Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekend Schedule 9/30-10/2

AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League two weeks into the season

Through the first two weeks of the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League season. It's still early, but were already getting an idea of what the league will be like this season. The Gold Tier has a pair of teams in Southlake Carroll and Plano Senior who maybe est. themselves as the pacesetters this season as the Dragons have 2 of their dynamic trio players from last year that helped their dynamic offense last year as Cossu and Morrow are back and already have 7 points between them this season.

All around them it looks like they could be the team to beat again this season as the Dragons have outscored their first 2 opponents Coppell and Allen 12-1. Even though it would so like a shock that Coppell would get beat that bad, it's starting to look like it's going to be a rare down year for Coppell Hockey as they first two losses as they have been outscored 11-5.

Another team that may have a down year that's used to success is Flower Mound. One main reason is that they haven't even scored a goal yet this season. An 8-0 loss to Plano Senior showed some glaring weakness in just about every aspect of their game and I would expect them to be the bottom feeders in the league this season.

The Silver Tier being divided into 2 Divisions has FM Marcus on top of the East Division, while Keller ISD is leading the West Division as both teams have been able to take advantage of some weak competition so far. For Marcus, a pair of 5-2 wins over defending Silver Tier Champion Garland ISD & Expansion Prosper with a pair of 3rd periods to breakaway from both games.

If you look at Keller ISD, a 6-1 win over Grapevine and a 5-2 win over Mansfield ISD have taken them to the top of the West Division. Keller is looking for a rebound season where after finishing 2nd in the Silver Tier in the regular season, a huge upset against Richardson ISD caused a huge upset and after that game, it got them all the way to the Silver Tier Semifinals before losing to eventual Silver Tier Champion Garland ISD.

Here's a look at the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey Schedule over the next two weeks as the league has reduced the schedule from 24 to 22 games for this season. Also most of the games, (especially early in the season are played on Thursday Nights). Then as we get later in the season, some games will be played Tuesdays while a few will be on the weekends.

Here's the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Schedule over the next couple of weeks.


Varsity Gold

Southlake Carroll VS. Frisco ISD     6:45 PM @ Frisco Starscenter

Dallas Jesuit VS. Plano Senior   6:45 PM @ Plano Starscenter

Flower Mound VS. Coppell     7:00 PM @  Farmers Branch Starscenter

Plano West VS. Allen              9:00 PM @  Mckinney Starscenter

Varsity Silver

Mansfield ISD VS. Grapevine     7:00 PM @ Euless Starscenter

Richardson ISD/Rockwall ISD VS. Lovejoy    7:15 PM @ Mckinney Starscenter

Midlothian VS. Arlington Wild     7:35 PM  @ NYTEX Sports Center

FM Marcus VS. Highland Park     8:30 PM  @ Plano Starscenter

Mckinney ISD VS. Prosper         8:30 PM @ Frisco Starscenter

Plano East VS. Garland ISD        8:45 PM @ Farmers Branch Starscenter

Keller ISD VS. Arlington Martin    8:45 PM @ Euless Starscenter

Q&A with Dallas Stars Broadcaster Daryl "Razor" Reaugh

Recently, Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest caught up with both Dallas Stars Broadcaster Daryl "Razor" Reaugh and Team GM Joe Nieuwendyk about the season that just started the team looks to get back to the playoffs after finishing 12th last season.

In this Q&A with Razor, Hunt ask the long time team broadcaster who's entering his 14th year with the club about Mike Modano becoming a Detroit Red Wing, some of the team's top prospects like Scott Glennie and Jack Campbell. He also has his thoughts on the pending sale of the team as well as he thinks his job has changed over the years he's been with the Stars being on TV.

Here's the Q&A by Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest.

FSN Southwest: Will it be weird seeing Mike Modano in a Red Wings Sweater come October?

DR: I think it's always weird when you have an individual who was played in organization for that period of time or close to it. It's just like when Ray Bourque left Boston and showed up in an Avalanche uniform. Something just doesn't seem right. It won't seem right - 20 seasons in one uniform and then he's wearing the Wheeled Wing on his chest. It will be odd but it's not an unprecedented because they have been a lot of Hall of Fame, great players who've finished their career then were they were a hall of fame players. I cited before a lot-of-people forget Bobby Orr finished his career as a Chicago Blackhawk. I don't think anyone thinks of him as a Chicago Blackhawk, but that's where he finished his career.

FSN Southwest: Do you think that 2009 Draft Pick Scott Glennie will make the team this fall?

DR: He'll get an opportunity to show what he can do. The organization seems like even with different people in the big boy chair, the GM's Office, have always talked about patience and never wanting to rush anybody. It's bit of a different animal now because young players and cheap players. That's why a lot of teams are ushering some of their young players into the lineup earlier. That and there's a belief also that there always going to get better coaching at the NHL Level then they are at any other level. Whetever that's right or wrong, I think a lot of times, you look at the path Steve Ott, Marty Turco, James Neal and you can go on down the list. They almost all spent time in the minors first before they became NHL Players. Now that was a bit of a different time in the league. I think they'd take a little time to develop a little bit more before they legitimately find themselves on the roster.

FSN Southwest: What do you think of the team drafting Jack Campbell this year?

DR: Talking to some people up here this summer, it made a 1000 percent sense. You have a guy who the consensus is that he is a legit stud, franchise type of player. Usually, in every draft they are three or four of those at most and sometimes it's a really rich draft and there can be six or seven guys you can look at and say that's a guy that will be around for 20 years and you're going to be able to build your franchise, your marketing and everything else. He's one of those individuals and he fits a need. The organization breeds and develops a lot of great goaltenders. They're at a point where they need to grab another great one.That's not to say they don't have excellent goaltenders now. They certainly do on paper. If Kari Lehtonen can play up to his potential, they have a guy that should be one of the cream of the crop in the NHL once he hits his stride at this level. From every indication I've heard, he's exactly what you need in a modern goaltender. He's a big guy, extremely confident, a terrific athlete and he has done nothing but dominate at every level he's played at.

FSN Southwest: Do you see the sale of the team getting done before the season?

DR: Well, you think about it. Everybody that says well, we're just going to consecrate on us is lying because it effects so many things. It effects how much money gets spent in a lot of areas. There is a ton of uncertainly and a sense that you're semi in limbo. Yet at the same time, if you look at what the Rangers have been able with it sort of hanging over their heads, it gives belief to everybody, especially the people involved with the Stars that it can be business as normal and you've got to overcome maybe some defenices in other areas. Best case scan, we open up the paper and the sale is done and there's new ownership. You start marching forward with that leadership in that group. The way the baseball team sale unraveled, you can't expect that's going to happen anytime soon. I don't even know how that's going to stop. Are they going to be countersuits and everything else? It was the craziest sale ever?

FSN Southwest: It's been a few years since the Stars were in the playoffs, what do you think need to do to break that drought?

DR: They have to be good early. A good example would be Phoenix last year and it goes beyond that. But it you look at Phoenix last year, they got the benefit of a lot of teams overlooking them early in the season and built up a lot of healthy poin0 totals. That allows you to have a swoon somewhere down the line. If you look at the history and playoff teams, by November 1 or even November 30, you have a pretty good indication of who's going to make the playoffs and who won't. It can fluctuate a little bit. I think a couple of years ago, on November 1, there was one team out of the playoffs in the Western Conference and one team that was in the top 8 that flip-flopped. That's how important it is to have a good start. The Stars haven't had a very good October for a while now, certainly in the last couple years And it's a reason why they haven't been a playoff team. One was the so called hangover after losing in the Western Conference Finals and coming out of that. There were mistakes made as far as i'm concerned in getting the team refocused and ready to go for training camp. And then last year, a new coach, new systems and stumbles right out of the gate. You don't have the talented team. Maybe they're going to be able to benefit that some people might look at them and think no more Mike Modano, even though he was more a support player the last couple of years then he was a featured guy, no more Marty Turco and the overall attitude toward the Stars might be off a little bit more for a while. Then, it's going to be up to the Stars as a team to make the most out of an opportunity and earn some of the respect that has faded a little bit after not making the playoffs two years in a row.

FSN Southwest: Could you see this year's team buy into Marc Crawford is saying more then they did last year as the new head coach?

DR: You should, it's an excuse but theirs probably some legitimacy to it, especially when you had a coach for as long as they had Dave Tippett. You understand how things are done and then, some pretty radical changes come in. It's just a different voice, a different way of doing things, a different time for meetings and there was a lot of different things. That undermined a lot of what they needed to do. There were some individuals who didn't have good starts in trying to fit in and perhaps pouting a little bit, who knows? One guy that was phenomenal and seemed to get it from day one was Brad Richards. If he can get it, do it and worked well for him, I don't know why it didn't work for more. But there's no question there were growing pains last year that shouldn't be there this year.

