It wasn’t the prettiest of hockey games. It was an opportunistic hockey games. And the Texas Stars (23-17-3-2) made the most of those opportunities to out-last the Iowa Wild (17-26-1-2) by a score of 6-to-4.
“It’s not always how you draw it up, obviously. But at the end of the day, I think we’re seeing a lot more good than bad,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “Take the two points, look at some areas, and move on.”
The team played evenly in the opening period. Neither team really established any momentum with sustained plays interrupted by frequent interruptions.
The Bakersfield Condors (20-13-2-2) put up three unanswered goals to skate past the Texas Stars (21-16-2-1) by a final score of 5-to-3. Special teams failed Texas, yielding three goals while claiming but one.
Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham clearly admitted the short comings, “ I don’t think we were a good-enough hockey team today. Both special team, five-on-five, we failed to execute what we wanted to do. Our execution in general wasn’t to a standard that it needs to be.”
Down by two goals in the opening period, the Texas Starsrallied to defeat the Coachella Valley Firebirds 4-to-3 in overtime. Logan Stankoven scored the game-winning goalwith six seconds left in the overtime period.
“I liked our whole-body work. We came out well, we came out on time, andbelieve me, they had some pace early and they are a very good hockey club. Even when we were down 2-0 I like how weplayed,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
The Texas Stars were embarrassed, again, falling to the ChicagoWolves by a final score of 4-to-1. The Wolves swept the two-game series,winning 3-to-1 the previous night.
Texas Stars head coach Graham made no excuses for the team’sperformance, clearly assigning responsibility on the payers.
“Let’s be honest, we had some early season success, and,unfortunately, what can come with that is a feeling of lets maintain,” saidGraham. “I’m a big believer in that you’reeither growing or you’re dying, and for me, maintain is death.”
The Texas Stars rallied with three unanswered goals in the thirdperiod to defeat the Rockford IceHogs by a final score of 4-to-1. The game was uncharacteristically emotionalfor Texas, owing to Rockford’s physical play and perceived uneven officiating.
“It took all 60 (minutes) to get the goals. I’m glad we stayed patient and poised. Collected ourselves, a little bit, emotionswere getting high in the second (period). We just had to remember it was a 1-1 game, we were at home, lets focuson what matters most,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
A night after the Texas Stars (16-7-2-1) came from behind to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins (9-13-3-1) 4-to-3 in overtime, the Stars exploded with a four-goal third period to defeat the Griffins 6-to-2.
It was a game of firsts, with Artem Grushnikov and Ben Berard each scoring their first goals in the AHL.
The game was closer than the final score indicates. The Griffins blasted Stars goaltender Remi Poirier with 17 shots in the final period trying to tie the score.
The Texas Stars (15-7-2-1) overcame a sleepy start to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins (9-12-3-1), 4-to-3 in overtime. Mavrik Bourque netted all four the Texas goals.
“Bourque was excellent. His line drove the offense. Four goals, you can’t say enough about the effort from him. Massive, massive impact on the win,” said Stars head coach Neil Graham.
The Stars didn’t play their best hockey Tuesday night, allowing the Griffins’ Jonatan Berggren a goal just one minute into the contest. Texas mustered only four shots on goal in the opening period.
The Chicago Wolves may have gotten the first word in their contest against the Texas Stars, but it was the Stars that got the last, on a night that rained Teddy Bears. The Stars defeated the Wolves 5-to-2.
Ryan Wagner found the back of the next for Chicago for the only goal of the first period, but it was Mavrik Bourque’s goal to open the second period that trigger a rain of Teddy Bears. More than 2400 stuffed animals hit the ice in the second minute to even the score at one goal apiece. Antonio Stranges’ goal a minute gave Texas a 2-to-1 lead and the Star never looked back.
Nineteen penalties, 13 power plays, and a five-goal second period led to a wild contest between the Texas Stars (7-4-2-1) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (4-6-1-1), ultimately seeing the Stars win 4-to-2.
