Originally written on Stars of Big D  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Texas Stars A revamped Texas team had a rather pedestrian week, going 1-2-0 in a three games in three nights set over the weekend. The losses proved to be inconsequential this past week though as the Stars officially clinched a playoff spot and are still holding strong as the number one seed in the Western Conference. The Stars had a bunch of new, or returning, faces on the team this past week as a result of the trade deadline. Kevin Connauton had his debut with the team and registered a couple of assists on Sunday. Brett Ritchie also had goal and an assist during the week. It was mostly a quiet week on the offensive end though, with Mike Hedden leading the way with four points. Reilly Smith, Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour had three apiece. Jack Campbell had two of the three starts, going 1-1-0, and stopped 46 of 50 shots. His starts might be cut back a bit during these final two weeks to get him some rest before the playoffs. He’s been the main man since February, and there’s no reason why that should change. Cris Nilstorp made his return to the lineup with a start on Saturday that ended up being a 2-1 loss. He stopped 20 of 22 shots in his first game with Texas since March 13. There’s only six games left in the regular season for Texas, and a four game road trip is on the horizon this week. Apr. 11 – Texas Stars @ Charlotte Checkers Apr. 12 – Texas Stars @ Charlotte Checkers (again) Apr. 14 – Texas Stars @ San Antonio Rampage   Brett Ritchie - Niagara IceDogs, now Texas Stars Ritchie is now with the Texas Stars after his IceDogs were bounced in the playoffs. He had a nice debut with the team as he scored a goal and later had an assist during the week. It’s a great start to his pro career and hopefully a sign of things to come when he reaches the NHL. He’ll be with Texas throughout the playoffs now.   Season totals: 53 games, 41 goals, 35 assists, 40 PIM, +35 rating (With Niagara)                        3 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 0 PIM, +2 rating (With Texas) Playoff totals: 4 games, 1 goals, 3 assist, 9 PIM, -1 rating CHL Prospects   Radek Faksa - Kitchener Rangers Faksa, and Kitchener, got off to a very rough start against the OHL’s best in the London Knights. Kitchener lost both games last week by a combined 6-1 scoreline, and Faksa went pointless. Faksa had goals in three straight games coming into this series and was probably hoping to stay on a roll. He has to get points for the Rangers if they hope to get past London. During the season, Faksa had two points in four games against the Knights so some paltry turnouts may be expected. Kitchener is down 2-0 in the series, but has three home games coming up this week.   Season totals: 39 games, 9 goals, 22 assists, 26 PIM, -1 rating Playoff totals: 7 games, 3 goals, 2 assist, 4 PIM, -1 rating   Apr. 08 – London Knights @ Kitchener Rangers Apr. 10 – London Knights @ Kitchener Rangers Apr. 12 – Kitchener Rangers @ London Knights Apr. 14 – London Knights @ Kitchener Rangers Apr. 16 – Kitchener Rangers @ London Knights   Gemel Smith - Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound split its two games this week against the Plymouth Whalers on the road. Gemel Smith put himself on the board with the only goal in the Attack’s loss but wasn’t able to get on the stat sheet in the Attack’s win. It’s been a solid playoff run for Smith so far as he is over a point per game pace and nearly has a goal per game. He’s going to have to continue to be great if Owen Sound wants to proceed to the next round. He’s in the Top 10 right now in scoring in the OHL playoffs. The series is tied 1-1 at the moment, and Owen Sound has three home games this week.   Season totals: 61 games, 23 goals, 29 assists, 54 PIM, +17 rating Playoff totals: 8 games, 7 goals, 2 assists, 6 PIM, +6 rating   Apr. 09 – Plymouth Whalers @ Owen Sound Attack Apr. 10 – Plymouth Whalers @ Owen Sound Attack Apr. 12 – Owen Sound Attack @ Plymouth Whalers Apr. 14 – Plymouth Whalers @ Owen Sound Attack Apr. 16 – Owen Sound Attack @ Plymouth Whalers   Matej Stransky - Saskatoon Blades Stransky and the Blades ended the playoffs with a gigantic thud as they were swept by the Medicine Hat Tigers. Stransky ended the playoffs with no points and really struggled at the end of the year. He didn’t score in the last five games of the regular season and only had three in the last nine games of the year. Stransky ended the year 16th in the WHL in scoring with 85 points and 12th in goals with 40.   Season totals: 72 games, 40 goals, 45 assists, 88 PIM, +32 rating Playoff totals: 4 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 4 PIM, -2 rating   Mike Winther - Prince Albert Raiders Winther and the Raiders were swept out of the playoffs by the Red Deer Rebels. Winther had an absolutely miserable last couple months of the year with only 10 points in 21 games to close out the season and really only had one good month the entire season. In eight playoff games with the Raiders in the past three years, Winther has only one point so it doesn’t look like he’s producing when it really counts.   Season totals: 68 games, 22 goals, 28 assists, 61 PIM, +15 rating Playoff totals: 4 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, 6 PIM, -5 rating   Branden Troock - Seattle Thunderbirds Troock played no games due to injury and won’t be back the rest of the year. Season totals: 19 games, 5 goals, 6 assists, 19 PIM, -5 rating   Troy Vance - Prince Edward Island Rocket The Rocket found themselves in a do-or-die situation last week as they had to win two games to win their first round matchup against the Val-d’Or Foreurs. PEI and Val-d’Or had a marathon game on Monday as the teams found themselves in triple overtime with the score tied 3-3. The Foreurs would end up scoring the series winning goal in that third overtime to send the Rocket packing. Vance had a pretty quiet game as he went pointless with one shot on net and two hits. He ends the playoffs with two assists on his record. It was a nice little year for Vance as he had a combined four goals and 22 assists with Victoriaville and PEI. The 22 assists and 26 points would both mark career highs.   Season totals: 39 games, 3 goals, 15 assists, 41 PIM, -6 rating (With Victoriaville)                        28 games, 1 goal, 7 assists, 16 PIM, +18 rating (With PEI) Playoff totals: 6 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 PIM, +1 rating (With PEI)     Maxime Lagace - Prince Edward Island Rocket Lagace didn’t play last week and ends the year with a thud. He struggled throughout and ended up losing the starting job. His numbers this year were barely better than last year, but that’s not saying much. It’s going to be tough for Lagace to break through the Stars goaltending ranks with so many guys ahead of him.   Season totals: 33 games, 13-12-1-0, 106 goals allowed, 4.05 GAA, .869 SV%, 1 shutout Playoff totals: 1 games, 0-0-0-0, 1 goal allowed, 2.19 GAA, .857 SV%, 0 shutout
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