FSN Southwest: With both Modano and Turco now playing elsewhere, does that face of the franchise label change to Brad Richards?

DR: Well, they're going to his home Provence to make sure they tell him how much they love him for training camp. I think he is but Brendan Morrow had an odd year. He didn't have a great season as a Dallas Star but he had a great season as a hockey player because of went on at the Olympics. He's been the poster boy for what the Stars Identity is supposed to be for the past three years and so then last year, he was sort of the poster boy for some of the confusion or underachieving that went on with the the team under a completely different regime. It was odd. I expect him to bounce back. I would expect the team to have some individuals who were maybe down a pint last year in some areas to firm up. They don't need to be that much better, just a little bit better and they're a playoff team. As far as an identify, hopefully the goaltender is world class and people can identify to that. Hopefully Brendan Morrow bounces back and is the player that we've come to know that he is and Brad Richards can do the same thing here last year and have some people jump on board with them. If that happens, this team is going to surprise some people.

FSN Southwest: What is the most rewarding about doing the Stars Games?

DR: Anybody does that we do will tell you that's infinitely easier to do when you're team is winning. Being the broadcaster for the Chicago Blackhawks last year was a great job packed house, fun team win every night, high scorers, you name it. But that's one of the 30 teams. A lot of other teams are going to have to plod their way through it and try to find whatever their motivations are to make it interesting for the fans, do your job and don't have some of the negatives bleed through to the air so that people are wondering why they would tune into this if the broadcasters are not into it. I never feel that way. My attitude always been that if there are five people watching the game, i'm going to call the game for those five people. I still like it. Even in seven game losing streaks, there is still potential and things to watch. Everybody loves a car wreck in NASCAR and sometimes, that can seep through our business as well in radio and in television. I think it's trying to find different ways of bringing it to the people in a different environment. It is different. You don't want to look at those things through a rose colored glasses and basically lie to people about how good things are when intelligent humans are wondering how good it could be that good? So, you've got to be semi-honest but at the same time, there are positives in every thing. A kid like Jamie Benn last year was a great story in a real down year for the franchise. Hopefully we will have more Jamie Benn stories this year and a better, bigger story team wise. I'm going into the season that they've hit a floor, they going to start bouncing off of it. Hopefully the ownership thing helps us along and it will be a challenge. It will be a challenge to get people to connect with this team with some of the marquee names that they know are gone. Maybe Ralph Strangis and I are the marquee names now, that's sad.

FSN Southwest: What kind of impact do you think newcomer Adam Burish will bring to the team?

DR: I always liked him in Chicago. Every time I've been or been associated with us to have a bit of swagger to it and has to back that swagger up. He's one of those individuals. He's mouthy but backs it up. He's pretty intelligent with his mouthiness. He can play the game. He's now got a championship pedigree on him. He's terrific with the media from what I witnessed in the playoffs. He should fit right in. If he's going to play, your going to have him and Steve Ott. It just adds a little pepper, a little spice to the mix along with a lot of skill that the franchise still has. He'll fit in immediately in a lot of different ways as a leader, as a play. The role that he's in, he really seems to embrace the role that he's played before. He's not of one those guys that demands more ice or this or that. I think it was a very good signing. He'll probably expand his role a little bit in Dallas from what he's playing in Chicago just because they were so deep and so offensively talented.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ryan Stastny's 2 Goals nip the Stars 2-1

Q&A with Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk

With Nieuwendyk just starting his 2nd season as GM, he's looking to help his team comeback along with head coach Marc Crawford. But with limited resources due to the ownership situation, and to comeback after releasing Modano and Turco this off-season. He's got a lot to prove if he wants to take this team back to the playoffs with a lot of young talent like Benn, Eriksson and Neal.

Plus a few unknowns like Jeff Woywitka and Kari Lehtonen looking to overcome an injury stigma that's plagued him through most of his career and having to help get support from Andrew Raycroft when he is playing as the backup goaltender.

During this Q&A, Nieuwendyk and Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest talk about the status of Jere Lethinen, the new contracts of players like Nicklas Grossman, heading to PEI for the opening of training camp. The success of players like James Neal and Jamie Benn last year, the teams top prospects like Scott Glennie and who will be the new face of the franchise since Mike Modano left the team over the summer.

Here's the Q&A by Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest

FSN: What is the latest with Jere Lehtinen?

JN: His status is still up in the air. I met with him the other day. He's been back for a couple of weeks now, His kids are in school. He's not exactly sure what he wants to do?

FSN: How do you view the pieces you've added this offseason?

JN: I'm excited about it to be honest. It goes back during the year with the acquisition of Kari Lehtonen and then with drafting Jack Campbell and having Tyler Beskorowany turn pro. Now, we've got a real solid stable of goaltenders and we realized how important that position is. That kind of transpired over the course of last season into the summer, I'm pleased. I think you have got to know Adam Burish and talk to people who knew him in Chicago, he's going to prove a valuable player for us. He's going to bring a lot to our locker room and he plays with a lot of energy, a lot of passion. One of the things I've got to try and become is a little bit more difficult team to play against, especially in the bottom group of forwards. He'll certainly provide that for us. We added Andrew Raycroft, another goaltender that gives us experience. He's had a lot of success over his NHL Career and really gives up a lot of protection in many ways.

FSN: Do you think Scott Glennie could make the team or he is more likely headed for another year of Junior?

JN: Well, we'd like for him to come in and we've expressed that message to come in with the expectation of making the team. I think that's the mentally we're looking for him to come in with. We're not a team with a lot of right shots and it's an opportunity for him. Realistically, I think the likelihood will that he'll probably end up back in Juniors because they are a lot of experiences to go through Juniors as well like the World Junior Championship and things like that. Either way, its going to be a terrific season.

FSN: Talk about opening Training Camp in Prince Edward Island (PEI) this season.

JN: I know as a player and talking to our players, they really enjoy the experience of getting right away with training camp. We used to go to Colorado for years. It's a way for guys to kind of bond and really focus on what needs to get done. To go to a place like Prince Edward Island (PEI), there are some passionate hockey fans there. So they're really excited about us coming up there. Even though we're only going to be three days, they'll be three extremely productive days. Things happen for us right away because we go there for three days and then were right into preseason play.

FSN: How excited are you and the rest of the organization with the success of Jamie Benn and James Neal had last year?

JN: That's one thing that I have stated here, that we have a number of good young players that were excited to go forward with. Because of their early success, it doesn't mean it's going to be here every year. I think those players realize the hard work involved. Nobody expected Jamie Benn to make our hockey club and have the type of season that he had. He's not going to fool anybody around the league this year. I think the experience of him going down to play for our farm team in Austin was a real beneficial experience for him to go down there, play that kind of playoff hockey environment where he was kind of a targeted guy. So he got a taste of what is liked to be keyed on.

FSN: Discuss how important it was to get an extension for Nicklas Grossman.

JN: His progression has been on the rise. Even though he doesn't give you a lot of offense, he's going to give you an honest effort every night. He's lugging more minutes year-by-year and turning into a solid top four defensemen paired with Stephane Robidas. They have good chemistry together. He is a high character guy that's a team first guy. He's going to do everything that's best for the team. He's a solid player.

FSN: Can fans expect to see more of a Marc Crawford style of hockey this year compared to last year?

JN: I think so, I think now that Marc has a year under his belt, he's extremely excited to get going in year two. He has a better feel for the players. There is an adjustment period, not only for the players adjusting to the coach, but the coach adjusting to the players. I think were putting the players in the roles that we feel comfortable with. It was a challenge in some ways to make sure that everybody was feeling the love and getting their ice-time last year. I think now with Mike Modano moving to Detroit and that situation in itself, we'll be able to allocate the minutes a little more effectively in Marcs Mind.

FSN: How important is it for this year's team to start much better then last year's squad?

JN: I think that's definitely a key. You look at Phoenix last year. They put a lot of points into the bank early and when they did have a slump here and there [they were fine]. That's always true for any team . If you can put those points in the bank early, it's key. Offensively we know were going to be able to do some things with the players and personnel they have. The two areas we need to improve on are Goals against. The biggest component of that Kari Lehtonen. It looks like he's poised to have a good season. The other area is the penalty kill. We've got to do a much better job on the penalty kill. We're pretty disciplined team where we don't take a heck of a lot we've certainly but we've certainly go to do the job when it comes to penalty kill.

FSN: Is Brad Richards the new face of the franchise?

