Pre-Season Game #2: Texas Stars vs. San Antonio Rampage 10/5/12

Ah, you have to love these in-state rivalries…Houston, San Antonio, Dallas. Well, the Texas Stars did play the Dallas Stars once as an exhibition game to give us Central Texans a taste of what this crazy hockey game is all about. It was a great exhibition game and all, but I’m not sure a 5-1 defeat is a great way to start the season (well maybe it was with that Calder Cup and all)…anywho, back to San Antonio.

San Antonio is always a pretty good matchup, usually it’s always a chippy atmosphere with the rivalry between the two teams (I don’t think I’ve ever seen more fights per game against another team) and since a lot of their fans travel over to cheer on their team, it definitely puts a bit of tension in the air (ever been to an A’s vs Giants MLB game?). I’ve seen some pretty tense moments with overzealous fans but we’re all pretty respectful when it comes to visiting your neighbor’s house (sorry, but yelling TEXASSSS! STARRRRS! rolls off easier than yelling SANANTONIO…RAMMMPAGE!)

Since it’s pre-season, let’s take a look at the Texas Stars history with such games against the Rampage, these are all first match ups of the year:

2009: 2-1 (Texas)

2010: 2-1 (Texas)

2011: 4-0 (SAN)

Despite the pre-season game last year, Texas did a pretty good job of holding off San Antonio throughout the regular season We’ll see how the Stars do against the Rampage in 2012, should be a great Friday night game as Texas gets a feel for what San Antonio will offer this year. Yes, ex-Star Greg Rallo (who shot the winning goal against SAN in 2009’s game) should be there (he’s on the roster) so listen for some “motivation” from the crowd if you’re at the game.

Can’t you just feel the love? Photo courtesy: http://www.mysanantonio.com

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Texas Stars 2012 – Pre-Season: Two Curses Broken!

In 2009, it was a 2-1 victory over San Antonio (in their house) and the Stars went on to win the Calder Cup. The very first Texas Stars game in Cedar Park saw the Rampage return revenge with a 4-3 win (did I mention that Calder Cup win yet?).

2010 had the Stars victorious against the Oklahoma City Barons 2-1 in the OK state, but meanwhile, back in Cedar Park, the OKC Barons win 4-2 under our roof.

2011 was shaping up to be more of the same, the first pre-season game back in Cedar Park saw the Houston Aeros slip by with a 3-2 shootout win.

Well now the Aeros better hope a whupped behind is covered under Obamacare because the Stars BROKE the pre-season opener curse with a 7-2 win! For those keeping score at home, this is the Texas Stars very first pre-season win in Cedar Park!

Now, let’s look at the numbers against Houston over the years when it comes to ahem, breaking the ice with these inaugural match ups (these are all pre-season): 2009 – Houston wins (3-2), 2010 – Houston wins (4-2), 2011 – Houston wins (again!), 5-2. 2012 – TEXAS WINS (7-2)!

So there you have it, 2 curses broken with the win over Houston this year! First win with the first game in our house and first career win over first game against Houston!

I know pre-season doesn’t mean much, but I thought it was worth sharing. More attention will be paid to the first regular season game against Houston on 10/20/12 (I’ll run those numbers later).

I will be watching very close to Friday, October 5th’s game against San Antonio in Cedar Park where our matchup numbers don’t look so hot over the years so stay tuned for that update!

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Photo Credit: Texas Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much thanks to the following websites for helping me compile the aforementioned stat.s: HundredDegreeHockey and Texas Stars

Hockey Countdown (AHL edition) – 28 Days!

Not interested at all in hockey? Then you may like the news that (for the second time in the last 6 years) there may not be a hockey “season”. The AHL season of course should be just fine (fingers crossed) but for the un-initiated, the players and NHL organization can not come to agreement about salary, etc. and if they don’t get it together soon, an upcoming post may read “28 Days Later”. But, like I said, the AHL season is still on track as far as I know so I will continue the countdown to the first time the puck will drop at the Cedar Park Center (yeah, it’s a pre-season game, but hockey is hockey)!

28 days, less than a month, get ready!

CBA Outrage

CBA 4 Dummies

Hockey Countdown – 36 Days!

Wow, time is moving fast! Only 36 days until we can watch some hockey at the CPC (even if they are pre-season games)! The first game of the official season is Oct. 14th but these pre-season games are a great way to meet the team (and newer players), get a feel for some of the lines and just get back in the spirit that is Texas hockey!

To commemorate the countdown, let’s take a look at some of the Texas Stars we might see this year: #40 Mathieu “What Would Tousi Say?” Tousignant, #38 Francis Wathier (Team Captain, right?), #37 Brad Lukowich and #36 Philip Larsen! Speaking of frequent Dallas call-up Larsen…he gives me hope that you don’t have to be 6’6″ 220 lbs to be a presence on the ice! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNkyBuXRUQM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of: http://hundreddegreehockey.blogspot.com and http://txstarsgirl.wordpress.com/tag/mathieu-tousignant/

Hockey Countdown – Day 73 with #73 Brad Lukowich

You’ll only need to flip the calendar 2 more times until we get to hockey season! I’ll save a lot more info on my favorite Texas Star, Brad Lukowich when we get to 37 days (his jersey number for Texas). When Brad plays with Dallas as he’s been called up several times to do, he wears #73 so we can focus on some of his great moments with Dallas with this post.

From Wikipedia: Brad Lukowich (born August 12, 1976) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who plays for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. He has won the Stanley Cup once in his career, with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. He was on the roster of the Dallas Stars when they won the cup in 1998–99 but did not play enough games to get his name on the Cup.

