For those fans anticipating the return of Justin Dowling (and hockey in general) for next season, your wait is over. The Texas Stars announced today that they have signed the high energy center to an AHL contract for the 2013-2014 season. Dowling's arrival last season was noticeable from the start, contributing a stellar 30 points in 38 games. He is also a disciplined player, incurring only four penalty minutes. You can read the press release here:
CEDAR PARK, TX – The Texas Stars announced today that center Justin Dowling has signed a standard American Hockey League contract for the 2013-14 season.
Dowling, 22, appeared in 38 games for Texas during the 2012-13 season, recording 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists), a plus-16 rating and just four penalty minutes. The Cochrane, Alberta native finished the year tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4), ranked second in shooting percentage (15.8%) and points-per-game average (0.79) and was third in goals. Dowling made his Stars debut on January 12, 2013 vs. San Antonio, but failed to register any points in his first three games. He did not take long to catch fire, however, notching seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in his next five games, including a two-assist game on January 18th at Chicago and tallying the sixth hat trick in franchise history on January 26th vs. San Antonio. It was the only hat trick by a Texas player in the 2012-13 season. Dowling made his Calder Cup Playoff debut on April 26th at Milwaukee, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, and appeared in all nine of the Stars’ post-season games. He was tied for second on the team with four points (1 goal, 3 assists) during the playoffs.
Dowling began last season with the Idaho Steelheads, the Stars’ ECHL affiliate, racking up 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists) in 34 games. He was leading Steelheads and ranked second overall in the ECHL in both assists and points when he was called up to Texas and signed to an AHL contract on January 7, 2013. Dowling now enters his third professional season in 2013-14 with 106 points (37 goals, 69 assists) in 128 career pro games under his belt, including 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 68 AHL contests.