JN: I haven't really looked it at that way. I don't know if we have on individual that's really going to be the face of the face. You can point to a number of people that are important people, Brad Richards being one of them along with Brendan Morrow. Stephane Robidas portrays what we like our Dallas Stars to be, that hardworking mentality. I think it's a little unfair to put it one guy. In the case of Mike Modano, he was that one guy no doubt about it. He was here for two decades and I think everybody and I think everybody identified not only hockey in the state of Texas but here with Mike Modano. I don't think it would be fair to put that tag on somebody else.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Q&A With Oklahoma City Barons Goalie Bryan Pitton

Austin Smith Profile on Inside College Hockey

As the College Hockey Season is now just getting underway. Joe Gladziszewski of Inside College Hockey mostly takes a look at up-and-coming players for his Segment entitled College Hockey A-to-Z. But he takes a look at some of the superstars who are looking to make their way to the NHL as well.

Recently, here's his look at D/FW Native and Dallas Stars Prospect Austin Smith as he enters his Junior Year with an improving 4th Place Finish during the regular season, but unfortunately came up short in the Conference Tournament after losing in the Quarterfinals after earning a bye in the opening round.

Before last year started, I thought that he would probably need his entire time in the NCAA before he could have a shot of making his professional debut. But if he has another strong year, I think he could seriously have a shot of making his Pro debut this season with the Texas Stars (AHL) to show the Dallas Stars Org. that he is closer then ever before to making the National Hockey League and to be the first Texan to make the NHL.

Either way, expect another great year for the Raiders star forward to take over his team to become a strong leader for the Raiders this season.

Colgate Ice Hockey Website

Austin Smith Colgate Profile

Here's Joe Gladziszewski of Inside College Hockey

Key Stats: Smith led the Raiders in scoring as a sophomore with 41 points on 16 goals and 25 assists. Six of his goals came on the power play and three were game winners. He took just 10 minor penalties last season. That backed up a breakout freshman campaign in which he had 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points. He hasn't missed a game in his career, suiting up 73 times for Colgate.

What he Does: Austin Smith isn't the type of guy you would likely find in this Inside College Hockey A-Z series because we generally try to id. emerging players, and it could strongly be argued that Smith is a proven Star in ECAC Hockey. He was recently voted to preseason All ECAC Hockey Teams by Coaches and the Media, and is a draft pick for his hometown Dallas Stars.

The Bigger Picture: Though he was a big producer for Colgate right from the start, it's Clarey his time to shine now that David Mclntyre has moved on. Smith is ready to take that challenge and will feature prominently for the Raiders. He won't be alone, as the likes of Brian Day, Francois Brisebois and Robbie Bourdon are also back for Colgate.

Austin Smith on the Upcoming Season: "I think we have a very good team and we're a lot deeper then people give us credit for. Our expectations are going to get in the top four of the league and a playoff bye and find a way to get into the NCAA Tournament. Whatever it is by getting a bid or winning the Conference."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Which AHL Team will have the Best Season

With the American Hockey League season starting up last weekend. Their's just a couple of days left to answer the poll question on which of the 4 Southwest AHL Teams will have the best season. With the Texas Stars looking to defend the AHL Western Conference Title and looking to have another shot at the Calder Cup.

In addition to the Stars is Oklahoma City whos looking for similar success in their first season as they look to have one of the deepest teams that the Edmonton Oilers AHL Affliate that they have had a long time. They looking to forget their time in Springfield, Mass. as they were among the league's bottom feeders while the they affliated with the Springfield Falcons.

Houston & San Antonio are looking to return after finishing 6th and 7th in the West and with new head coaches and some aggressieve moves getting new players. Both teams are looking to shake up the West Division this season and return to the post-season this year.

Only a couple days left to vote, Which AHL Team will have the best season this year?

Houston Aeros

Oklahoma City Barons

San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars

Be sure to vote and leave your comments. Either on my site or on my Twitter Page

Wenatchee Wild acquire Tyler Hope

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dallas Loses Preseason Opener 4-2 to Tampa Bay

I usually don't put much into the preseason opener, but from experts like Mike Heika & Mark Stepenski are saying what's true. The Stars have a lot of work to do from getting out-shot 31-19, looked a bit sloppy and need to-do a lot to come together and field a strong team on the ice this season.

One more big thing was the crowd, very sparsely attended some thought that as little as 3,000 were at the AAC last night. I know it's just the first preseason game, but with the departure of Mike Modano & Marty Turco, plus the uncertainly of Jere Lehtinen's status this season. Combined with not making the playoffs back-to-back and starring at a 3rd straight playoff year and uncertain ownership.

This team has the strong possibility of going downhill very quickly and could easily be the worst year since the Stars moved from Minnesota back in 1993. Unfortunately, I wish fans would look at the strong play of some of the top prospects like Philip Larsen and Aaron Gagnon as they look to make the NHL, but I have a feeling it will henge on how the Ownership situation goes throughout the season.

However, some of the positive notes from last night's game include Larsen & Gagnon scoring, great contribution's from players like Hildenblacht, Wathier & Colton Sceviour who are looking to make an impact and make the team this season as they look to make their NHL Debut's this season after strong careers either in Juniors, the NCAA, the AHL and in Europe.

Here's a look at some links from Mike Heika & Mark Stepenski as they put their thoughts from last night's game against Tampa Bay.

Mike Heika's Game Points

Marc Crawford Quotes

Mark Stepenski Post-Game Thoughts

Stars VS. Lightning Game Photos

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 Dallas Stars 2 (1-0, 1-0, 2-2)

Dallas Stars Game Recap by John Tranchina

From Dallas, Texas: Hockey is Back!

In the first action of the 2010-2011 season, two goals by Adam Hall led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday Night at the American Airlines Center.

Trailing 2-0 going into the third period, the Stars mounted a valiant comeback effort, as young roster hopefuls Aaron Gagnon and Philip Larsen scored goals, but in the end, the Lightning came out on top.

Following a three day immersion of training camp in PEI, Canada the Stars returned to the Metroplex Monday and quickly started their six game exhibition season with some rust to be worked out.

Still, Coach Marc Crawford was encouraged by some of what he saw in his clubs first effort of the year, which typically has a tendency to be a bit sloopy.

"There were some positive things in the game for us - I liked the way we got after it in the third period," Crawford said. "I liked the way we fore-checked. We got a good work effort tonight from some people. Maybe our execution wasn't a high level, but we got a good working effort. I was semi-pleased with what we were looking to evaluate. Obviously, your execution, you'd want that to be at a higher level."

This contest also featured the first chance to take a look at the battle for the Stars backup goaltender job, with both Andrew Raycroft and Brent Krahn coming up with some pretty good performances.

"It was a saw-off," Crawford said of the competition. "I liked a few things that both of them did and I didn't like a few things both of them. We get a couple of weeks to really see what they can do, but tonight, it was a saw-off."

In his first action in a Dallas Stars Sweater, Raycroft looked strong, stopping 16 of 18 shots in 30:42 of action before Krahn took over for the 2nd half of the contest. Krahn finished the night with 11 saves on 13 shots.

"All in all, I felt good, I moved good, and did some good things," said Raycroft, who signed with the Stars as a free agent on July 1. "It was good to get in there and get going. With pre-season games, you never really know what you're going to get or what to expect. I think we did some good things tonight. Obviously, there's two and a half more weeks to get work done."

"I felt good in there," said Krahn, who helped the AHL Texas Stars advance to the Calder Cup Final last season. "I'd like to get the win, we were down to 2-0 in the 3rd period and came back, it's to bad that I gave up two goals. Guys are working hard and it was fun."

Down two heading into the final period, the Stars got one back 1:19 just in on an outstanding individual effort by Gagnon. Carrying the puck into the Tampa Zone, Gagnon slipped around Lightning defensemen Mathieu Roy with a slick move behind his back in his backhand, before getting goaltender Dan Ellis with a scorching backhander just inside the left post.

"I just kind of picked up at the blue line, and I just tried to fake and go wide and throw it on net and good things happen," said Gagnon, who is making a strong bid to win a spot on the Dallas Roster after leading Texas (AHL) in scoring last year.

Tampa Bay restored their two goal advantage at 3:39 when Adam Hall notched his second of the night. Krahn made a nice skate save on Dana Tyrell's shot from the left circle, but the rebound went right to the charging Hall, who drilled it into the open side of the net.

Dallas pulled within 3-2 at 7:17 on Larsen's goal. After receiving a a pretty cross-ice pass from Thomas Vincour on the right sideboards, Larsen found himself alone in the slot and fired a quick wrist shot over Ellis' Glove.

"I saw we had the puck in our zone and I saw I had a chance to go join the rush," Larsen said of the play. "I got a really nice pass by Tomas Vincour and it opened up the whole thing for me. It's always fun to score a goal and it's always special, the first one, so that was a lot of fun."

