Originally written on Stars of Big D  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Texas Stars The best thing you could say about the Texas Stars this week was that the team got progressively better as the week went on. They lost 3-0 to the Toronto Marlies, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Lake Erie Monsters and then finally got back in the win column with a 4-2 win over the Houston Aeros. Goaltending is still the big issue with this team as both Jack Campbell and Cris Nilstorp are letting really simple saves get past them. Campbell saved 22 of 26 in his only start last week while Nilstorp stopped 40 of 45. Both of the netminders need to up their game if the Stars hope to go on any type of extended winning streak. The defensemen actually played well last week. Big Jamie Oleksiak probably had his best week so far as a pro as he looked a more fluid on the ice. He was making a bigger impact on the game and that's definitely a welcome sight. Other defensemen that impressed: Cam Barker (no really, he was quite good) and Brendon Dillon. Jordie Benn suffered an injury during the Aeros game and he'll be out for a while. Patrick Nemeth will have to pick up the slack while Benn is out. The standout forward for the week was Tomas Vincour. He scored two goals and had one assist, but he was all over the ice and had a ton of energy out there. He's working really well with Cody Eakin. Another positive from last week; the Stars scored three power play goals which equaled their total for the entire season. Nov. 15 - San Antonio Rampage @ Texas Stars Nov. 17 - Charlotte Checkers @ Texas Stars   The Overseas Pros All European leagues had last week off so no games were played. By anyone. At all. Jamie Benn - Hamburg Freezers   Jaromir Jagr - HC Kladno   Stephane Robidas - HIFK Helsinki   Tom Wandell - Severstal Cherepovets   Philip Larsen - Rauman Lukko   CHL Prospects Radek Faksa - Kitchener Rangers Faksa had another pretty slow week with only two assists in three games as his Rangers went 2-1-0-0. He's scored only one goal since Oct. 5 and has struggled to get on the scoresheet at all the past couple of weeks. He's still been playing pretty well though in his all-around game and is working hard on the ice. He just hasn't been producing too much. Nov. 6 -  Mississauga Steelheads @ Kitchener Rangers Nov. 9 - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds @ Kitchener Rangers Nov. 11 - Kitchener Rangers @ Oshawa Generals   Brett Ritchie - Niagara IceDogs Boy you want to talk about an explosion. Ritchie had one of the greatest weeks ever with 10(!) goals and three assists in three games, including back-to-back games with at least four goals. Granted, his two explosive games came against teams with a porous defense (Guelph and Peterborough) but still he scored nine goals during the weekend. He just basically put up a months worth of points in three games. His goals alone would have kept the IceDogs undefeated last week. Ritchie now sits third in the OHL with 29 points on the season, four behind his teammate Ryan Strome (who had a damn fine week as well with three goals and nine assists). He's also tied for third in goals and 12th in assists in the OHL. It's all about consistency now for Ritchie. I highly doubt he'll reach these numbers again, but he needs to be able to average a point per game pace for the rest of the season and he'll be guranteed a top-line spot with the Texas Stars next year. Ritchie will get another shot at the Petes this upcoming weekend so it'll be fascinating to see what he does for an encore. Nov. 9 - Niagara IceDogs @ Mississauga Steelheads Nov. 10 - Peterborough Petes @ Niagara IceDogs   Gemel Smith - Owen Sound Attack Gemel Smith had a bit quieter week than Ritchie, but it was still damn impressive. Smith continues to (in my opinion at least) to be the Stars most intriguing CHL prospect with another solid week with three goals and four assists in three games. He had an 11-game point streak broken against the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday going up against Radek Faksa as the Attack suffered just their second regulation loss of the season. Smith is in the top-20 in the OHL for goals and assists and number 17 in total points. He's been the most consistent Stars prospect so far this season and look for some more numbers from him this week as they take on three bad defensive teams. Nov. 7 - Guelph Storm @ Owen Sound Attack Nov. 9 - Owen Sound Attack @ Brampton Battalion Nov. 10 - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds @ Owen Sound Attack   Matej Stransky - Saskatoon Blades Stransky had his second straight week in which he registered a goal and two assists in three games. The Blades managed to win two of those three to take them out of the cellar in their division. Stransky has been playing very well for the past month and has at least a point in eight of the last nine games. He's been very consistent but nothing to flashy thus far. Nov. 9 - Regina Pats @ Saskatoon Blades Nov. 10 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Saskatoon Blades   Mike Winther - Prince Albert Raiders Things cooled down a lot for Winther following his hat trick last Saturday. In three games last week, Winther was only able to register one assist (though his team went 2-1-0-0). Nov. 7 - Swift Current Broncos @ Prince Albert Raiders Nov. 9 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Prince Albert Raiders Nov. 10 - Prince Albert Raiders @ Swift Current Broncos   Branden Troock - Seattle Thunderbirds Another week went by with nary a sighting of young Mr. Troock. He rode the pine again for all three Thunderbirds games last week and hasn't played since Oct. 20. Nov. 6 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Brandon Wheat Kings Nov. 7 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Regina Pats Nov. 9 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Prince Albert Raiders Nov. 10 - Seattle Thunderbirds @ Saskatoon Blades   Troy Vance - Victoriaville Tigers Vance had his second point in two weeks as he registered an assist in one of the Tigers two games last week. He now has seven assists on the year. Nov. 9 - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles @ Victoriaville Tigers Nov. 10 - Halifax Mooseheads @ Victoriaville Tigers Maxime Lagace - Prince Edward Island Rocket Lagace got one start last week and played poorly once again. He allowed six goals on 34 shots in a 6-5 loss. He's started 10 of the Rockets 18 games so far this season and has allowed six or more goals in five of them. It's a mighty struggle for Lagace right now. Nov. 9 - PEI Rocket @ Quebec Remparts Nov. 10 - PEI Rocket @ Rimouski Oceanic
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