FRISCO -- Richard Bachman is expected to get the nod in net when the Dallas Stars play at Colorado Sunday night. Backing up will be Tyler Beskorowany. The two young goaltenders will be the guys in goal for the Texas Stars this season, but both are hoping to prove they are NHL ready if the need arises.
“It’s a big season for me. I want to make that next step up to the NHL,” Bachman, a fourth round pick in 2006, said after this morning’s skate in Frisco. “You want to prove you can do it along the way, having a good season and still learning is how you make that step. I want to prove I can do it.”
This will be the 24-year-old Bachman’s first appearance of the preseason. Bachman, who played at Colorado College, is expected to play most of the game, possibly all of it.
“Been watching a few games and just want to get out there and play some hockey,” he said. “It will be a lot of fun going back to Colorado.”
Both Bachman and Beskorowany had their development pushed forward last season after Brent Krahn, then the No. 1 goalie for the Texas Stars, went down with an injury. In Bachman’s case it thrust him into the No.1 position. He responded with an outstanding season. He posted a 28-19-5 record with Texas and ranked fourth in the AHL with a 2.20 goals against average, third with a .927 save percentage and tied for fourth with six shutouts.
“Last year was huge. I gained a lot of confidence, a lot of different experiences,” Bachman said. “Playing a lot of games you see a lot of different things. You learn a lot. Along with the extra confidence, I know I can play a lot of games at that level.”
Beskorowany, 21, started last season with Idaho of the ECHL, where he posted a shutout in his first professional start and put together a 10-5-4 record, 2.35 goals against average and .928 save percentage during his stay there. The injury to Krahn pushed him to the AHL sooner than expected and he played well, posting a 7-8-1 mark, 2.58 goals against average and a .921 save percentage as a backup to Bachman.
“Just getting to know the area, the guys, being in the locker room and getting used to that mentality and that level of speed, I think it helped my development and my progress that much more,” said Beskorowany, a second round pick in 2008.
Like Bachman, he’s looking to make a case that he is ready to take a step forward in his career.
“We’ve got a strong core of goalies here with Kari Lehtonen, Andrew Raycroft, Bachs, me and Jack Campbell, but every year it’s a push, the next step. This year I am pushing for that No.1 job in Austin and some time up here if needed,” Beskorowany said. “Last year I got jumped up one step in my progress but right now I am back on track. I am starting as a backup. Richard has really earned his spot, so I have to really come and push for that spot.”
Beskorowany has had a solid training camp so far. He looked very sharp in the team’s scrimmage at the Charlottetown Civic Centre last Sunday and he was solid in the preseason opener against Montreal, stopping all eight shots he faced in 29:46 of playing time.
“It was quite the way to start off the season. In front of that crowd and quite a few family and friends up there,” said Beskorowany. “It was quite the experience and something I am never going to forget and hopefully there is going to be a lot more of those.”
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan is familiar with both Bachman and Beskorowany. They were his goaltenders last season when he was the head coach with the Texas Stars and he thinks two young netminders give the Stars some strong depth in the goaltending department.
“You look at Richard Bachman, he was in the top four of every category of goaltending statistics in the American Hockey League last year. That’s pretty impressive,” Gulutzan said. “And then you’ve got Besko, who has shown really well in this camp. Having those two guys going into Colorado, it’s good for them. I think goaltending in this organization, with Jack Campbell as well, is pretty solid for a while.”
And that they are pushing each other and pushing hard to make a case for NHL time is good for the organization as well.
“Whenever you have that internal push, it creates some competition and you can maximize some guys’ potential,” Gulutzan said. “Some guys can feel the heat and when they feel the heat they have to work. That’s a real good thing.”