"He scored a great goal," Crawford agreed. "He's giving you a glimpse of what he can do and what he can be and it's exactly what we want, how he filled the lane and how he got up on the rush. "He did it two or three other guys in the game as well."

The Lightning put the final nail in with 9:05 left when Mattias Ohlund's slap shot from the left point found it's way through a maze of feet and past Krahn to make it 4-2.

"I didn't see it, I don't know exactly what happened," Krahn said of the goal. "I knew he was shooting the puck, I could see him, but I couldn't see the shot. I don't think I played that one the way I'd like to."

The Stars had one last premium opportunity to get close after Tampa's Steve Downie entered the penalty box with 1:31 remaining. The Stars pulled Krahn for an extra attacker, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage.

While Dallas maintained pressure in the offensive zone the whole time and had a few close calls, such as Gagnon's deflection in front of the net that sailed just wide 48 seconds to go, they were unable to find the back of the net again.

"I think we tried really hard and of course, you got to give them some credit too, they blocked a lot of shots," Larsen said of the late push. "We maybe got to work a little more to get our shots through, especially our D-Men, but I think we battled pretty hard out there. Overall, I think we tried really hard and there were a lot of good things, some bad things and that's pretty normal."

The first pre-season game started off with a bang, with the first fight of the year taking place just 1:30 in, as Brian Sutherby squared off with Tampa's Matt Smaby and cleary had an advantage.

Immediately following the ensuing face-off at center ice, Stars hopeful Francis Wathier dropped the gloves with Hall in second fight of the young season.

Trailing 1-0 entering the second period, the Stars nearly evened it up at 3:17 when Gagnon sped in on a partial breakaway, but Ellis, a former Star, denied his deke attempt.

The Lightning extended their lead to two less then three minutes later, when Ryan Malone carried into the right corner before feeding a backhand pass out front, where Dominic Moore, despite being well covered by Matt Niskanen, managed to re-directed it over Raycroft at 6:31.

Just 21 seconds after that goal, fight number four of the night saw Wathier, who racked up 101 penalty minutes last year for Texas (AHL), dropped the gloves a second time, this one with Tampa's Scott Jackson.

With the Lightning enjoying a 18-8 edge in shots-on-goal, and a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard, Krahn came into replace Raycroft with 9:18 left in the 2nd period.

About two minutes later, Tampa Bay almost went up 3, but Tyrell's wrist shot from the left face off circle off the crossbar.

The Stars will now get back to work in practice at their primary facility at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco until taking on the Colorado Avalanche in their next pre-season contest Friday Night at the AAC. (Game Time is 7:30 PM, Once again, no TV or Radio Coverage).

9/20-21 Scoreboard

The NHL Preseason got underway last night and with pretty much no action at all on Monday Night except for the Ontario Junior Hockey League, I'm basically combining both Monday & Tuesday Night.

For the NHL Preseason, look for the Boxscore and the Game Recap link as well. As for last night's Dallas Stars Preseason Game against Tampa Bay, look for the Game Recap and some notes from guys like Mike Heika & Mark Stepenski.

NHL Preseason

Columbus Blue Jackets 5 Atlanta Thrashers 2 (2-1, 1-0, 2-1)

Columbus VS. Atlanta Recap

Florida Panthers 4 Carolina Hurricanes 1 (3-0, 0-1, 1-0)

Florida VS. Carolina Recap

New Jersey Devils 3 Philadelphia Flyers 4 (SO) (1-2, 2-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

New Jersey VS. Philadelphia Recap

Ottawa Senators 5 Toronto Maple Leafs 0 (2-0, 1-0, 2-0)

Ottawa VS. Toronto Recap

Colorado Avalanche 3 St. Louis Blues 1 (1-0, 2-1, 0-0)

Colorado VS. St. Louis Recap

Vancouver Canucks 2 Calgary Flames 3 (1-0, 0-1, 1-2)

Vancouver VS. Calgary Recap

Phoenix Coyotes 4 Anaheim Ducks 1 (0-0, 4-1, 0-0)

Phoenix VS. Anaheim Recap

Pacific Region, British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL)

Merritt Centennials 5 Vernon Vipers 4 (OT) (2-1, 0-1, 2-2, 1-0)

Prince George Spruce Kings 2 Pentiction Vees 3 (OT) (1-2, 0-0, 1-0, 0-1)

Tuesday's Wrap Up

Pacific Region, Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL)

Ft. Mcmurray Oil Barons 3 Bonnyville Pontiacs 5 (0-1, 1-2, 2-2)

Camrose Kodiaks 1 Brooks Bandits 3 (1-0, 0-3, 0-0)

Drumheller Dragons 4 Calgary Mustangs 3 (1-2, 2-1, 1-0)

Canmore Eagles 3 Olds Grizzlies 2 (1-1, 0-0, 2-1)

West Region, Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL)

Neepawa Natives 3 Dauphin Kings 6 (0-1, 2-0, 1-5)

Winkler Flyers 7 Winnipeg South Blues 6 (1-2, 3-1, 2-3, 1-0)

Ontario Region, Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)


Toronto Jr. Canadians 1 Cobourg Cougars 9 (1-2, 0-5, 0-2)

North York Rangers 1 Vaughan Vipers 3 (0-0, 0-2, 1-1)

Huntsville Otters 2 Markham Waxers 3 (OT) (1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 0-1)

Collingwood Blackhawks 4 Buffalo Jr. Sabres 10 (0-5, 2-3, 2-2)

Oakville Blades 3 Hamilton Red Wings 1 (1-0, 2-0, 0-1)


Lindsay Muskies 5 St. Michaels Buzzers 8 (2-1, 1-7, 2-0)

Cobourg Cougars 5 Peterborough Stars 3 (2-1, 1-0, 2-2)

Stouffville Spirit 5 Buffalo Jr. Sabres 4 (1-2, 1-0, 3-2)

Atlantic Region, Central Tier 1 Hockey League (CT1HL)

Cornwall Colts 8 Cumberland Grads 0 (3-0, 2-0, 3-0)

Hawkesbury Hawks 7 Kanata Stallions 2 (1-0, 2-0, 4-2)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dallas Stars Elites have impressive start to Tier 1 Season

The Dallas Stars Midget Majors went 4-for-4 in their season opening event up in Wisconsin as the Stars Elites, despite giving up the first goal in all 4 games, won all 4 games last weekend. As they went up against the Illinois/Ohio Division to start the Tier 1 Season as they took down 3 of the Illinois Teams and the only Ohio based Team against the Cleveland Barons as well.

Through the first 4 games, Tanner Karty & Garrett Cox were the leading scorers with 4 & 3 goals respectively.Other big performances coming from players like Marcus Ortiz with 3 assists, who's playing his first full season after getting noticed by the team while he played for Garland ISD in the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League midway through last season.

One of the big things that could have gone wrong by giving up the first goal, but the goaltending duo of Christian Frey (Whose a Des Moines Buccaneers Prospect) and Sean Lawrence who are able to fight it off to help the Elites win all 4 games last weekend.

If Christian Frey keeps playing like this, it may just be a matter of time before he may get a shot with the Dese Moines Buccaneers, especially if the Buccaneers have some injury problems to deal with in net. In his first two games against Team Illinois and the Cleveland Barons, he went an impressive 1.50 GAA with a 2-1 win over Team Illinois on Saturday Afternoon and a 4-2 win over Cleveland on Sunday.

As for his goaltending partner with Sean Lawrence who also just gave up 3 goals during the weekend in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Fury on Friday and a 4-2 win over the CYA on Saturday Morning.

If the Stars Elites Goaltending can keep this up, it could be a year where the team could be in a spot to at least not just contend for the Mid-American Division Title, if not the Tier 1 U18 Title this season.

One thing the Stars Elites will need to correct is the massive amount of penalties as they almost had their coach suspended due to the penalty acclimation and a 10 minute misconduct in the 2nd period by Kyle Mckenzie in the game against Team Illinois. This should be the #1 thing the Stars Elites need to work on before their next game against the Alliance Bulldogs on Friday Night, and for their next event in Arizona in Mid-October when they face the West Division Teams.

If the Stars Elites are going to be a force in the Tier 1 League this season, the number of penalties seriously needs to come down. They will have plenty of time before the next set of Tier 1 Games next month as they will head west to Arizona for 4 games in Mid-October.

However, before then it's their next game against the Dallas Alliance Bulldogs on Friday Night at the Dr. Pepper Starcenter in Valley Ranch. Earlier this month, the Stars Elites played the Alliance Bulldogs during Labor Day Weekend who won 3-0 in their first game of the season.

Also with the 4-for-4 weekend, the Stars Elites find themselves on top of the Mid-American Division with a perfect 8 points with the St. Louis Amateur Blues 2 points back who had a record of 2-0-2 last weekend

Here's the Boxscores from this past weekend.

