PIM

2009-2010 NHL Regular Season Stats: 1 GP 0 PTS (0G 0A, E) 0 PIM

By now, everyone knows how Dallas Stars rookie Jamie Benn has been tearing up the AHL Playoffs for the org. top minor league affiliate, the Texas Stars, who are based in the Austin Suburb of Cedar Park.

What Stars fans may not realize is that another significant contributor to the farm club's storybook run to the Calder Cup Finals has been Finnish Center Perttu Lindgren.

Lindgren's six post-season goals only trails only Benn's league leading 14 on the squad, while his 8 assists gave him 14 points in 18 games, including a virtuoso performance when it mattered most. Lindgren scored a goal and two assists in the Stars 4-2 win in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last Wednesday Night against Hamilton, ensuring a trip to the Finals. He capped off the club's comeback from a 2-0 second period deficit by connecting for the game winner goal with six minutes left in the third period.

Perttu, that guy has a great set of hands," noted Texas Winger Raymond Sawada. "He can display doodle in a phone booth with five other guys in there. He's a tremendously skilled hockey player and when he gets out there on the power play, even on 5-on-5, if you give him some room, he's going to do some special things with that puck."

The display he put on in Game 7 was just the latest proof of the dynamic offensive talent the 6-foot, 185 pound Lindgren possesses. Over the course of the regular season, Lindgren, 22, registered 14 goals and 47 points, which ranked third on the team, in 73 games, and even earned himself a brief call-up to Dallas.

"I think it's been pretty good," said Lindgren of his first couple of seasons back in North America after spending 2008-09 with Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Elite League. "A couple of not-that-good years and I had a good summer and I was happy to be back here. I think it's been a good year for me, especially for the team."

To see the Full Story on the Dallas Stars Website:

Also theirs a story by Mike Heika on Jamie Benn's success in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

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