You might have heard about the Texas Stars' (28-33-2-2, 60 pts, #15 Western Conference) new additions over the past week. As the clock winds down on a disappointing season, Texas got a youth infusion over this past week that will make a difference in the next ten games and fans hope will stick around into next year.
Jack Campbell is the big name among the three new players. The 2010 draft pick joined the team mid-week and started both games this weekend. It wasn't an easy task as the Stars' faced the #1 and #2 teams in the conference. Campbell collected his first pro win against the #2 Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) on Sunday, carrying a shutout through forty minutes. Campbell made high quality stops with ease and handled the puck frequently in both contests. He is expected to get most of the starts for the rest of the season.
Coming in from the collegiate ranks was Austin Smith, the 2007 fifth rounder out of Colgate. Smith immediately joined the Stars' top line with Colton Sceviour and Francis Wathier. Smith had a minus-3 rating with six shots on the weekend. The line generated opportunities, but I am going to hold off judgement until I can see him with my own eyes.
Finally, Texas picked up Taylor Vause out of the WHL on an ATO, as I mentioned last week. The centre ice man scored his first pro goal, which he was very proud of, in Sunday's game at Toronto.
This week, Texas will add Alex Chiasson out of Boston University. Fans at the Cedar Park Center will have to enjoy his play while they can, as he is slated by many to make the NHL roster next season out of camp.
More on each game and a busy week ahead after the jump...
Despite the 3-1 loss to Oklahoma City (Edmonton Oilers), Jack Campbell stopped 32 of 35 against and made several high quality saves among the routine ones. Austin Smith had three shots on net and a minus-2 rating. One of those Barons goals came on a turnover by the rookie in his first game.
Mike Hedden picked up the lone Stars goal in the contest.
It only took Texas two games to get Jack Campbell his first professional win. The Stars got an astounding performance from their rookie netminder, aided by Taylor Vause's first pro goal and a great night from Mike Hedden. Texas never trailed in the game, jumping out to a two goal lead in the first forty. The win snapped a franchise-worst six game losing streak for Texas.
The Stars picked up goals from Taylor Vause, Mike Hedden, Matt Fraser and Francis Wathier (ENG).
The Week Ahead
Texas faces the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche) three times this week as they close out their season series with the club. They two tangle tonight in Cleveland. Texas then returns home for a three game set. The Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens), currently mired just above Texas in 14th place, will visit the Stars on Thursday. The Monsters will come in on Saturday and Sunday.
Maxime Fortunus returned to the lineup this past week, leaving just Stephen Schultz and Mathieu Tousignant on the IR. Again, Schultz is not expected to return, but Tousignant had been skating a few weeks ago.