9/17: Dallas Stars Elites 2 Team Illinois 1 (1-1, 1-0, 0-0)

9/18: Chicago Fury 1 Dallas Stars Elites 3 (1-0, 0-2, 0-1)

9/18: Dallas Stars Elites 4 Cleveland Barons 2 (1-1, 2-1, 1-0)

9/19: CYA 2 Dallas Stars Elites 4 (2-0, 0-2, 0-2)

Here's the Rosters & Stats for the Stars Elites

Here's the Dallas Stars Elites Upcoming Schedule

9/24: VS. Dallas Alliance Bulldogs 7:30 PM @ Valley Ranch Starscenter

10/15: VS. LA Selects Hockey Club 3:20 PM @ Ice Den (Scottsdale, ARZ)

10/16: VS. Colorado Thunderbirds 2:00 PM @ Ice Den

10/16: VS. LA Kings Elites 8:30 PM @ Ice Den

10/17: VS. Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 12:10 PM @ Ice Den

In addition to the Elites great start to the Tier 1 Season, the Midget Minor's kick off the Tier 1 Season this weekend in Lewis Center, Ohio as the Stars Midget Minors will take on 4-of-the-5 Detroit Division Teams this weekend.

Here's the Midget Minor Roster & Stats

Dallas Stars Midget Minor Upcoming Schedule

9/24: VS. Honeybaked Hockey 6:20 PM @ Chiller North (Lewis Center, OH)

9/25: VS. Belle Tires 1:00 PM @ Chiller North

9/25: VS. Victory Honda 8:10 PM @ Chiller North

9/26: VS. Little Caesars 8:00 AM @ Chiller North

USHL Fall Showcase gets underway tomorrow

With the start of the United States Hockey League coming up on October 1. The last of today's 3 Junior Schedules is the USHL Fall Showcase which will be taking place in Sioux City, Iowa starting tomorrow and going through Saturday where each team will play 3 games in 4 days as the 60 Game Regular Season gets underway at the beginning of next month.

United States Hockey League

Like the WHL, they are numerous Southwest Players that will be either making their Junior Debut or will be looking to sharpen their play as a couple of players have committed their NCAA Careers over the off-season.

Perhaps the biggest name will be Seth Jones who is being highly regarded for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as he will be making his Junior Debut this season as he will be joining the USNTDP U17 Team which will be playing a little over of the USHL Schedule as the NTDP U17 & U18 Teams make up the season for the USHL.

In addition to the NTDP U17 Season, they will play in 3 different international events, the biggest of which is the U17 World Challenge that will be in Winnipeg, Manitoba during the Winter Holidays.

He's being looked upon as a speedy defensemen who can possibly join the attack at times and will be looking to have an outside chance of making the U18 Team for the U18 World Championship, as USA Hockey elects to have a majority of players from the NTDP which has had great results including back-to-back U18 World Championships the last 2 seasons when the tournament heads to Germany coming up in April.

Even though a majority of the players come from the U18 Team, the U17 Team in recent years has been more competitive in getting more players to the team for the U18 World Championships. Being a big time 2012 NHL Draft Prospect, it would be a huge statement to prospective NHL Teams for him to have a big U17 World Challenge during the Holidays and make the U18 World Championship this season.

Two other players that have already committed, but returning to the USHL are Ryan Daugherty of the Omaha Lancers & Ian Young of the Chicago Steel. Daugherty is returning to a Lancers team that is looking to get to the Clark Cup after coming within 1 win of making the Title Series and winning the championship for the 2nd time in 3 years.

Over his 2 years with Omaha, he's tallied 50 points in 99 career USHL Games and increased the amount of PP Time big time by scoring 9 PP Goals last year.

He's also not afraid to hit on the ice as he nearly doubled his penalty total from 52 in 2008 to 110 last season. Coach Bliss Littler is wants him to be a Steve Ott or Loui Eriksson type player with the ability to score some important goals in-and-around the net, and being able to bring the pain physically as well.

Daugherty is committed to play for Northern Michigan starting in 2011, it was widely believed that he was going to start his college career this year and join follow Texans C.J. Ludwig & Erik Higby this year but look for that to happen next year.

After starting last year with the Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL) he was called up to the Chicago Steel to bring a big booming slap shot and get pucks to the forwards in the net. Young over the off-season committed to Colorado College, but didn't decide to comeback to Chicago till midsummer.

For Young last year, his biggest moment came in his USHL Debut where he scored his first of just 2 goals. But had a great year overall by drawing penalties and contributing a dozen assists during his 31 games last year with the Steel who failed to make the playoffs as the team finished 10 points back of the Waterloo Blackhawks for the final playoff spot in the East Division last season.

Young looks to be more aggressive this year with his ability to play very fast, he's looking to increase his scoring ability and impress Colorado College Head Coach that he can be a big time player when he arrives in the WCHA in 2011.

Other Southwest Players to watch this season are Jeff Mcminimy of the Lincoln Stars who was the Leading Scorer for the Dallas Stars Midget Majors last year. Seth Johnson who's a fast defensemen who's like Ian Young in some instances who can join in on the attack and some think that with a strong early part of the season.

Some experts are thinking that they can maybe have a shot of making Team USA for the World Jr. A Challenge which will be taking place in Pentiction, B.C. coming up in Mid-November as the USA has won this event the last two years. Last year the USA won the event for the 2nd straight year the Americans beat Canada West in a closely fought 2-1 game.

As for players who are on the fringes and that need a strong Showcase to make the team include Teemu Tiitinen who's a Finnish Native but played for the Dallas Stars Elites last year and Ryan Hope who's with the Tri-City Storm right now.

Josh Berge who's another OKC Product who's looking to continue the surprising success of players from that area such as Matt Donovan (2008 NHL Draft Pick with NYI/U. of Denver). And Chase Grant who was with the Fargo Force as he committed to Minnesota State University last year. He will look to continue the success of OKC Players in both the USHL, NAHL & the NCAA.

In addition to Southwest Based Players, Waterloo will have the Dallas Stars 3rd Round Draft Pick Alex Guptill who was taken 77th overall while playing for the Orangeville Crushers of the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL).

While he was with Orangeville last year, he had 26 points (13G 13A) in 19 games after he got traded from the Brampton back in December, during his time with the Brampton Capitals, where he had 11 points in 10 games early on in the season.

Here's the Player Profile Links

Ryan Daugherty (Omaha Lancers)

Ian Young (Chicago Steel)

Teemu Tiitinen (Youngstown Phantoms)

Seth Jones (USNTDP)

Josh Berge (Lincoln Stars)

Jeff Mcminimy (Lincoln Stars)

Alex Guptill (Waterloo Blackhawks)

Here's the United States Hockey League Divisional Alignment.

East Division: Cedar Rapids Roughriders, Chicago Steel, Green Bay Gamblers, Indiana Ice, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USNTDP, Waterloo Blackhawks, Youngstown Phantoms

West Division: Des Moines Buccaneers, Dubuque Fighting Saints, Fargo Force, Lincoln Stars, Omaha Lancers, Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede, Tri-City Storm

Here's the Schedule for the USHL Fall Showcase


Sioux Falls Stampede VS. Des Moines Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Omaha Lancers VS. Dubuque Fighting Saints 2:00 PM

Cedar Rapids Roughriders VS. Lincoln Stars 4:00 PM

Chicago Steel VS. Fargo Force 6:00 PM

Tri-City Storm VS. Sioux City Musketeers 7:00 PM


Fargo Force VS. Muskegon Lumberjacks 10:00 AM

Youngstown Phantoms VS. Cedar Rapids Roughriders 10:00 AM

Waterloo Blackhawks VS. Chicago Steel 1:00 PM

Des Moines Buccaneers VS. Indiana Ice 2:00 PM

Tri-City Storm VS. Dubuque Fighting Saints 4:00 PM

Lincoln Stars VS. Green Bay Gamblers 6:00 PM

USNTDP VS. Omaha Lancers 7:00 PM


Waterloo Blackhawks VS. Indiana Ice 10:00 AM

Tri-City Storm VS. Des Moines Buccaneers 10:00 AM

Chicago Steel VS. Green Bay Gamblers 1:00 PM

Fargo Force VS. Cedar Rapids Roughriders 2:00 PM

Youngstown Phantoms VS. Sioux Falls Stampede 4:00 PM

Muskegon Lumberjacks VS. Dubuque Fighting Saints 6:00 PM

USNTDP VS. Sioux City Musketeers 7:00 PM


Sioux Falls Stampede VS. Indiana Ice 10:00 AM

USNTDP VS. Waterloo Blackhawks 11:00 AM

Youngstown Phantoms VS. Green Bay Gamblers 1:00 PM

Muskegon Lumberjacks VS. Lincoln Stars 4:00 PM

Omaha Lancers VS. Sioux City Musketeers 7:00 PM

Ontario Hockey League kicks off this Week

In addition to the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League will get their season underway this week as well. Unlike the WHL, they are no Southwest Players because of the League's residency rules that limit the options for players from different parts of North America. However, they is still plenty of reasons to follow the OHL as several Dallas Stars Prospects will look to make an impression here this season.