Congratulations on an impressive career in the NHL and of course the AHL, Brad!

Follow Brad Lukowich on Twitter

Hockey Countdown – 77 Days – Happy Birthday Max!

77 days until the puck officially drops in Cedar Park and we celebrate by wishing Maxime Fortunus a happy birthday! Max has long been a staple player for the Texas Stars (since they came to Cedar Park) and I was glad to see him return to this season as well. Here’s to a great day and a great season for Max and the Stars (congratulations on the recent wedding too)!

A little about Max: Maxime Fortunus (born July 28, 1983 in La Prairie, Quebec) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman for the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. Fortunus is one of the only professional hockey players in North America of Haitian descent. His parents were born in Haiti, and emigrated to Canada in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)
HundredDegreeHockey has this to say about Max’s return to the Stars this year: “Fortunus will be a huge veteran presence in the locker room for the Texas Stars, along with Tyler Sloan. The right-handed shot out of Quebec had six goals and fourteen assists last season. With the signing, Texas now has either 7 or 8 defensemen for their roster (depending on whether you want to count Brenden Dillon)”

Other news about Max:

Maxime Fortunus Texas Stars Stat.s

Stars’ Fortunus one of a few black players in pro hockey

Hockey Countdown – 81 Days with #81 Tomas Vincour

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Today’s countdown is brought to you by Dallas Star and sometimes Texas Star, #81, Tomas Vincour. The Czech native was a 5th round draft pick in 2009 with high hopes after glowing scouting reports. Those in attendance at Texas Stars games in 2010 and much of 2011 saw what I consider to be the best of Vincour.

Vincour (wearing #17 in Cedar Park), appeared in 47 games for the Dallas Stars this season, collecting five goals, seven assists and six penalty minutes during the 2011-12 campaign. Given those types of stats, Tomas is going to need to ratchet up his defense to earn a permanent spot in the big D it would seem.

We’ll see what the ’12-13 season has in store for Tomas but I suspect we won’t be seeing a whole lot of him in the CPC. Enjoy watching him while you can, I suspect the AHL conditioning really paid off as his game got consistently better throughout the season.

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Hockey Countdown – 85 Days #RIPJessica

It’s with great remorse and sadness to write this post, but I want to honor a huge hockey fan, sports reporter, daughter, sister and what seems to be an all around illuminated person, Jessica Ghawi (Jessica Redfield, professionally).

I never knew this person and had only seen a few of her tweets as retweeted by some hockey news outlets once or twice before the horrendous shooting in Aurora, CO. But when someone is taken who shares a common interest with the passion and excitement the same as you, it really hits home and makes you both grateful for what you have and wanting to honor this person.

I know Jessica was counting down the days until the NHL season was to start and I wonder if she ever made it over to Cedar Park following the San Antonio Rampage? Regardless, here are a few articles I’ve been pouring over today that remember, celebrate and mourn the life and times of Jessica, may she rest in peace.

Before I share the links that detail the people that Jessica impacted, I’d like to share, from a biblical standpoint, what is helping me deal with such tragedies in this world every single day. I encourage you (whether you have a relationship with God or not) to read this enlightening article: Where is God in Tragedy? | RELEVANT Magazine

Thank you and God bless you all.

A Run On of Thoughts (Jessica’s blog)

Denver Theatre Shooting: Jessica Ghawi | Jordan Ghawi (Jessica’s brother)

A letter to Jessica Ghawi, victim of the Colorado shooting. « Caity Kauffman

NHL writer among dead in Colorado theater shooting – NHL.com – News

Ms. Conduct: It’s everybody’s loss

Finding a Light Amid Darkness, What We Learned From Jessica Redfield | The United States of Hockey

Aspiring sports reporter killed in Colorado shooting, brother says – CNN.com

Jessica Redfield, Aurora shooting victim, remembered by friend – More Sports – SI.com

Fairwell To A Fellow Female Hockey Writer, Jessica Redfield – Bolts by the Bay – A Tampa Bay Lightning Blog

Why Jessica Ghawi Wrote Under The Name Redfield: Moving Stories From The Shooting Victim’s Colleagues

The Official Site of the San Antonio Rampage: Team News

Jessica Gawhi’s mom shares last text from her minutes before she died.

Hockey Countdown – 89 Days!

Hello,
I wanted to start a new blog series counting down the days until the puck drops for the Texas Stars in Cedar Park, TX. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to allow those that don’t follow all of the Texas Stars news to stay in the loop on who the players, coaches, etc. are this year.

Starting out with this entry, I’d like to introduce a brand new Texas Star, #89: Tyler Sloan! From HundredDegreeHockey.com:

“Tyler Sloan is a 31-year old defenseman, most recently of the Milwaukee Admirals, where he compiled one goal and nine assists in 62 games of service. Sloan has played in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, putting up four goals and thirteen assists over 99 games. Sloan was on a two-year contract to the Capitals from 2010-2012, but had the last year bought out and became a free agent this time last year. He signed a two-way with Nashville and was assigned to Milwaukee.

Sloan has played 467 regular-season games between the AHL and NHL. He also spent some time with the Las Vegas Wranglers under Coach Glen Gulutzan.”

If my calculations are correct, this would make Tyler one of the more veteran hockey members on the team which might earn him the “C” (captain) to wear on his jersey. I would much rather the “C” to go to other, more tenured Texas Stars like Wathier or Morin, but that has yet to be seen. Otherwise, it looks like Sloan will be a welcome addition to the roster and his experience within the ranks will help give the Texas Stars some much needed mentorship and presence out on the ice as they recover from a battered season.

Welcome to the club, Tyler!