Texas Stars Report: Off the Road; On A Losing Streak

Brandon Segal vs Houston

The Texas Stars (32-20-4-5, 73 pts, #3 West) finally made it home after their season long eight game road trip.  The trip overall had mixed results.  However, with a stated goal of going .500 on the trip, Texas did just fine.  The Stars earned eight points of a possible sixteen on the trip, going 3-3-1-1.  However, the play was streaky at times with Texas losing the first two, winning the middle three, then losing again in the last three.  Texas returned home on Sunday and lost in the shootout again to division rival the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers).

The playoff race overall is tightening up, and things are no more clear for Texas than they were last week.  If everyone continues winning at their current rate, there would be a total of three points separating Texas in second from Peoria in 6th and out of a playoff spot.  Three of those teams, Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, would be at 95 points as well.

Adding complication is the injury situation.  While winger Scott McCulloch has returned from injury, high-flying forward Travis Morin continues to be out with a lower body injury.  Philip Larsen, who has been rehabbing in Dallas, missed the entire road trip, and Brent Krahn has been sidelined for the last week with complications from a previous lower body injury.

More about each game and a look at the week ahead for Texas after the jump...

I'm going to try something a little different here for the game summaries.  I wanted to make it a little bit easier for you to read, so I'm lowering the amount of text and making it more of a gamesheet style with any important notes. Please provide feedback in the comments.

Brennan Evans, Rivermen Crush Stars 5-2
(HDH blog link)

Stars goals:
Ondrej Roman, PPG (Aaron Gagnon, Brandon Segal)
Maxime Fortunus, (Mathieu Tousignant, Brandon Segal)

Notes:
Stars allowed the first professional hat trick for Brennan Evans, who previously had 9 goals in 8 seasons.  Texas also allowed 3 goals on just 3 Peoria Rivermen (St Louis Blues) shots in the second period.

Stars Fall To Houston In OT 4-3
(HDH blog link)

Stars goals:
Francis Wathier, (Sean Backman)
Luke Gazdic, (Dave Bonk, Maxime Fortunus)
Jordie Benn, PPG (Brandon Segal, Dan Spang)

Notes:
Stars are now 1-6-2-1 on the season against the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild).  Texas will play two more games against Houston this season.  Jon DiSalvatore has scored 7 of his 15 goals on the season against Texas. Patrick O'Sullivan had 3 assists for Houston.

Stars Can't Contain Rampage Rally, Lose 3-2 in SO
(HDH blog link)

Stars goals:
Luke Gazdic, (Sean Backman, Cody Chupp)
Dan Spang, (Brandon Segal)

Notes:
Stars gave up three separate leads (1-0, 2-1, and a 2 goal lead in the shootout).  The San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix Coyotes) are perfect in the shootout on the season (6-0), and Texas was the first team to take them beyond the required five rounds. The game was broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest, Texas's first such game of the season.

Stars Earn Point But Fall To OKC In SO 3-2
(HDH blog link)

Stars goals:
Trevor Ludwig, (Aaron Gagnon, Dan Spang)
Greg Rallo, (Jordie Benn, Aaron Gagnon)

Notes:
Texas came back from a 2-0 deficit in the second but lost in the shootout for the second straight night.  This was only Texas's second loss against the Oklahoma City Barons this season (6-1-0-1). Aaron Gagnon was the only Star to score in the shootout.

The Week Ahead

The Stars have home games all week starting with the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames) on Tuesday.  Texas will then play San Antonio and Houston on Friday and Saturday.

You can always follow the Texas Stars by reading my blog at HundredDegreeHockey.com, following me on Twitter @100degreehockey, or becoming a fan on Facebook.

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