Texas had a ridiculously light schedule this week, but that extra practice time no doubt contributed to their success in the week. After going 0/25 on the power play over their last 4 games and losing all 4, Texas needed a spark. They got that spark from winger Francis Wathier this week. Texas only had the single game but made the best of it.
Texas Halts Skid, Uses PP to Beat Chicago 3-2
(HDH blog link)
The Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers) came to town on their extended road trip to visit the well-rested Texas Stars on Wednesday night. It was Texas first game since the previous Saturday and their only game until Tuesday the 16th. Talk about a scheduling issue...
After a tough to watch first period, Chicago struck first shorthanded with Angelo Esposito finishing off a great 2-on-1 with Jason Krog for the 1-0 lead. It looked like it was going to be another one of those nights until Texas's PP started clicking. Francis Wathier had two goals, both on the PP, and Greg Rallo added an even strength tally to win the game 3-2. Texas's PP goal in the 2nd period from a twisting, turning, and falling Wathier was their first in 4 games. "My job on the power play is to get in front of the net and obstruct the D and make sure the goalie doesn't see anything," said Wathier of the goal. "It was a little luck and a little hard work."
"That little skid we went on, we knew we weren't playing all that bad," said Greg Rallo, who had a goal on four shots in the contest. "We just had to stick to our game plan and get a couple of bounces to go our way." In other news and notes, Philip Larsen took his first professional penalty in the game, a slash. Chicago scored on the ensuing power play.
After the jump, we'll take a short look at who's hot, who's not, the week ahead, the injury list, and a bonus video from the Texas Stars showing off their Movember Moustaches.
The Week Ahead
Texas has four games this week including a three-in-three over the weekend. The Chicago Wolves return to town for a Tuesday night game. On Friday. Texas travels to Oklahoma City to meet the Barons (Edmonton Oilers) who have shellacked the Stars so far on the season, 6-1 in their only meeting. The Stars return home to Cedar Park for their first game of the season against the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) and then go out to Houston to meet the Aeros (Minnesota Wild) for the millionth time on Sunday.
With only one game this week, the hottest player out there has got to be Francis Wathier. He scored 2 goals in the Chicago game, both on the power play, including the game winner.
After being one of the last players sent down from Dallas, I expected more of Tomas Vincour, who has yet to tally a goal. He is 0-4-4 in 12 games playing on lines with all sorts of offensive weapons, such as Wathier, Fabian Brunnstrom, and Scott McCulloch.
All of the Stars injured players suited up for Wednesday's game, which necessitated the reassignment of Sean Backman to the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. Backman showed offensive spark in Austin but needs top six minutes to develop, which he will get in Idaho.
Movember Moustaches Video