Beginning with the team's 1st Round Draft Pick from this year in Jack Campbell, Campbell joins a Windsor Spitfire Team that is looking to rebound after the back-to-back OHL & Memorial Cup Championships the team has won the last two years. But with Campbell, the Spitfires will still be a tough team to beat with a strong net minder and some strong experience as well.

Even though the number of Dallas Stars Prospects in the OHL is low, Campbell alone will be a big reason to for Stars fans to follow the OHL this season as it gets underway on Thursday Night.

The OHL has 20 teams divided into 2 Conferences of 10 teams as well. Within the Conference 2 Divisions of 5 teams each.

Eastern Conference

Central Division: Barrie Colts, Brampton Battalion, Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, Niagara Icedogs, Sudbury Wolves

East Division: Belleville Bulls, Kingston Frontenacs, Peterborough Petes, Oshawa Generals, Ottawa 67s

Western Conference

Midwest Division: Erie Otters, Guelph Storm, Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Owen Sound Attack

West Division: Plymouth Whalers, Saginaw Spirit, Sault St. Marie Greyhounds, Sarnia Sting, Windsor Spitfires

Here's a look at the opening weekend schedule which starts on Thursday Night.


Oshawa Generals VS. Peterborough Petes 6:00 PM

Plymouth Whalers VS. Windsor Spitfires 6:05 PM


Windsor Spitfires VS. Sarnia Sting 6:00 PM

Erie Otters VS. Brampton Battalion 6:30 PM

Owen Sound Attack VS. Guelph Storm 6:30 PM

Mississauga St. Michaels Majors VS. Kingston Frontenacs 6:30 PM

Saginaw Spirit VS. Kitchener Rangers 6:30 PM

Plymouth Whalers VS. London Knights 6:30 PM

Ottawa 67s VS. Sault St. Marie Greyhounds 6:30 PM

Niagara Icedogs VS. Sudbury Wolves 6:30 PM


Saginaw Spirit VS. Erie Otters 6:00 PM

Sarnia Sting VS. London Knights 6:00 PM

Ottawa 67s VS. Sudbury Wolves 6:00 PM

Kingston Frontenacs VS. Belleville Bulls 6:05 PM

Barrie Colts VS. Plymouth Whalers 6:05 PM

Guelph Storm VS. Owen Sound Attack 6:30 PM

Niagara Icedogs VS. Sault St. Marie Greyhounds 6:30 PM


Kitchener Rangers VS. Guelph Storm 1:00 PM

Barrie Colts VS. Windsor Spitfires 1:00 PM

Western Hockey League Season Gets Underway this week

The Western Hockey League will get underway this Friday Night as the 72 Game Season gets underway and with Coppell Native Colin Jacobs getting ready for his NHL Draft Season.

He looks to lead what will hopefully be a much improved Seattle Thunderbirds team as they will start the season with a 3 game in 3 night weekend as the Thunderbirds will take on the Portland Winterhawks in the team's home opener on Saturday Night, in addition to the Winterhawks, they will take on follow US Division Foes Everett Silvertips & Tri-City Americans this weekend as well.

In addition to Jacobs, another player that could make his WHL Debut this season is Connor Hutchins who was selected by the Portland Winterhawks in the 6th Round of the WHL Bantam Draft back in May.

He's expected to be with the Honeybaked team which is in Detroit for most of the season, but perhaps be called up late in the season as he as been known for being very mature for his age and playing very well.

He's moved back to Texas to play for the Dallas Stars Midget Minor U16 Team this season, for the U16's, their Tier 1 Season gets underway this weekend as they will head to Ohio to open up the season as they will play 4 games this weekend.

In case you forget, their's 22 teams in the Western Hockey League divided into Eastern & Western Conference. 12 teams play out East which are divided into 2 six Team Divisions which makes up the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba, while the Western Conference is divided into 2 five team Divisions which is made up of the Pacific Northwest of the United States and the province of British Columbia.

Here's the WHL Player Profiles of the Southwest Players.

Colin Jacobs (Seattle Thunderbirds)

Connor Hutchins (Portland Winterhawks Prospect)

Here's the Conference Set Up

Eastern Conference

East Division: Brandon Wheat Kings, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos

Central Division: Calgary Hitmen, Edmonton Oil Kings, Kootenay Ice, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat Tigers, Red Deer Rebels

Western Conference

B.C. Division: Chilliwack Bruins, Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants

U.S. Division: Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans

This Weekends Schedule (All Start Times are CDT)


Regina Pats VS. Brandon Wheat Kings 7:30 PM

Lethbridge Hurricanes VS. Calgary Hitmen 8:00 PM

Red Deer Rebels VS. Edmonton Oil Kings 8:00 PM

Swift Current Broncos VS. Moose Jaw Warriors 8:00 PM

Prince Albert Raiders VS. Saskatoon Blades 8:05 PM

Prince George Cougars VS. Kamloops Blazers 9:00 PM

Chilliwack Bruins VS. Vancouver Giants 9:30 PM

Seattle Thunderbirds VS. Everett Silvertips 9:35 PM


Calgary Hitmen VS. Kootenay Ice 8:00 PM

Saskatoon Blades VS. Prince Albert Raiders 8:00 PM

Lethbridge Hurricanes VS. Medicine Hat Tigers 8:30 PM

Edmonton Oil Kings VS. Red Deer Rebels 8:30 PM

Moose Jaw Warriors VS. Swift Current Broncos 8:30 PM

Chilliwack Bruins VS. Kamloops Blazers 9:00 PM

Vancouver Giants VS. Everett Silvertips 9:05 PM

Prince George Cougars VS. Kelowna Rockets 9:05 PM

Portland Winterhawks VS. Seattle Thunderbirds 9:05 PM

Spokane Chiefs VS. Tri-City Americans 9:05 PM


Brandon Wheat Kings VS. Regina Pats 3:00 PM

Seattle Thunderbirds VS. Tri-City Americans 7:05 PM

NHL Preseason Gets underway tonight

A total of 9 games will kick off the NHL Preseason tonight including the new-look Dallas Stars hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the AAC. Gone are the big names like Mike Modano, Marty Turco and possibly Jere Lehtinen uncertain status, it's the first chance since the team came back from PEI, Canada for the younger guys to step into leadership roles. It's without a doubt that the team is going to have a brand new feel as the team enters a new era of hockey in Dallas.

Looking to become the next superstars for the team and looking to get out of a 2 year playoff drought that last saw them make the postseason back in 2008 when they reached the Western Conference Final against the Detroit Red Wings.

While some like Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and James Neal will look to get ready for the season, it's also a chance to look at possible line combos and some players looking to make the team. Two of the biggest names include Francis Wathier & Aaron Gagnon who had big years helping the Texas Stars have an amazing expansion season and getting the Stars to the Calder Cup Final before losing to the Hershey Bears in six games.

While others are looking to get ready for their Junior, AHL & European Season who could see call ups during the season like Scott Glennie (Brandon, WHL), Thomas Vincour (Vancouver, WHL) and Philip Larsen (Texas, AHL) who are among the team's top prospects right now.

While their's been a lot of pressure on Jonathan Cheecho to make the team to possibly challenge somebody like Fabian Brunnstrom who has fizzled since his big time rookie season back in 2007.

As for the goaltending battle, it will be a battle between Andrew Raycroft & Brent Krahn to become Kari Lehtonen's Back-up in Dallas, while the runner up will head down to Austin to team up with Richard Bachman who was one of the ECHL's Top Goalies last year and had some stellar moments with the Texas Stars last year as well.

As for tonight's game against Tampa Bay, that should be the big thing to watch tonight with Kari Lehtonen having the night off, both Andrew Raycroft and Brent Krahn both playing tonight, it will be interesting to see who can gain control of the net and give the Stars a chance to win games when Lehtonen is not playing.

However, with Training Camp & now Preseason starting up tonight, I'm now starting to get concerned about the state of the Stars Ownership that they hasn't been much movement recently. But look for more on that as we get close to the regular season.

The longer this goes, the more strict the team will have to come and I would be looking at a 3rd straight year without Playoff Hockey in Dallas, and I would fear that the team would become more irreverent over the course of the season if they is no action on the ownership front, especially if Gallacher or Galgardi decide to leave the race for the Stars Ownership.

