Nilstorp Claims Second Shutout of Season in Return from Injury
CEDAR PARK, Texas – Captain Maxime Fortunus and Chris Mueller each netted two goals and an assist and Christopher Nilstorp turned aside all 19 shots he faced in a game that saw 94 combined penalty minutes as the Texas Stars pounded the Toronto Marlies 6-0 Saturday night in front of 6,068 fans at Cedar Park Center.
The Stars got on the board first when Justin Dowling took the puck halfway around the net from the right side and threw the puck back behind him where Mike Hedden was waiting to punch it home, making it 1-0. Derek Meech was also credited with an assist on the goal, his 100th career AHL assist. Texas finished the period holding onto a 17-10 lead in shots on goal.
Captain Maxime Fortunus extended the Stars’ lead on a 5-on-3 power play goal early in the second when he took a pass in the high slot from Travis Morin and sniped a shot into the top right corner to give Texas a 2-0 lead. The Stars tripled their lead when rookie Curtis McKenzie got his stick on a Fortunus shot from the point and redirected the puck past Toronto goalie Drew MacIntyre. Texas struck again with just 52 seconds remaining in the period on another power play. Fortunus notched his second goal of the game, his fifth of the season, blasting a one-timer by MacIntyre to give the Stars a 4-0 lead. Morin and Sceviour assisted on the goal, each their second assist on the night. Tempers flared in the second period, resulting in six fighting majors and a combined 46 penalty minutes.
Toronto made a goalie switch to start the third, with Garret Sparks coming in to replace MacIntyre. Texas piled on with their fifth goal on a 2-on-1 rush, when Scott Glennie delivered a saucer pass over the defenseman’s stick to Chris Mueller on the left side for a one-timer at 10:02. Mueller notched another goal, this time on the power play, receiving a clever pass from Matej Stransky, maneuvering to the slot and firing a quick wrister over Sparks’ glove and under the crossbar, making the final 6-0.
Cristopher Nilstorp stopped all 19 shots he faced to earn his second shutout of the season, and his 15th win of the year, in his return to action after missing the last three games due to injury. Toronto goalie Drew MacIntyre started the game and had 32 saves on 36 shots through forty minutes and was saddled with the loss. Garret Sparks entered the game at the start of the third period and allowed two goals on 13 shots in a no-decision. The Stars outshot the Marlies 49-19 and went 3-for-11 on the power play. Toronto was 0-for-4 with the man-advantage.
The Stars will continue their current seven-game home stand by taking on the Oklahoma City Barons on Sunday, February 2nd for a 1:00 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. Sunday’s game features $2 Draft Beer, $1 Hot Dogs and fans who attend wearing their favorite sports jersey will receive a $5 discount at the box office. Pro-rated full and partial 2013-14 Texas Stars Season Tickets are on sale now. For more information on Texas Stars season tickets call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.