The Texas Stars (5-3-2-0, 12 points) travel to
south north Friday evening for the first meeting of the season (and first ever) with the Houston Aeros Iowa Wild (4-2-0-0, 8 points) in the first of a back-to-back series.
Texas is coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals. It was Texas third straight loss of the five-game road trip and the Stars blew a two-goal lead in each of those game.
Iowa is coming off loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins, a setback that ended a three-game winning streak by the team that moved from Houston to Iowa before this season (if you didn’t already pick up on that).
Iowa is expected to have forward Stephane Veilleux in the lineup tonight. The forward was assigned by the Minnesota Wild to Iowa on Thursday.
Offensively Iowa’s strength is down the middle. Centers Carson McMillan (6 points), Zach Phillips (5 points), Warren Peters (5 points) and Jake Dowell (4 points).
On the backend Iowa has been good defensively, while goalies Jonas Gustafsson (1.99 GAA, .935 SV%) and Darcy Kuemper (2.55 GAA, .915 SV%) have been stellar.
For Texas, Cristopher Nilstorp will probably play one game this weekend, while Josh Robinson will probably make his second start of the season either tonight or Saturday. Jack Campbell isn’t with the team due to a lower-body injury and is back in Austin.
The other big decision this week for Stars coach Willie Desjardins is which veteran he has to sit. Of the seven veterans Travis Morin, Aaron Rome, Maxime Fortunus, Francis Wathier, Chris Mueller, Toby Petersen and Colton Sceviour will have to be a healthy scratch due to the AHL veterans rule.
Last game Toby Petersen was scratched due to the rule and Francis Wathier was scratched due to the same rule earlier last week.