Texas Stars send Maxime Lagace to ECHL in attempt to maximize playing time

Maxime Lagace has been sent down to the ECHL. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Maxime Lagace has been sent down to the ECHL. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

The Texas Stars decided it’s better to have Maxime Lagace playing in the ECHL rather than sitting on a bench in the AHL.

Lagace was assigned to the Idaho Steelheads on Thursday. It’s a move Texas Stars general manager Scott White felt will get the 22-year-old goaltender playing more games as the AHL club turns to Jack Campbell, who made his season debut in a 6-3 win against the San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday.

“This was always our plan,” White said. “He could stay in Texas and play 20 games. Or he could play 40 games in Idaho … it’s all about maximizing playing time.”

Campbell is a former first-round pick who missed the first month of the season with finger injury. Now that he’s healthy, the plan is for him to play as often as possible, while John Muse will serve as the back-up and play sparingly — a role he signed on for when he inked his AHL contract this summer.

Lagace will take a wealth of AHL experience with him to the ECHL. The rookie started seven of Texas’ first 11 games before Campbell returned and posted a .913 save percentage and 2.60 goals against average.

Idaho plays three games in three nights this weekend, meaning Lagace will probably start at least two of those games. Campbell will likely start both of Texas games this weekend against the Stockton Heat on Saturday and San Antonio on Sunday.

Here is the official release:

CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced on Thursday that rookie goaltender Maxime Lagace has been reassigned to the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads.
 
Lagace (luh-GAH-say), 22, has appeared in seven games this season for Texas with a 4-3-0 record, a 2.60 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of Saint-Augustin, Quebec split 28 games last season at the ECHL level between the Bakersfield Condors and Missouri Mavericks with a combined 2.85 goals against average and .901 save percentage.

Jason Dickinson stars in Texas Stars 6-3 victory

Jason Dickinson celebrates his first period goal against the San Antonio Rampage. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Jason Dickinson celebrates his first period goal against the San Antonio Rampage. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

CEDAR PARK — Jason Dickinson was a bit of a swiss army knife for the Texas Stars in their 6-3 victory against the San Antonio Rampage.

He played wing, he played center, he killed penalties, and he scored a pair of pretty goals.

“He’s been a real asset for us,” Stars coach Derek Laxdal said. “It allows us to have that flexibility with our players and that’s worked out great.”

Dickinson started the game as the left wing on a line with Devin Shore and Matej Stransky and that line wasn’t on the ice for a goal against. Then later in the game — with Gemel Smith serving a 10-minute misconduct — Dickinson was double shifted as a center and as a winger, virtually playing every other shift in the third period.

“Legs are alright,” Dickinson said. “We work out hard enough that I was prepared for that and I’m ready whenever it happens.”

Oh, the goals, they were pretty.

The first one stood up as the game-winner and capped a four-goal first period. He stripped the puck from a Rampage defender skated in and beat Roman Will on the blocker side.

The second goal will certainly make the AHL’s weekly highlight reel.

With Texas leading 5-3, Will charged out for a loose puck with intentions of a poke check, while Dickinson charged in from the neutral zone. Will hesitated and Dickinson won the race, he then proceeded to flip the puck over the goalie, gloved it down, and scored into the empty net.

“I was trying to chip it over him,” Dickinson said. “I think it worked out a little bit better than I expected.”

The Stars were setup to succeed before they even stepped onto the ice.

Earlier in the day the Stars added Patrik Nemeth on a conditioning stint and Devin Shore returned after his first NHL call-up. They also had a boost from Jack Campbell, who made 23 saves in his first start of the season.

On the other side San Antonio lost Calvin Pickard — who has been a thorn in the Stars side — about 90 minutes before the game when he was called up to the Colorado Avalanche.

That forced San Antonio to sign local guitarist Rick Plester to a ATO as an emergency back-up goalie and, barring a horrific injury, Will was going to play the entire game — no matter what.

