The most exciting things about this time of year are new beginnings, the start of a new school year, new hockey season, and countless others. For me, it is the beginning of a new column covering the Texas and Dallas Stars at hockey54.com. For the Dallas Stars, it is the start of their new season and new AHL affiliate in Austin, Texas the Texas Stars.
To conclude their preseason schedule, the Dallas Stars took a three hour bus ride to the Lone Star capital city to take on the brand new Texas Stars at the new Ceder Park Center (Ceder Park is a suburb of Austin). In front of a crowd of 6,323 screaming Stars fans the squads battled for bragging rights on Wednesday night in the labeled “Bud Light Battle of the Stars”. To keep things fair the two teams switched up goaltenders, and the NHL Stars sent their AHL counterparts back-up goaltender Alex Auld who was the starter for Texas, while Marty Turco started for Dallas.
Dallas’ Toby Peterson started the scoring off putting a rebound past Auld at 7:56 of the first period. Assists came from Mike Ribeiro and Mark Fistric. The Stars took advantage of their first power play opportunity when second-year talent James Neal tipped a goal in at 16:29 of the period. Brad Richards and Mike Modano recorded the assists.
While the first period was all Dallas on the scoreboard, both teams battled hard and Texas was determined not to let Dallas run away with the game.
In the early minutes of the second period, Mike Ribeiro made the score 3-0 Dallas with Jeff Woywitka, a new addition in the offseason, recording an assist. Texas finally drew blood on a deflection by Perttu Lindgren. The puck found its way past Brent Krahn who replaced Turco in the Dallas net in the second period. The Texas assists were recorded by Sergei Korostin and Colton Sceviour.
Dallas added to their score making the final 5-1 with goals from Fabian Brunnstrom and a second goal from James Neal. Dallas finished the game outshooting their minor league counterparts 36-23.
"I was pleased to see us play as well as we did against the Texas Stars," said Crawford in the Dallas Stars game recap on their website. "I thought our guys, for the most part, did a good job of maintaining the things we need to have. It was good matchup, it had good intensity, good speed and I thought for the most part we didn't cheat."
For those readers anticipating what the Dallas Stars might look like entering their first game against Nashville, the forward lines according the Dallas Stars website were:
Benn, Ribeiro, Morrow
Eriksson, Richards, Neal
Ott, Modano, Peterson,
Brunnstrom, Wandell, Sutherby
The Texas Stars first regular season game is Friday night in San Antonio against the Rampage, while Dallas will host the visiting Nashville Predators for their season opener on Saturday at American Airlines Center.
Ken Armer is a Community Leader for the NHL and the Dallas Stars for Bleacher Report. He also covers the Anaheim Ducks for SoCalSportsHub.com and covers the Texas and Dallas Stars for Hockey54.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org