Texas had their first bad week in a looooong time as they lost all three of their games last week (one shootout loss) to snap their five game winning streak.
The losses (two to OKC and one to Chicago) constitute the first three game losing streak the Stars have had since the very beginning of the season. Texas is still first in the overall standings, but they’ve lost momentum heading into this week as the roster fluctuations finally caught up with the team.
Jack Campbell started the first two games of the week and Cris Nilstorp started the third. Campbell stopped 39 of 44 shots while Nilstorp saved 25 of 29. Neither goalie was stellar during the week and the rest of team struggled as well.
Colton Scevior was the most productive with one goal and four assists but he was pretty much it during the week. Only two other players managed more than one point during the week: Justin Dowling and Matt Fraser (each with two points).
Mar. 05 – Chicago Wolves @ Texas Stars
Mar. 08 – San Antonio Rampage @ Texas Stars
Radek Faksa – Kitchener Rangers
Radek Faksa made his return to the Rangers starting lineup with just two weeks left in the regular season in the OHL. He had been out with an MCL injury since Jan. 19.
It’s going to take a little while for Faksa to get fully into the flow of things again and that showed this week as he went pointless in two games. He did manage a critical shootout goal against Owen Sound though.
The Rangers are just trying to get Faksa’s stamina back for the playoffs so don’t expect too much from him during the last two weeks of the season.
Kitchener beat Owen Sound 2-1 in a shootout before getting thrashed 6-1 by the London Knights.
Season totals: 34 games, 7 goals, 19 assists, 24 PIM, -3 rating
Mar. 05 – Guelph Storm @ Kitchener Rangers
Mar. 08 – Saginaw Spirit @ Kitchener Rangers
Mar. 10 – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds @ Kitchener Rangers
Brett Ritchie – Niagara IceDogs
Ritchie looked like the Brett Ritchie of old last week as he exploded for eight points (five goals, three assists) in three games.
Ritchie had been struggling in February since returning from the WJC but things have been slowly improving for him. He’s now scored a goal in four straight games (multiple goals in three of the four) and has been reconnecting with Ryan Strome.
Niagara won two of their three games last week and officially clinched a playoff spot.
Season totals: 49 games, 38 goals, 34 assists, 38 PIM, +35 rating
Mar. 07 – Mississauga Steelheads @ Niagara IceDogs
Mar. 10 – Barrie Colts @ Niagara IceDogs
Gemel Smith – Owen Sound Attack
Smith played in his second straight week since returning from a lower body injury and was quiet again.
He had one goal (his first point since returning) in three games last week and, like Faksa, is just getting back into the flow of the game before the playoffs.
Smith will be looking for some momentum during the last two weeks of the season to help him get ready for the playoffs. Smith and the Attack get two games against the terrible Erie Otters so he might be able to get some points this week.
Season totals: 55 games, 20 goals, 24 assists, 50 PIM, +12 rating
Mar. 06 – London Knights @ Owen Sound Attack
Mar. 08 – Erie Otters @ Owen Sound Attack
Mar. 09 – Erie Otters @ Owen Sound Attack
Matej Stransky – Saskatoon Blades
Stransky and the Blades had four games last week and alas, all good things must come to an end. The Blades won their first three games of the week before finally succumbing to a 5-4 OT loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Blades’ win streak stops at 18 in a row.
Stransky actually had a rather quiet week when compared to what he’s been doing during February. He had only three points (two goals and one assist) in the four games last week and actually went pointless in consecutive games last week. It’s the first time he’s done that since waaaaay back on Jan. 11 – Jan. 12.
The Blades streak shot them up to second in the Eastern Conference in the WHL and they clinched a playoff spot last week.
Season totals: 66 games, 39 goals, 40 assists, 75 PIM, +33 rating
Mar. 05 – Calgary Hitmen @ Saskatoon Blades
Mar. 08 – Medicine Hat Tigers @ Saskatoon Blades
Mar. 09 – Regina Pats @ Saskatoon Blades
Mike Winther – Prince Albert Raiders
Winther had a solid week with two goals and an assist in three games. It was Winther’s most productive week in February as the three points last week brought his February total to just seven points.
Winther hasn’t done much since late January so it’s nice to see him end February on a high note. Hopefully he gets back on track during March to help the Raiders get to the playoffs.
Prince Albert hasn’t quite clinched a playoff spot just yet, but they’re really close.
Season totals: 61 games, 21 goals, 26 assists, 55 PIM, +16 rating
Mar. 05 – Prince Albert Raiders @ Swift Current Broncos
Mar. 06 – Calgary Hitmen @ Prince Albert Raiders
Mar. 08 – Prince Albert Raiders @ Regina Pats
Mar. 09 – Medicine Hat Tigers @ Prince Albert Raiders
Branden Troock – Seattle Thunderbirds
Troock missed all four of the Thunderbirds games last week with another injury.
It’s been a tough, injury-riddled year for Troock. He’s played in only 19 of the Thunderbirds’ 66 games. He’s been injury prone in his career (only nine games played two years ago) and that bug hit him again this season.
Season totals: 19 games, 5 goals, 6 assists, 19 PIM, -5 rating
Troy Vance – Prince Edward Island Rocket
Vance followed up his four point week with, well, nothing in three games last week. Vance went pointless last week as PEI lost two of three games.
His season long three game point streak ended and he was a nonfactor on offense. There were defensive troubles as well (it may be the goalie troubles though) as PEI gave up 14 goals in the three games.
Season totals: 39 games, 3 goals, 15 assists, 41 PIM, -6 rating (With Victoriaville)
22 games, 1 goal, 7 assists, 14 PIM, +11 rating (With PEI)
Mar. 06 – PEI Rocket @ Saint John Sea Dogs
Mar. 08 – PEI Rocket @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Mar. 10 – Acadie-Bathurst Titan @ PEI Rocket
Maxime Lagace – Prince Edward Island Rocket
Lagace had a blowup game again last week. He started one of the three games for the Rocket and was pulled after allowing five goals on 18 shots against Rouyn-Noranda.
Lagace also had one minute of game-time against Val- d’Or last week as he went in and out of the game three different times for some reason. He didn’t face a shot during his minute of game time though.
Season totals: 33 games, 13-12-1-0, 106 goals allowed, 4.05 GAA, .869 SV%, 1 shutout