While guys like Jack Campbell have already left for their Junior Teams as the OHL & WHL Seasons get underway this week while the QMJHL started a couple of weeks ago.

In addition to the Stars VS. Lightning tonight, some other teams of notice include the Defending Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers hosting the New Jersey Devils, we also have the battle of Ontario as the Ottawa Senators VS. Toronto Maple Leafs.

Other games out west include a Pacific Division matchup between Anaheim & Phoenix and a Western Canadian Battle between Calgary & Vancouver who's being looked at as a big time contender in the Western Conference this season.

In case your wondering about tonight's game, they will be no Television coverage tonight and Sports Radio 1310 won't be covering this game either tonight. However, Mike Heika did mention that Tampa Bay Lightning will have the game on their Radio Afflaite 1250 WHNZ tonight.

There's also a report from Mike Heika about Andrew Raycroft & Brent Krahn battaling it out in tonight's first preseason game to impress the Stars Coaching Staff and to be Kari Lehtonen's Backup this season.

Krent, Raycroft set to battle for Stars Backup Goalie Job

Here's some other Stars News & Notes from the preseason.

Brad Richards Donates Half a Million Dollars to PEI Children's Hospital

Stars Monday Notes

Joe Nieuwendyk's Training Camp thoughts

Stars Training Camp Video

Things to Watch for by Mike Heika

Here's a look at the expected roster for tonight's Stars Preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from Mark Stepenski of ESPN Dallas.

Forwards: Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Jonathan Cheechoo, Scott Glennie, Toby Petersen, Krys Barch, Thomas Vincour, Aaron Gagnon, Brent Sutherby, Francis Wathier, Mathieu Tousignant, Greg Rallo

Defensemen: Brad Lukowich, Phillip Larsen, Trevor Daley, Matt Niskanen, Marc Fistric, Scott Blindenbacher

Goalies: Brent Krahn, Andrew Raycroft

To read more on tonight's Preseason Action, Click Here.

Here's tonight's Preseason Games (All Times are CDT)

Columbus Blue Jackets VS. Atlanta Thrashers 6:00 PM

Florida Panthers VS. Carolina Hurricanes 6:00 PM

New Jersey Devils VS. Philadelphia Flyers 6:00 PM

Ottawa Senators VS. Toronto Maple Leafs 6:00 PM

Colorado Avalanche VS. St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM

Tampa Bay Lightning VS. Dallas Stars 7:30 PM

Vancouver Canucks VS. Calgary Flames 8:00 PM

Phoenix Coyotes VS. Anaheim Ducks 9:00 PM

Dallas Stars Preseason Schedule

9/21: VS. Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM

9/24: VS. Colorado Avalanche 7:30 PM

9/25: VS. St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM

9/28: @ Colorado Avalanche 8:00 PM

9/30: VS. Colorado Avalanche 7:30 PM

10/2: @ St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ralph Strangis Journal from PEI

While the Stars Time in Prince Edward Island is done with the preseason getting underway tomorrow. Stars Play-By-Play Man Ralph Strangis did some journal entries about getting ready for the season, his thoughts of Canada's Smallest Provence and so much more during the extended weekend in Charlottentown.

He did entries for all three days.

Journal Entry Day 1

Journal Entry Day 2

Journal Entry Day 3

Tornado ends Showcase use strong offense again to win 6-4 over the Austin Bruins

The Texas Tornado ended the NAHL Blaine Showcase with a 6-4 win over the Austin Bruins as the Tornado are sending a message that they indenty will be a firing squad as for the 3rd time in 4 games, the Tornado posted 40+ shots in the win.

Perhaps the one to watch will be Rock Einersen who finished with a Showcase high 10 points (4G 6A) including a 3 point performance back on Saturday Afternoon.

Other big performances came from J.D. Howard and Jack Prince as both of them increased their assists totals to 4 during the season opening showcases as both players will be watched closely by different NCAA Teams this season.

If your looking for what to expect for the Tornado this season. It's going to be a high octane offense as the team scored 17 goals in the 4 games. However, to be a serious contender in what's looking to be a very strong South Division, the defense needs to show up as they also gave up 17 goals to end with an even goal differential.

Can they get this fixed in the early portion of the season, time will tell, but with this strong offense this will put a lot less pressure on the defense to protect goalies Jake Stafford & Josh Hillegas?

After the Showcase, they won't have much time to get ready for what will be another busy season. Friday Night will see them head to the Panhandle to face the Amarillo Bulls, then on Saturday & Sunday Night will be their home opener against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

Press Release for the Texas Tornado

Austin Bruins 4 Texas Tornado 6 (2-1, 0-1, 2-4)

Austin Bruins VS. Texas Tornado Photos

The Texas Tornado met the expansion Austin Bruins to close out the Showcase for both teams. Texas sitting on a 1-1-1 record was looking for a win to equal their mark in last year's tournament while Austin at 1-2-0 were trying to even their record .500 in their first ever Showcase.

The Bruins would strike first when Connor Quinn cleared the puck off the far boards, then James Dickinson and Kevin Thomassoni worked to give and go springing Dickinsion for a clear path to the goal and he put the puck past Jake Stafford. Time of the goal was 8:05.

The Tornado would answer just over seven minutes later while on the Power Play as Donald Olivieri found the back of the net for his first point of the season with Ralfs Freibergs and Jack Prince picking up assists on the play.

Rock Einersen was hit with a cross checking minor at the 18:39 mark sending the Bruins on a late power play. With just 34 seconds left in the period Jonathan Gehrt sent a booming slap shot post a screened Stafford to give Austin a 2-1 lead. Charlie Adams was credited with the lone assist.

The Bruins made a bid to increase the lead on the ensuing faceoff. Alex Tesensky got a good bounce and went straight down the slot on a breakaway splitting the Tornado defensemen. Stafford stood tall and turned away the scoring chance with the stick.

Shots on goal were 19-10 in favor of the Tornado, but they trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard. The lone goal of the 2nd period came via the stick of Tornado Rookie Jon Mottiqua. The Tornado had an extended stay in the Austin Zone and had peppered multiple shots at Keegan Asmundson. Michael Zigari grabbed a rebound and fed the puck to Mottiqua at the top of the far circle and he fired it under Asmundson to pull the Tornado even to 2-2 a piece.

Shots on goal were again in favor of the Tornado 11-5.

The tone for the third period was set as early as 57 seconds into the period the Tornado took a one goal lead. Strong play along the boards by Einersen freed the puck and Freibergs hit Jackson Leef with a pass at the top of the far circle. Leef skated the puck in and fired a shot off Asmundson's shoulder. Leef stayed with the play, grabbed his own rebound and from just beyond the crease on the stick side he went stick side he went high over the blocker.

The Tornado would score again at the 4:46 mark on Tyler Underhill's first of the season with the assists going to Leef and J.D. Howard.

The Bruins would fight their way back into the contest with two goals by Jeremy Finger. The first coming at 8:32 with assists by Dickinson and Nolan Kirley. The second came with the Tornado on the power play when Dickinson picked off a Tornado pass and hit Finger streaking into the zone to knot the score at four.

However, the Tornado would not say die and 32 seconds later would take the lead for good. David Rigatti pulled the puck from a scrum along the boards and Mico Solorzano found Einersen alone on the backdoor to put the Tornado up 5-4.

With just under 1:30 left, Austin pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. They were applying pressure in the Tornado Zone when a shot from the point went off a Tornado shin pad. Einersen grabbed the loose puck and flipped it the length of the ice into the open net for the final 6-4.

The Tornado led in shots 11-3 for the period and 41-18 for the game. The Power Play got back onto the scoring sheet going 1-6 after failing to score against Coluee Region, while the penalty killing went 1-2.

There were some bright spots for the Tornado coming out of the Showcase. The offense led in shots on goal in all but 2 periods and out-shot their opponents 172-102 over the four days. Rock Einersen sets at 10 points with four goals and six assists. J.D. Howard also has four goals and an assist for 5 points.

The Tornado are going to put points on the board this season, but they must find ways to cut down on the turnovers and defensive breakdowns. It is early so as the defensive pairings gel the goalies should face fewer odd man rushes.

Puck Podcast: September 18 Episode

This weeks Puck Podcast Show will have more drama from the never-ending saga of the IIya Kovalchuk trade where some major penalties have occurred for the Devils as they tried to get around the salary cap. We also have a coach who's demise has been exaggerated, a false report of a former coach who reportedly died, but didn't.

News regarding on who the captain will be in both Vancouver & Montreal. The Igloo in Pittsburgh which will probably be torn down pretty soon. Reports that Ottawa will be hosting the 2012 NHL All Star Game as a part of the team's 20th anniversary, also we have a Northwest Division Preview (CGY, COL, EDM, MIN, VAN), plus lots & lots of emails this week. Including an angry rant from a Stars Fan as well.

