Fraser Scores Twice, Sceviour Tallies Three Assists as Texas Earns a Point
CEDAR PARK, TX – Matt Fraser scored two goals and Colton Sceviour added three assists, but Jonathan Cheechoo’s three point night led the Oklahoma City Barons to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Texas Stars Saturday night at Cedar Park Center.
A pair of recent additions to the Texas roster teamed up on the power play to open the scoring. Defenseman Jacob Johnston ripped a shot from the point that was stopped by Oklahoma City goaltender Niko Hovinen. Colton Sceviour then won a battle for the rebound in front of the net and slipped the puck into space, where Doug Jones was able to corral it. Jones then lifted a backhander over Hovinen’s glove at 12:15 to put the Stars in front 1-0. The goal was Jones’ first career AHL goal, while Johnston’s assist was his first career professional point. Texas netminder Cristopher Nilstorp was solid between the pipes, turning away all nine Barons shots in the opening frame.
The Barons retaliated with two quick goals in the second period to claim the lead. Jonathan Cheechoo took a quick pass from Philippe Cornet just above the goal line and one-timed the puck between Nilstorp and the near post just 38 seconds into the period. Oklahoma City took a 2-1 at 4:20 of the middle frame on a goal from Martin Marincin. The Barons defenseman stepped out of the penalty box, took a long outlet pass and raced in on the Texas net. Nilstorp made the initial save, but Marinna scooped up the puck, skated around the back of the net and tucked it inside the far post. Texas answered back, as Travis Morin sent leading scorer Matt Fraser off on a breakaway and he sniped a wrister under Hovinen’s blocker to even the contest at two. A mere 98 seconds later Justin Dowling gave the Stars a 3-2 lead when he dug the puck off the far right boards, skated all the way through slot and beat Hovinen’s blocker upstairs to record his ninth goal of the year at 11:54. The Barons found the equalizer with 25 seconds left in the period when a Colton Teubert rising slap shot from the blue line beat a screened Nilstorp. The teams entered the final period with the score knotted at three and the visitors leading Texas 19-16 in the shot column.
Fraser and Sceviour joined forces once again at 9:17 to put the Stars back on top 4-3. On a designed faceoff play, Sceviour found Fraser at the top of the left circle and his one-timer zipped past the glove of Hovinen. The tally was Fraser’s second of the night, 26th of the season, and was Sceviour’s third assist of the game. Oklahoma City refused to go away and tied the game with a power play goal from Cheechoo, his second of the contest, at 11:02. Regulation ended with no further scoring, sending the game into overtime with both squads having earned at least a point.
An up-and-down overtime session saw a potential hat trick and game-winning goal by Fraser negated by a late Jace Coyle slashing penalty. Texas then killed the ensuing Barons four-on-three power play and forced a shootout thanks to some solid penalty killing and a few timely saves by Nilstorp. In the shootout, Josh Green and Mark Acrobello each scored on Nilstorp, and Hovinen denied all four Texas shooters he faced to give Oklahoma City a 5-4 road victory.
Oklahoma City starter Niko Hovinen stopped 22-of-26 Texas shots and denied all four Stars shootout attempts. Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp made 25 saves on 29 Barons shots through regulation and overtime and kept out 2-of-4 shootout attempts in the loss. Oklahoma City outshot the Stars 30-26 and went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Texas was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
The Stars continue their five-game home stand on Tuesday, March 8th when they host the Chicago Wolves for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff for another H-E-B night at Cedar Park Center. 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.