Branden Troock did his best Greg Rallo impression in a 4-3 preseason loss to the San Antonio Rampage on Friday.
The 21-year-old forward scored twice from the left face-off circle — which might as well be called Rallo’s office — and he did so while using one his 34-year-old teammate’s sticks.
“He had a pretty good year last year,” Troock said. “He’s obviously a really good goal scorer. So you just watch him and you find those areas that he goes to. He’s one guy that I really like to watch play.”
On the urging of the coaching staff, Troock had been looking for a new stick and tested Rallo’s out at morning skate.
It was a good fit for Troock and Stars coach Derek Laxdal approved of the selection.
“If you ever watch tape on him, he had such a high lie on his stick,” Laxdal said. “So his blade was never touching the ice. (We are) trying to get more blade on the ice for him, so he has a better chance of handling the puck.”
And it was an important night for Troock, who is battling to find a role as one of the 14 forwards Texas is expected to carry on opening night.
“It’s a numbers game and we’re all fighting for those couple last spots,” Troock said. “You just go about your own job and do the best you can.”
He was one of Texas best forwards Friday and was trusted in all three zones. He also used his stick, with it’s better lie, to disrupt Rampage attacks and moved the puck well through the neutral zone.