Puck Podcast Website

September 18 Episode

New Poll Question: Where will the Stars Finish in the Pacific Division

With Dallas Stars Training Camp now underway and the start of the regular season just a couple of weeks away. Our new poll question all about where do you see them finishing this season in the Pacific Division.

It's simple, it's anywhere from 1st to 5th going up against the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks






In addition to the Division, I also want to hear from you about finishing overall in the Western Conference. You can post your comments here, or on my twitter page.

Tornado get Their Bell rung in 5-2 loss to Coulee Region

After a pair of solid games to start out the NAHL Blaine Showcase, Coulee Region who are from Wisconsin had their way in the 3rd of 4 Showcase Games as the Coulee Region Chill beat the Tornado 5-2 and it was the only game of this Showcase as the Tornado were held to under 40 shots on goal and failed to score on the power play.

After a scoreless first period, the Tornado had a strong start to the 2nd period as Dallas Natives Axel Boyer and Marc Biggs each teamed up for their first points of the year to make it 1-0. Not even a minute later, Robert Morris University Commitment David Rigatti scored his 2nd goal of the Showcase from Rock Einersen to make it 2-0.

However, Coulee Region came-back with 2 quick goals of their own by Lucas Dillion and Berkely Scott each scored within 2 minutes apart to tie the game at 2-2.

Then late in the 2nd & early in the 3rd it was 3 goals in 7 minutes which was divided by the 2nd intermission as the Chill ran away from the Tornado to get the 5-2 win as the Chill looked very impressive last week with a 3-0-1 record with wins over Pt. Huron & Kenai River as well. The only loss for the Chill last week was a 2-1 OT Loss against league powerhouse St. Louis and find themselves leading the North-Central Division.

A huge factor for the Tornado loss was a kneeing major by Jack Prince just 20 seconds into the 3rd period which allowed the Chill to score on the 5 MIN PP twice which turned what was going to be a close game into a run-away which got away from them.

This was the first regulation loss for the Tornado and if it weren't for the Kneeing Major by Prince, the Tornado could have gone as well as 3-1 if it weren't for some bad luck the Tornado had in OT against the Motor City Metal Jackets on the opening night of the Showcase. At this point in the Showcase, the Tornado are 1-1-1 for 3 points.

Press Release from the Texas Tornado

Texas Tornado 2 Coulee Region Chill 5 (0-0, 2-3, 0-2)

Texas Tornado VS. Coluee Region Photos

Texas ran into a hot goalie in the person of of Paul Moberg of the Coulee Region Chill. The first period was back-and-fourth with both teams unable to generate many real scoring chances until Joe Adams was hit with a high sticking minor with 1:08 left in the period. The Chill set up their power play and were rotating the puck well. A shot from the far point was turned aside by Jake Stafford and right onto the tape of a Chill player just off the near post. Stafford made a strong move across the goal and threw out the blocker to keep the game scoreless at the end of the first.

Shots on goal were 12-7 in favor of the Chill and it appeared that Coluee Region had a bit of momentum starting the 2nd period with clean ice and 50 seconds of power play remaining.

The second period started with the Tornado killing off the power play and then they grabbed the lead with two quick goals. The first coming at 2:54 into the period as the Tornado came into the zone with speed. Tyler Mort fired a shot from the right circle when Moberg turned aside. Marc Biggs grabbed the rebound and threw it off the Collie Goalie from the high slot. The rebound found its way Axel Boyer stationed just off the stick side and went high over a sprawled Moberg.

Adams picked up a Cross Checking minor at the 9:35 mark putting the Tornado back on the Penalty Kill. It took Lucas Dillion less then 30 seconds to capitalize on the opportunity pulling the Chill to within one. Scott Berkley would tie the score at the 12:28 mark and Erick Drapluk would put the Chill ahead for good with a minute, fifty five left in the period.

Shots on goal were 18-10 in favor for the Tornado in the period.

Any shot the Tornado had to crawl back into the game were eliminated by a Kneeing Major called on Jack Prince just 20 seconds into the third period. Prince came across the ice to challenge a Chill clearing attempt and collided with the Chill player behind the play.

Coluee Region made the most of the five minute power play notching goals by Matt Bloomquist and Zac Frischmon.

Shots on goal were 20-11 in favor of the Chill. The Tornado Power Play was kept off the board for the first game going 0-4 while the Chill were 3/6.

9/19 Scoreboard

With how busy the site was with the NAHL Blaine Showcase, here's the daily scoreboard from yesterday that I wasn't able to do last week.

Click on the Game Link to see the Boxscores.

Major Junior, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

Moncton Wildcats 1 Acadie-Bathurst Titans 4 (1-3, 0-1, 0-0)

Montreal Juniors 3 Drummondville Voltigeurs 4 (OT) (1-2, 2-0, 0-1, 0-1)

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5 Rimouski Oceanic 4 (2-1, 1-1, 2-2)

Baie-Comeau Drakkar 2 Victoriaville Tigers 6 (0-3, 1-2, 1-1)

St. John Seadogs 5 PEI Rockets 0 (1-0, 2-0, 2-0)

Pacific Region, British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL)

Surrey Eagles 6 Powell River Kings 5 (2-1, 3-3, 1-1)

Trail Smoke Eaters 5 Salom Arm Silverbacks 1 (1-0, 2-0, 2-1)

Pacific Region, Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL)

St. Albert Steel 6 Calgary Canucks 2 (4-1, 1-0, 1-1)

Olds Grizzlies 2 Drumheller Dragons 1 (1-1, 1-0, 0-0)

West Region, Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL)

Waywayseccappo Wolverines 2 Dauphin Kings 3 (1-0, 0-1, 1-2)

Winnipeg Saints 4 Winkler Flyers 7 (2-2, 1-2, 1-3)

Ontario Region, Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)

Markham Waxers 4 Aurora Tigers 5 (1-2, 2-0, 1-3)

Wellington Dukes 5 St. Michaels Buzzers 4 (2-1, 3-1, 0-2)

Kingston Voyageurs 1 Whitby Fury 4 (0-1, 1-1, 0-2)

Hamilton Red Wings 1 Stouffvile Spirit 3 (0-1, 1-1, 0-1)

Upper Canada Patriots 4 North York Rangers 1 (1-0, 3-1, 0-0)

Brampton Capitals 4 Newmarket Hurricanes 5 (2-2, 2-1, 0-2)

Trenton Golden Hawks 5 Pickering Panthers 3 (3-0, 0-2, 2-1)

Villanova Knights 3 Streetsville Derbys 4 (0-1, 2-2, 1-1)

Lindsay Muskies 4 Toronto Jr. Canadiens 0 (1-0, 1-0, 2-0)

Atlantic Region, Central Tier 1 Junior Hockey League (CT1JHL)

Brockville Braves 3 Kemptville 73s 1 (3-1, 0-0, 0-0)

Nepean Raiders 2 Cumberland Grads 3 (OT) (2-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

Carleton Place Canadians 2 Pembrooke Lumber Kings 4 (0-2, 1-0, 1-2)

Atlantic Region, Maritime Hockey League (MHL)

Campbellton Tigers 2 Summerside Western Capitals 6 (0-0, 1-3, 1-3)

9/20-26 This Weeks Southwest Schedule

With the North American Hockey League Season getting underway last week and with things like NHL & AHL Preseason about to start up. Every Monday, I'm going to present a Southwest Schedule so you can see which teams in which leagues are in action so you can make your plans on games that fans may want to head up to. So far, the Stars are back from Prince Edward Island and will begin their regular practice schedule from the Dr. Pepper Starcenter in Frisco.

With the NAHL Blaine Showcase now over, the home schedule for the NAHL Teams get underway this week with everybody execpt the Corpus Christi Icerays starting the home schedule this week, for Corpus Christi, they first home game will be on October 1.

Here's this weeks home schedule. All Start Times are CDT.

NHL Preseason

9/21: VS. Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM

9/24: VS. Colorado Avalanche 7:30 PM

9/25: VS. St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM

NAHL Schedule


Texas Tornado VS. Amarillo Bulls 7:00 PM

Fairbanks Ice Dogs VS. Wichita Falls Wildcats 7:05 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. New Mexico Mustangs 8:30 PM


Amarillo Bulls VS. Wichita Falls Wildcats 7:05 PM

Fairbanks Ice Dogs VS. Texas Tornado 7:30 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. New Mexico Mustangs 8:30 PM


Fairbanks Ice Dogs VS. Texas Tornado 5:00 PM

Corpus Christi Icerays VS. Amarillo Bulls 6:00 PM