And the Stars capitalized on their situation.

Texas scored three goals on its first seven shots and gave Campbell a 3-0 lead before he even faced his second shot.

While he had a porous defense in front of him early, Will probably would have been pulled if he had an AHL back-up goalie behind him.

Travis Morin opened the scoring with a highlight reel goal — one that’ll probably make the pre-game opening video soon — when he shoveled home a rebound while falling and being checked by a San Antonio player.

Less than two minutes later Cory Kane scored his second goal of the year, also on a rebound chance, while Brendan Ranford scored 76 seconds later after a crisp pass from Morin.

Dickinson completed the first-period onslaught when he scored shorthanded later in the frame.

San Antonio, and it’s goalie, started to find it’s game in the second period and outshot Texas 15-14 in the sandwich stanza.

Joey Hishon got San Antonio on the board when he spoiled Campbell’s shutout bid, but Texas countered when Greg Rallo hammered home a pass from Smith.

From there, tempers started to flare and the ‘rivalry’ impact was felt in the Cedar Par Center.

With three minutes left in the period Julius Honka was penalized for charging, which prompted a minor scrum and showdown between Smith and Michael Schumacher.

Smith and Schumacher skated face-to-face for about 45 seconds with the Rampage player holding the Texas forward’s collar. The referee then gave both players a misconduct for ‘inciting,’ which isn’t actually a penalty in the AHL rule book (it is a penalty in the NHL).

The Stars had to weather an early storm from the Rampage in the third period when Andrew Agozzino and Nikita Zadorov scored before Dickinson’s second goal.

While he was beat by Dickinson, Will rebounded after the rough start and stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced in the second and third periods.

San Antonio Rampage sign Austin guitarist to back-up against Texas Stars

The San Antonio Rampage during a game last weekend. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

The San Antonio Rampage during a game last weekend. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

The San Antonio Rampage have signed emergency back-up goalie Rick Plester to an ATO. He will back-up Rampage starter Roman Will tonight against the Texas Stars after Calvin Pickard was recalled by the Colorado Avalanche.

Plester is an Austin resident who had a brief professional hockey career. According to Hockey DB he played two games for the Bakersfield Condors in the WCHL during the 1999-2000 season. He’s also practiced with the Texas Stars before and plays on a frequent basis in Austin’s recreational leagues.

Today, he’s an accomplished guitarist. The following is from his bio at http://www.rickplester.com:

Rick Plester is a producer and touring guitarist residing in Austin Texas. To date Rick has been involved in 121 records as a Producer/Engineer or guitarist working with names such as,The Scorpions/ James Kottak, Kottak Attack, Michael Schenker, George Lynch, Producer Julie Larson, Stevie Wonder, Etta James,Chaka Kahn, Elton John, Steely Dan, Janet Jackson, KD Lang, Anne Lennox, Sarah Maclaian, Lindsey Buckinham, Bjork. Producer Gary Sinclaire, Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vauhan) Wasp, ect……

Texas Stars Morning Skate: Patrick Nemeth excited for chance to play during conditioning stint

Patrik Nemeth will start his conditioning stint with the Texas Stars tonight. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Patrik Nemeth will start his conditioning stint with the Texas Stars tonight. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

CEDAR PARK — Patrik Nemeth didn’t have to skate late with the healthy scratches after a morning skate on Wednesday.

And after watching 14 of the Dallas Stars first 16 games from a press box, Nemeth is looking forward to an opportunity to log heavy minutes during his conditioning stint with the Texas Stars — which starts tonight in a 7:30 p.m. game against the San Antonio Rampage.

“I think it’s going to be great, it’s a lot of games in the amount of time I can be here,” Nemeth said. “It’s really exciting being here. (To) get some games and hopefully play well.”

The conditioning stint is setup with a chance for Nemeth to play seven games in 14 days with Texas. That plan isn’t finalized, but Nemeth said he’ll likely be in the AHL for the full two-week period allowed under the CBA.

