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Hockey is Back – Dallas Stars Open Traverse City Against Detroit Red Wings

Dallas Stars Lineup

Matthew Seminoff (43) – Logan Stankoven (11) – Matěj Blümel (25)(A)
Antonio Stranges (71) – Mavrik Bourque (22)(A) – Kyle McDonald (40)
Francesco Arcuri (54) – Oskar Bäck (37)(C) – Chase Wheatcroft (48)
Justin Ertel (62) – Brad Gardiner (45) – Angus MacDonell (46)

Lian Bichsel (6) – Christian Kyrou (38)
Gavin White (74) – Artem Grushnikov (59)
Tristan Bertucci (42) – Jacob Murray (67)

Remi Poirier (31)
Bryan Thomson (50)

Period 1

The Red Wings came out in control, working a cycle game against the young Stars team. Detroit put one off the pipe early on, and kept up the pressure. The effort paid off at 7:56 when Elmer Soderblom found clear ice in the high crease and put a wrister past Stars netminder, Remi Poirier.

Poirier kept the team in the game through the middle of the period, stopping several odd man rushes.

Chase Wheatcroft took a crosscheck in the defensive zone at 12:41, putting the Stars on the penalty kill for the first time – using a unit of Bourque, Ertel, Bischel and Murray. Detroit couldn’t generate much early on, but Bourque took a trip on a rush chance, leaving Dallas down two men for well over a minute.

The defense held tough, and with the second penalty expiring, a bump pass out of the defensive zone by Blümel set up White (plus trailers) on a breakout that he put past Red Wing starter Sebastian Cossa at 15:25.

The Stars kept up the momentum, and it paid off when Murray forced a neutral zone turnover, settled the puck and hit a streaking Seminoff entering the zone with speed through center. Seminoff finished off the play from the high slot, giving Dallas its first lead, 2-1 at 16:54.

After two quick tallies, the Stars took the momentum and the lead into the locker room at the end of the first period.

Period 2

Detroit came out in the second the same way they opened the game – tough on the forecheck and cycling the puck in the Dallas zone.

Two minutes into the period, Arcuri put the puck in Bäck’s skates on the rush, and the Red Wing’s Connor Punnett lowered the shoulder and put Bäck hard into the ice. It was a borderline hit, but Grushnikov took him to task for it (and took a fist to the back of his head for the trouble). Ultimately, Bäck was helped off the ice and the teams skated 5×5 in the aftermath – but Bäck was lost for the game.

The Stars got on the board again off a Detroit turnover at their offensive blue line. Arcuri and Wheatcroft worked a solid give and go (with Bourque on the other wing), and Wheatcroft buried one from the right circle to finish off the 3-1 break.

Dallas got on their first power play when MacDonell drew a hook after a breakout stretch pass. First unit was comprised of Bourque, Stankoven, Wheatcroft and McDonald, with Kyrou running the point. Play was mostly uneventful until the Stars got called for a high sticking double minor just over a minute in.

The Stars made it most of the way through both penalties, but Ertel took a slap shot off the shin, and then recovering to get back in the lane, a second slapper ricocheted off his stick and past Poirier to make it a one goal game, 3-2.

Bichsel agitated his way into drawing a roughing penalty with just over five minutes left (and drawing the Michigan crowd into a chorus of boos – which they maintained whenever Bichsel touched the puck for the remainder of the game). The second power play unit started – Gardiner, Arcuri, Blümel and Stranges with Bichsel at the point.

Not much more to report for the rest of the period. The Dallas power play never synced up, even giving up a high danger shorthanded attempt. The Red Wings carried play, but the Stars had a handful of break opportunities.

Period 3

The third period played out much the same way as the end of the second. Detroit possessed the puck, with Dallas looking to counter. Poirier kept everything in front of him, and the Stars were able to grind the game down to the last few minutes while maintaining their one goal lead.

The Red Wings pulled the goaltender with two minutes left in the game. Dallas made them pay when Stankoven stole a puck in the crease and then fed Blümel as he headed up the left wing. Blümel buried it from center ice and that was that. Stars win, 4-2.


Poirier was the obvious first star of the game. Elmer Soderblom and a few Detroit defensive prospects (plus Bichsel) probably round out the top three (if not five).

With Back out, Stankoven and Bourque took extra shifts at center, which blended line to a degree – but for the most part, the lines and pairs that started the game finished the game the same way.

Bichsel was noticeable. He stick handles more than I expected – but he needs to get a better feel for stick pressure. Frankly, if Bichsel is going to be moving the puck, he probably shouldn’t be paired with Kyrou – who ended up taking a backseat for much of the game. I’d like to see him with Murray, who is the old man of this young defensive group.

Dallas pushes action on the rush, and they have quite a few guys who can put the puck in the net. They have a tendency to over stick handle, but when they skate and pass, they’re dangerous. First game jitters, perhaps for the group – but Stankoven stood out for calmness under pressure. After one game, the forwards as a group appear to do best when they carry the action out of the defensive zone. Kyrou could help here – he has shown it in the past.

The opening game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets moved from the Molon Rink to the secondary Davids Rink at the Center Ice Arena when a divot formed in the Zamboni corner well into the first period. Ultimately, Columbus prevailed 7-3 – with a lineup that looks to be stacked.

The Stars return to action on Friday at 5:30pm CDT against Toronto.

Source : Defending Big