Stars trade two, acclimate to new team feel

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It didn’t take Justin Peters very long to get acclimated with his new Texas home. 

The veteran goalie sported a Texas Stars cowboy hat after Saturday night’s 2-1 win against San Antonio. He picked up first win in his home debut since joining the team from the Tucson Roadrunners last week.  

“I’m excited about the opportunity here,” the former second-rout draft pick said. “I’ve played here as a visitor a lot so its as nice to be on the home side. Having 6,000 fans here and getting a win, it was a lot of fun.” 

The Stars got Peters and defenseman Justin Hache from the Roadrunners last Thursday and sent forward Brendan Ranford and Branden Troock. 

Goalie Landon Bow, who appeared in 16 games and finished with a 7-7-0 record, a 3.17 goals against average and a .894 save percentage, was assigned to the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. 

Maxime Lagace will be the primary backup, according to Stars head coach Derek Laxdal. In 27 games this year, he is 11-10-3 with a 3.28 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. He’s given up 73 goals this year, seventh worst among eligible goalies. 

“Peters brings that veteran presence to our group back there and our guys are hoping to play a little different in front of him,” Laxdal said. “We’ll play on our toes and play a little more calmly knowing we can get that big save when we need it.

“We know he’s not going to stop every shot, but if we have confidence that our goaltender is going to give us that chance every night, it sure make it a lot easier for our team to play.”

The Stars snapped a five-game losing streak with their win on Saturday night. Peters made 21-of-23 saves on Saturday, one night after making 27 saves in a 3-2 loss on the road against the Rampage Friday night. 

Hache was quick to show his aggressiveness in his first on-ice action with the team, too. He was handed a five-minute major for fighting Saturday night after dropping Rampage defenseman Mason Geertsen towards the end of the first period. 

He was in Cincinnati playing with the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL when he heard he was part of the trade and caught a flight back to Rapid City, South Dakota and drove 21 hours to get to Texas. 

“It’s been great,” he said. “I was happy to hear about the news. It was crazy to get here, but I’m happy to be here. I’m a two-way guy and I can take care of my zone and jump in offensively as well. I try to move the puck well and be hard to play against.”

Peters had a 3.08 goals against average and a .901 save percentage with three shutouts in 83 career NHL games with Carolina, Washington and Arizona and has appeared in more than 270 AHL game with three teams.

Hache, a seventh-round draft pick by the Coyotes in 2012, has one assist in five AHL games for the Roadrunners and two goals and seven assists for Rapid City this season. 

“(Hache) got a huge hit and stood up for himself,” Laxdal said. “He earned a lot of trust from his teammates. He’s a bigger body and I liked the way he played. I’m sure he got the nerves out in the first game and now he’s got a week of practice to get acclimated.”

The Stars continue the second half of the season with a two-game series against the duo’s former team when the Roadrunners come to town Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the middle of a five-game homestead. 

“It’s been a crazy few days leaving my wife and dogs behind in Arizona and jumping on a plane to come here,” Peters said. “It’s been nothing but positive things. The staff and coaches have really made me feel comfortable and I’m happy to be here.”

 

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