Grand Rapids’ Tim Gettinger found the back of the net in the first minute of the second period to give the Griffins a 1-to-0 lead. Un-phased, Texas’ Fredick Karlstrom evened the score just 16 second later.
The Texas Stars unleashed six goals against the Milwaukee Admirals to win their first game on home ice this season. Final score was 6-to-4.
The game felt like a homecoming with four former Stars players and coaches on the ice for the Admirals. Head coach Karl Taylor, assistant coach Greg Rallo, and forwards Tye Felhaber and Denis Gurianov all worked for the Stars organization.
Texas goalkeeper Matt Murray earned the win, making 30 saves against 34 shots. Milwaukee netminder Troy Grosenick endured the loss, allowing five goals on 28 shots.
It was a long night for the Texas Stars. After a one-hour delay due to ice conditions, the Stars fell to the Manitoba Moose by a final score of 3-to-2 in an overtime shoot-out.
Neither team looked especially sharp in the first period, perhaps owing to the one hour, seven-minute delay. Logan Stankoven found the back of the net for Texas with under three minutes to play in the frame. The Stars took a 1-to-0 lead into the locker room at the first intermission.
The Texas Stars (0-1-0-0) dropped their opening game of the 2023 / 2024 season to the Tucson Roadrunners (1-0-0-0) by a score 3-to-1. Five of the 20 skaters for the Stars were in their first professional hockey game, underscoring why the AHL is the developmental league to the NHL.
The Stars appeared sluggish for the majority of the first period. Tucson’s Jan Jenik scored unassisted in the fifth minute of play. Texas’ upped the pace of the game later in the period, producing Kyle McDonald’s first goal of his professional career.
The Texas Stars introduced their 2023 / 2024 team to their season ticketholders in a Meet the Players night on Tuesday.
The Stars are returning 14 players from last year’s division winning roster. Ten of the returning players are from the O-line, led by team captain Curtis McKenzie. Other O-line notables include former Dallas Stars winger Nick Caamano and former AHL rookie of the year Riley Damiani.
The D-line returns only two players, Alex Petrovic and Michael Karow. To help bolster the experience level the Stars added former Dallas Stars and Texas Stars defender Gavin Bayreuther.
The Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, is one of the most fan-friendly organizations in professional hockey.
Last month the Stars hosted a blood drive, in coordination with We Are Blood, at the H-E-B Center. The blood drive included a tour of the arena before the ice is laid down.
This month, the team hosted a Rookie Camp for their season ticket holders. The Camp included a tour of the back-of-house components including the press box, security operations, the Zamboni, and the club house. Photographs were taken of all participants in the locker room.
The Dallas Stars, parent of the Texas Stars, played an NHL pre-season hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes as part of their training camp at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. The Stars pummeled the Coyotes, winning by a final score of 7-to-0.
The game felt like a reunion, matching prior and current members of the Texas Stars against Arizona. Former members of the Texas Stars included Jordie Been, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Nick Caamano, and Ty Dellandrea.
The Texas Stars really know how to have fun, and do good, at the same time. The main beneficiaries of this good time were there fans and a local community health organization.
The Stars, in conjunction with We Are Blood, the Central Texas regional blood bank, combined a blood drive with signing day.
Up and coming hockey player join the professional ranks by signing an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract. The Stars invited the participants of the blood drive, or their children, to pretend to sign their ATO.
The 2022 / 2023 Texas Stars season was phenomenal. The team’s chemistry and work ethic made every game exciting. The fans responded in kind with a record number of sell-out games.
Many of the fans, myself included, have had a hard time letting go. I’ve assembled a few of my favorite images from the season to help ease the transition to the off season.
A remarkable year ended for the Texas Stars in an uncharacteristic lopsided loss in the final game of the Central Division Championship. The Milwaukee Admiral won 5-to-2 and took the series 3-games to two.
The Admirals took a 4-to-0 lead in the first period, a lead that that Stars simply could not overcome.