“For me, it’s try to get comfortable as soon as a I can,” Nemeth said. “Maybe play simple in the beginning and just find your game.”

He’s expected to be paired with Julius Honka this evening and Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal said Nemeth will be part of the penalty kill.

Nemeth is one of four new additions to the Stars lineup this evening.

Devin Shore is back with the AHL team after his first NHL call-up, Emil Molin will make his AHL debut after being recalled from the Idaho Steelheads, and Jack Campbell will make his first start of the season.

“It feels great, it’s kind of been a waiting game,” Campbell said. “It’s been frustrating, especially having the finger injury because you want to play through it. But there’s possible side effects. It’s just nice to avoid (those), I’ve been patient, and now I’m ready to play.”

Campbell will be backed up by John Muse tonight. Maxime Lagace, who started the past three games, didn’t skate this morning and was having a maintenance day.

Shore said he’s going to rely on his new NHL experience, but he’s not going to change the way he approaches the game.

“I just try to play my game, obviously you embrace the role you’re given,” Shore said. “Whatever level you’re playing you have to make adjustments. But I just focus on playing the same complete game I’ve played my entire life.”

And Shore’s role on Wednesday will be as the second-line center between Jason Dickinson and Matej Stransky.

Remi Elie is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and Justin Dowling has taken his place on the top line.

San Antonio will also be fielding a new-look lineup tonight. Since the team’s met on Saturday, Patrick Bordelau has been suspended three games for a boarding incident, while Andreas Martinsen has been recalled by the Colorado Avalanche.

Stars likely lineup:
Justin Dowling-Travis Morin-Brendan Ranford
Jason Dickinson-Devin Shore-Matej Stransky
Derek Hulak-Gemel Smith-Greg Rallo
Emil Molin-Cory Kane-Branden Troock

Esa Lindell-Stephen Johns
Patrick Nemeth-Julius Honka
Ludwig Bystrom-Jesse Blacker

Jack Campbell

Patrik Nemeth and Devin Shore join Texas Stars before tilt with San Antonio

Patrik Nemeth has joined the Texas Stars on a conditioning stint. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Patrik Nemeth has joined the Texas Stars on a conditioning stint. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Reinforcements are coming for the Texas Stars before tonight’s game with the San Antonio Rampage.

Devin Shore has been reassigned to Texas after a three-game stint in the NHL, while Patrik Nemeth has been assigned to Texas on a conditioning assignment.

Nemeth’s conditioning assignment can last up to 14 days. Theoretically the Swedish defenseman could play seven games during that time before returning to Dallas just before Thanksgiving.

So far Nemeth has only appeared in two games this season for Dallas as the NHL club has carried eight defenseman. This move could also signal that Jamie Oleksiak could join Texas in the future on a similar conditioning stint.

Devin Shore during the Texas Stars season-opening game against the San Antonio Rampage. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Devin Shore during the Texas Stars season-opening game against the San Antonio Rampage. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Shore only missed two games with Texas while he was in the NHL and he’s still Stars leading scorer with 11 points in nine games.

Here is the official release:

FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned forward Devin Shore to the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL), as well as loaned defenseman Patrik Nemeth there on a conditioning assignment.

Nemeth, 23, has appeared in two games this season for Dallas registering three shots on net. Per terms of his loan, his conditioning assignment can span up to 14 days.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden was selected by Dallas in the second round (41st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Shore, 21, appeared in his first three career NHL games with Dallas and posted a +2 plus/minus rating. At the time of his recall on Nov. 1, he sat second in the AHL in goals (8) and tied for sixth in points (8-3=11) in nine games played. The rookie was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 18, the AHL’s first week of the season, as he collected five goals and one assist (5-1=6) in three games played, all road victories.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Ajax, Ontario was selected by Dallas in the second round (61st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.