CEDAR PARK, TX – Cody Eakin recorded his American Hockey League-leading second shorthanded goal of the season, but the Houston Aeros scored three times on the power play on their way to a 5-3 win over the Texas Stars Saturday night at Cedar Park Center.
Houston would put themselves on the board first when a point shot by Drew Bagnall was redirected by Nick Palmieri at the 2:43 of the opening period. Just under three minutes later, right wing Tomas Vincour tied the game by swooping out from behind the Aeros net and stuffing the puck past Houston goaltender Darcy Kuemper for his first goal of the season; Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith assisted on the goal. 61 seconds later Houston center Mikael Granlund found a loose puck off the stick of teammate Jason Zucker and banged it high over the shoulder of Stars goalie Jack Campbell to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Palmieri scored on the power play at 2:57 of the second period, his second goal of the night. A mere 47 seconds later Granlund would score his second goal of the game on another power play to put Houston ahead 4-1. After Granlund’s goal Texas replaced starting goalie Jack Campbell, replacing him with Cristopher Nilstorp at 3:44 of the middle frame. The Stars showed life after the substitution and Travis Morin struck on the power play at 6:10, his first goal of the season, when he tipped home a shot by Jordie Benn; Toby Petersen would also log an assist on the play. However, any momentum the hosts built up was dashed five minutes later as Kris Foucault registered the Aeros’ third power play goal of the period at 13:17, giving Houston a 5-2 lead after forty minutes.
Late in the third period Eakin earned some consolation for Texas as he combined with Vincour and Brenden Dillon on a three-on-one rush to beat Kuemper for a shorthanded goal at 18:59. The shorthanded goal was Eakin’s second of the season, putting him into a tie for the AHL lead in that category.
Darcy Kuemper scored the win in goal for Houston by stopping 24-of-27 shots, while Texas starter Jack Campbell was tagged with the loss as he made eight saves on 12 shots in the first 23:44 of play. Backup Cristopher Nilstorp received a no-decision as he allowed just one goal from 19 shots over the final 36:16 of play. The Aeros out-shot the Stars 31-27 and went 3-for-4 on the power play; Texas was 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
The Texas Stars will close out the weekend at the Cedar Park Center on Sunday, October 21, as they take on the Lake Erie Monsters for the first time this season. Fans can bring their dogs to the game and sit in a specialized “pet friendly” section for the Pucks & Paws event, presented by Farmers Insurance. Dogs can also participate in a Canine Costume Contest during intermission. Pro-rated full and partial 2012-13 season seat packages are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
FULL BOX SCORE
Houston Aeros 5 at Texas Stars 3 – Status: Final
Saturday, October 20, 2012 – Cedar Park Center
Houston 2 3 0 – 5
Texas 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Houston, Palmieri 1 (Bagnall, Larsson), 2:43. 2, Texas, Vincour 1 (Eakin, Smith), 5:35. 3, Houston, Granlund 1 (Zucker), 6:36. Penalties-Palmieri Hou (roughing, roughing), 14:36; Barker Tex (roughing, roughing, cross-checking), 14:36; Bulmer Hou (roughing), 18:00; Sloan Tex (roughing), 18:00.
2nd Period-4, Houston, Palmieri 2 (Brodin, Granlund), 2:57 (PP). 5, Houston, Granlund 2 (Zucker, Scandella), 3:44 (PP). 6, Texas, Morin 1 (Benn, Petersen), 6:10 (PP). 7, Houston, Foucault 1 (Scandella, Granlund), 13:17 (PP). Penalties-Smith Tex (hooking), 0:58; Wathier Tex (interference), 2:57; Larsson Hou (high-sticking), 4:13; Dillon Tex (holding), 12:18.
3rd Period-8, Texas, Eakin 3 (Dillon, Vincour), 18:59 (SH). Penalties-Bagnall Hou (slashing), 10:11; Roussel Tex (holding, misconduct – abuse of officials), 18:04.
Shots on Goal-Houston 8-11-12-31. Texas 7-8-12-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Houston 3 / 4; Texas 1 / 2.
Goalies-Houston, Kuemper 1-0-0 (27 shots-24 saves). Texas, Campbell 1-1-0 (12 shots-8 saves); Nilstorp 1-1-0 (19 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Trent Knorr (44).
Linesmen-Fred Hudy (30), Paul Wilkinson (73).