The Admirals Adam Wilsby and Marc Del Gaizo each found the back of the net in the opening 12 minutes of play. Joakim Kemell added two goals in the remaining eight minutes of the period.
The Texas Stars scored in the 35th minute of overtime to defeat the Milwaukee Admirals In surely one of the grittiest hockey games played at the H-E-B Center. The Stars took game four of the best of five series by a score of 4-to-3 to force a winner-take-all game five. The game was the second longest in Stars history.
“It was do or die, and it was a critical moment of our season,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “The guys responded.”
The Milwaukee Admirals scored with one minute remaining to chinch a 4-to-3 win against the Texas Stars in game three of their best of five series. The Admirals lead, two games to one.
“We did a lot of good things. It’s tough when the final goal goes in at the end,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “It’s important not to over react.”
Graham displayed optimism for the remainder of the series, saying, “This is a group that has been tight-knit. I’m extremely proud of this group. I like the way we’ve played. I like the way we’ve prepared. I like the way we’re willing to dig-in.”
The Texas Stars decisively defeated the Rockford IceHog to advance to the AHL Central Division Finals. Texas took the series three games to zero.
"We're obviously pleased with the series win and getting [the first] playoff game back here in Cedar Park since 2018. Our fans deserved victory, and our guys played hard for him,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
The Texas Stars had much to celebrate as they marked Fan Appreciation night at the end of their last regular season game.
The Stars clinched a top seed in the Calder Cup playoffs by winning the AHL Central Division with a record of 40-20-9-3 (wins / loses / overtime loses / shootout losses), winning 63.9% of their game, and earning 92 points. That record was third best in the conference and fifth in the league.
After clinching the Central Division Championship the prior night, the Texas Stars (40-20-9-3) took their foot off the gas and fell to the Iowa Wild (34-27-6-5) by a final score of 5-to-2. It was the final game of the regular season. Texas used the opportunity to rest key contributors, and give playing time to less experience players.
“We came into this game, we still wanted the two points, we really didn’t bring it as much as we could of or should of,” said Texas Stars forward Riley Damiani. “We took our foot off the gas in the second (period) and they capitalized.”
The opening four minutes of this game looked like a continuation of the prior night’s 7-to-5 goal-fest in favor of the Manitoba Moose (36-25-5-4). But both defenses settled in and the Texas Stars (39-19-9-3) came from behind eked-out a 3-to-2 win.
“We were resilient today, especially trailing early. We just stayed in the game, and at the end of the day we earned the two points,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
Tuesday’s game between the Texas Stars (38-19-9-3) and the Manitoba Moose (36-24-5-4) felt like both teams were channeling Oprah Winfred: “you get a goal, and you get a goal, and you get a goal.” Twelve goals were scored across nine players in route to a 7-to-5 Manitoba victory.
Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham summed the game up by saying: “From the red line north, to their goal line, we did a lot of good things. From the red line south, to our goal line, not our sharpest.”
The Texas Stars couldn’t regain their fighting form after a sucker punch to the gut, and fell to the San Jose Barracuda, 2-to-1, in overtime. Texas earned one point with the tie game in regulation time to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
A questionable check by San Jose’s Nathan Burke in the third minute of play knocked Matej Blumel into the boards and unconscious. EMTs and the team doctor quickly responded and removed Blumel from the ice on a stretcher and back-board, and in a medical cervical collar. Play resumed after an approximate 30-minute delay.
The Chicago Wolves are not in contention for the Calder Cup playoffs, but they can make it hard for those who are. Chicago defeated the Texas Stars, 3-to-2, stopping the Stars from clinching a playoff seat. Texas needed only a tie to punch their ticket to the post season.
“It’s disappointing for our group. We obviously wanted to drive a little more here tonight. Big picture, there’s been a lot of hockey between this homestand and the two-week road trip we came off,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “We have a lot of guys dinged up. You’ve seen the number of guys that we have wearing full cages, at the moment. The guys have been battling hard.”
