We'll be wrapping up our coverage of the tournament today as we gear up for training camp and the preseason. We'll have a detailed preview tomorrow as the Stars prepare to take the ice this weekend for the first time under Mark Crawford, and we'll have plenty of content at your disposal in the coming weeks. But we won't abandon the prospects or the Texas Stars. Coming soon: A weekly column on the team down in Austin and a roundup of all of the prospects in the system.
Editor's Note: The Stars lost to the Red Wings 4-1, after a close game got out of hand in the 2nd period. Tyler Beskorowany was the best player for the Stars, stopping 36-of40 shots and standing tall against a barrage of shots (17) in the third period. Heika reports that the three goals in the 2nd were of the fluke variety, and not indicative of Besky's play. Jamie Benn had a good game with a goal and a fight, but in the end the offense we saw in the first game of the tournament couldn't get the Stars back in the game.
After the jump, we'll run down the storylines thus far in the tournament, and look at who's looked good and who's disappointed. Also, the Texas Stars announced today that they've signed two new players to contracts.
First, from the Texas Stars press release:
The Texas Stars announced today the team has signed right wing Matt Beaudoin and defenseman Matt Stephenson to AHL contracts. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Texas also announced its full preseason schedule.
“Matt Beaudoin is a guy who had a tremendous showing in the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs and really turned some heads with his abilities,” said Texas Stars General Manager Scott White. “Matt Stephenson is a rugged defenseman who played very well in Idaho and Providence. Both players are welcome additions and will play key roles with the Texas Stars.”
The 25-year old Beaudoin (pronounced Boh-dwan) enters his third professional season after spending the bulk of 2008-09 with the AHL’s Houston Aeros. The right wing scored 11 times and added eight assists for 19 points in 41 regular season games with the Aeros. Beaudoin flourished in the postseason, scoring eight goals and dishing out nine assists for 17 points in 20 Calder Cup playoff games with Houston. In all, the Rock Forest, PQ native has played in 132 pro games, scoring 59 goals and setting up 46 others for 105 points. Beaudoin has 20 points (11g-9a) in 55 career AHL games.
Matt Stephenson split his rookie season between Providence (AHL) and Idaho (ECHL). In 17 games with the Bruins, The 25-year old set up two goals and accumulated 32 penalty minutes. In 53 games with the Idaho Steelheads, the 6-foot-2, 204-pounder scored five goals and dished out 22 assists for 27 points. The defenseman also finished among the team leaders with 127 penalty minutes.
The Texas Stars also released their full preseason schedule. You check it out here.
Today is the final game for the Stars prospects in Traverse City. They can do no better than third place in their division and will be playing for fifth place overall today against the Red Wings. There's not a whole lot riding on this game team-wise, but there sure are a lot of players looking for that one last shot to impress the team and the front office with their play.
THE GOALTENDERS: Despite allowing eight goals in the first game of the tournament, all reports have Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany looking very good in net. There was some trepidation about Bachman after a sub-par season last year with Colorado College, but he's looked poised and ready to make the next step in his development. He's crisp moving the puck and showed that he has confidence in himself, recovering from the eight-goal game to stop 34 shots in yesterday's win. If he continues to have the ability to rebound from bad games, which there will be plenty of, then he has a great shot at becoming successful at the next level.
Tyler Beskorowany was surprised us all with an extremely impressive performance on Monday against the Wild. Bombarded with 19 shots in the first period of the game, he held his ground and kept his team alive allowing the Stars to eventually come back and tie it up. He's fluid and smooth for a goaltender his size (6-5, 199), and is in control of his movement while scrambling. He'll look to continue his strong play as he gets the start today against the Red Wings.
Hockey's Future had a good Q&A with Beskorowany, which you can find here. Here's an excerpt:
HF: You've got Mike Valley here with Dallas now too, what have you guys worked on this week?
TB: While we're here, we're just getting a feel for the puck before games. He doesn't want to work us too, too hard. We have camp coming up.
HF: Is he going to come and visit you during the year?
TB: I think so. We've talked about that and ways we can watch video with each other and chat online. I guess one of his buddies has a website where I can actually see what he's doing on the screen. He can say something's wrong with my glove and point it out on the screen. If he can figure that out, we should be able to do it like that.
THE FREE AGENTS: Tristan King and Mathieu Tousignant, both in town with the Stars on a tryout basis, have been the story of the tournament for the Dallas Stars. King has shown creativity and an ability to make plays happen all over the ice, with a knack for getting his wingers the puck in good position for a scoring chance. He was undrafted after injuries shortened his season last year, but he's shown this week why scouts were so high on him before he went down.
Tousignant seemingly came out of nowhere, but has certainly made himself noticeable. Not the most skilled player on the ice he makes things happen with his energy, tenacity and a motor that never quits. He's scored some big goals for the Stars this tournament, netting the game winning goal yesterday against the Blue Jackets. He also loves to put the puck on net, and has shown an ability to really make things happen in close. It will be interesting to see if he gets offered a contract to play in Austin, but he at least has a great chance to play with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.
SERGEI KOROSTIN: With all of the talk leading up to the tournament about Jamie Benn, Ivan Vishnevskiy and Scott Glennie, Korostin was seemingly the forgotten prospect. But he's been the best player on the ice for the Stars most of the time, leading the team in shots and leading all forwards in +/-. He's going to be a player to watch this year in Austin and could be one of the young forwards making his debut in the NHL soon, if injuries start to hit.
THE FUTURE: I know it's only three games and I know there's still one more left to play, but you would have like to see Jamie Benn and Ivan Vishnevskiy have better tournaments than they've had. Benn has been hampered by a leg injury, which made him get off to a slow start and he's struggled to really get going offensively. The good news is that he's improved each game and most reports have him as playing a very good game yesterday, showing the offensive ability he's become known for while mixing in the physicality he's added to his game.
Vishnevskiy has been frustrating. He's shown flashes of greatness mixed with poor play. Most accounts have him thinking too much while out on the ice and it's obvious that he's adjusting to being the #1 guy on the blue line for the team, the quarterback of the offense, and it's going to take time for him to get comfortable. Those of us hoping he would force his way into the lineup sooner than later may have to wait as he learns what it means to be the top guy.
THE DRAFT PICK: Scott Glennie was drafted for his potential to become a superstar, not for his ability to step into the NHL anytime soon. That's shown this week. He's still not looking comfortable on the ice, and Hockey's Future specifically pointed him out as a player that was less-than-impressive yesterday for the Stars. He relies on his speed and hands to make plays happen, but at this higher level of competition he can't just outskate everyone. The scouting reports at the draft were right: Glennie will have to add size and strength before he can really start to produce at this level.