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Monday, December 13, 2010
Texas Stars/Idaho Steelheads Report

By Mark Stepneski

The past week

The Texas Stars played five games in six days over the past week and went 3-2-0. The Stars are now 16-10-2 on the season and are in fifth place in the West Division based on both points and points percentage.

The Stars wrapped up a seven-game homestand with a 5-2 win over Manitoba on Tuesday. Sean Backman had one goal, one assist and a plus-three rating in the game. Ray Sawada and Francis Wathier  were among the goal scorers. Richard Bachman stopped 26 of 28 shots for the Stars, who the finished the homestand with a 4-1-2 mark.

The Stars opened a four-game road trip on Wednesday and lost 8-5 at Rockford. Tomas Vincour, Luke Gazdic and Sawada were among the goal scorers for Texas. With Bachman called up to Dallas, Tyler Beskorowany got the start in goal and stopped 30 of 37 shots.

Beskorowany made 44 saves on Friday as the Stars won 4-3 at Grand Rapids. Travis Morin had a goal and an assist and Backman, Mathieu Tousignant and Greg Rallo also scored for Texas.

Morin scored in overtime and Beskorowany made 33 saves to the lead the Stars to a 3-2 victory in Milwaukee on Saturday. Backman and Colton Sceviour scored in regulation for Texas.

The Stars ended the trip with a 4-2 loss at Grand Rapids Sunday afternoon. Morin and Sawada scored goals. Beskorowany stopped 37 of 40 shots.

The week ahead

Tuesday December 14, vs. Manitoba
Friday December 17, at San Antonio
Saturday December 18, vs. Hamilton

Catching up with Richard Bachman

A bus trip to a game in Rockford, Illinois took an interesting turn for Texas Stars goalie Richard Bachman last week.

“They called me up to the front of the bus and told me I was going back to Chicago and basically threw me off at the side of the road,” said Bachman. “I caught a cab back to the city and they went on to Rockford.”

A few hours later Bachman was on the bench at the United Center, backing up Andrew Raycroft as the Dallas Stars took on the Chicago Blackhawks. Bachman, who was called up to the NHL due to an injury to Kari Lehtonen, was in a Dallas uniform for the first time in a regular season game.

“It was exciting, really exciting,” said Bachman. “I was just taking it in, their national anthem there in Chicago and all that. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.”

Soaked in what was happening on the ice as well.

“The pace of the game and how much different it is and how much smarter guys are,” he said. “There’s not a great deal of difference, but everything happens a half second faster.  You just sort of pick up on that stuff. It was fun to watch.”

But the fun turned to some nervous anticipation when Chicago took a 4-1 lead early in the second period. Bachman started to wonder if a goaltending change might be on the horizon. It wasn’t, at least not on this night.

That would come a few days later in Phoenix, when the Stars fell behind 5-1 to the Coyotes with 9:35 left in the game. Bachman relieved Raycroft, made his NHL debut and stopped all four shots he faced, including a two-on-one chance by Martin Hanzal and three more while Phoenix was on a power play.

It was a nice debut for the 23-year-old Bachman, who is in his second year of professional hockey.

Bachman, a fourth round pick (120th overall) in 2006, played two years at Colorado College. He made his pro debut last season with Idaho of the ECHL, posting a league-best 2.28 goals against average, .910 save percentage and 22-7-4 record.

This season, he took over the No.1 job for Texas after Brent Krahn was injured and has posted a 9-4-1 record with a 2.01 goals against average a .931 save percentage. He’s fifth in goals against average and sixth in save percentage in the AHL.

“I’ve had an opportunity to play and been kind of getting in a rhythm there,” said Bachman. “I’m trying to take advantage of it. I’ve been having a little bit of success along the way.”

Notes
Transactions
Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads lost a pair of games to Las Vegas last week and are now 11-7-5 on the season. The Steelheads are currently in the second place in the Mountain Division. Idaho plays four games this week, hosting Victoria twice and then playing two games at Las Vegas.

Here are the statistics for the Texas Stars and Dallas players in Idaho.