The Texas Stars swept the Coachella Valley Firebirds, taking the second game of their two-game series by a score of 6-to-1. The teams split their first meeting at Coachelle, giving Texas a 3-1 advantage in the season’s series.
Coachelle is well thought of in the league and the decisive win gives Texas a boost entering the final stretch of the season, according to Texas defender Michael Karow. “They definitely have a good record. They are a team that’s talk about a lot as a first-year team that’s putting up a lot of points.”
This game should have been the Coachella Valley Firebirds. But Texas Stars goaltender Matt Murray gave his team time to find their skates and then, ultimately, win 3-to-1.
“We didn’t get out of the gates overly hot,” said the politically correct Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
Matt Murray kept the Stars alive for the first 12 minutes of the game.
The old joke is “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” Such a comment was no better intended than tonight’s game between the Milwaukee Admirals and the Texas Stars. A total of 92 penalty minutes were served, which included a rare goaltender fight. Along the way, the Stars defeated the Admirals, 5-to-3.
“I liked our focus early. Things got a little squirrely at the end (with the goaltender fight). Overall, we knew what we needed to do, and accomplished that,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. “Most importantly we came out with two big points in a tight division.”
The Texas Stars (28-13-7-3) scored in the fourth minute of play, but the remainder of the game belong to the Bakersfield Condors (24-23-2-2), as they skated to a 3-to-1 win.
Fredrik Karlstrom put the Star on the scoreboard at 3:22 in the open frame on a no-look pass from Will Butcher. The Condors evened the contest seven minutes later a power play goal by Ty Tullio.
The Texas Stars (24-11-6-2) failed to score in five power play opportunities, allowed two goals on penalty kills, and gave-up a short-handed goal in a frustrating 6-to-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins (18-20-2-2).
“It’s definitely frustrating. You can tell, our team, we do get frustrated. We’re just not getting the goals right now. They’re not going in,“ said Ryan Shea.
The Texas Stars (24-9-6-2) defeated the Iowa Wild (21-13-4-3) by a final score of 5-to-4, in what was probably one of the shortest overtime games in H-E-B Center history. Tanner Kero scored the skate-off goal just 30 seconds into OT.
The Stars had struggled with over time play, and recently began focusing on it in practice. “To get that win was huge,” said Kero.
The Texas Stars (23-8-6-2) handily defeated the Colorado Eagles (24-13-3-0) by a score of 4-to-1 before a sold-out home crowd. Center Mavrik Bourque led the Stars with the game’s opening goal and an assist.
Bourque’s goal came in the final minute of the first period. Ben Gleason doubled the Stars’ lead seven minutes into the middle frame. Riley Damiani added in insurance goal early in the final period on a power play.
A winning team always brings out its fans, and this was especially true for the Texas Stars annual autograph session for their season ticket holder. The event was truly a family affair, bringing in excess of 1200 fans to the event, 100 of whom arrived before the doors opened.
With little assistance, the fans queued up to eight tables to collected autographs from the players, coaches, Ringo the Ring-tailed mascot, and the voice of the Texas Stars, John Peterson.
Coming off a thrilling come-from-behind victory, the Texas Stars (22-8-4-2) throttled the Milwaukee Admirals (21-13-0-2), 5-to-0, to sweep the two-game series. The Stars scored nine consecutive goals against the Admirals between the two games.
“I thought the guys played a good game, start to finish. Obviously, it was a good opponent. It was going to be a challenging series for us this weekend. I’m proud our group was able to step up and answer the test,” said Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham.
The Texas Stars currently sit atop the AHL Central Division with a record of 22 win, 8 losses, 4 overtime losses, and 2 shoot-out losses. A key aspect of the Stars’ success derives from the support of their fans. The Texas Stars hosted its first Renaissance Faire in a showing of appreciation of that support.
The event drew from the Sherwood Forest Faire, a locally owned medieval-style village nestled in the Lost Pines section of Central Texas.