HOUSTON, TX – Cristopher Nilstorp made 25 saves for his 13th win of the season and rookie Alex Chiasson scored the game-winning goal as the Texas Stars took down the Houston Aeros 2-1 Friday night at Toyota Center.
Playing in their first game of 2013, the Stars rang in the New Year with an early goal as Jordie Benn’s wrist shot from the blue line eluded all the traffic in front and beat goalie Matt Hackett to give Texas at 1-0 lead at 5:36, assisted by Scott Glennie. Three minutes later Patrik Nemeth was whistled for high-sticking only for the Stars to hold off the potent Houston power play. Texas had a chance to double its lead with a late man-advantage, but was unable to beat Hackett a second time.
The Aeros took advantage of an early Stars penalty to Jamie Oleksiak for tripping as defenseman Chay Genoway blasted a shot off the left post and in just 1:48 into the second period. Texas would respond with their second power play later in the frame Cody Eakin smartly slid a pass across the crease to find Alex Chiasson on the back door at 13:07. The goal, also assisted by CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for December Reilly Smith, was Chiasson’s sixth of the season and it gave the Stars a 2-1 lead.
In the third period Hackett and Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp were called upon to make key saves. Hackett was the busier netminder and had to be at his best late in the game to stop Eakin when the Stars center raced down the left wing, turned the corner on Kris Fredheim and fired a low wrist shot. The Aeros pulled their goalie in the final minute but hardly forced another save for Nilstorp as the Stars held on for a 2-1 win.
Cristopher Nilstorp finished with 25 saves on 26 shots and was named the game’s first star as he recorded his 13th win of the season and Texas’ first win of 2013. Matt Hackett stopped 29-of-31 shots but took the loss in goal for Houston. The Stars out-shot the Aeros 31-26 and went 1-for-2 on the power play; Houston was 1-for-5 on the man-advantage.
The Stars return home for two games at Cedar Park Center this weekend. Saturday, January 5th at 7:00 p.m. Texas battles the Peoria Rivermen and Sunday, January 6th Houston is in town for a 5:00 p.m. faceoff. Saturday’s home game is a Family Four Pack Night and is the Stars Team Card Set Giveaway, while Sunday’s game features the second of four Stars Player Magnet Giveaways. 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.
FINAL BOX SCORE
Texas Stars 2 at Houston Aeros 1 – Status: Final
Friday, January 4, 2013 – Toyota Center
Texas 1 1 0 – 2
Houston 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Texas, Benn 5 (Glennie), 5:36. Penalties-Nemeth Tex (high-sticking), 8:46; Granlund Hou (holding), 17:57.
2nd Period-2, Houston, Genoway 4 (Zucker, Granlund), 1:48 (PP). 3, Texas, Chiasson 6 (Eakin, Smith), 13:07 (PP). Penalties-Oleksiak Tex (tripping), 0:46; McMillan Hou (interference), 11:46; Eakin Tex (hooking), 19:26.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hedden Tex (tripping), 3:09; Nemeth Tex (high-sticking), 8:33.
Shots on Goal-Texas 13-7-11-31. Houston 5-9-12-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Texas 1 / 2; Houston 1 / 5.
Goalies-Texas, Nilstorp 13-10-0 (26 shots-25 saves). Houston, Hackett 13-10-3 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Pierre Lambert (39).
Linesmen-John Grandt (98), Paul Wilkinson (73).