Stars Earn a Point to Remain in Second Place of South Division
HOUSTON, TX – Kyle Medvec broke a 3-3 tie with the overtime-winning goal as the Houston Aeros held off the Texas Stars 4-3 Wednesday night at Toyota Center. The Stars earned a point in the overtime loss to maintain sole possession of second place in the South Division, one point ahead of Houston.
Just 1:16 into the game Stars starting goalie Cristopher Nilstorp had an equipment issue for which referee Dave Lewis would not allow a delay. So backup Jack Campbell was forced to come into the game and played 27 seconds, the next whistle, and then went back to the bench as Nilstorp returned to action. The first period took a very defensive feel early on, as the two teams combined for just one shot on goal in the first seven minutes of play. Then a sudden defensive lapse gave the Aeros a two-on-one and Houston forward Mikael Granlund finished it off with a fierce wrist shot from the between the faceoff circles over the glove of Cristopher Nilstorp at 7:28. Texas responded at 13:08 as Matt Fraser dug a loose puck off the pads of goalie Matt Hackett and slipped it into the net for his team-leading 11th goal of the season, assisted by Colton Sceviour and Jordie Benn. After not registering a shot on goal for the first ten minutes of play, Texas led in shots 8-4 at the end of the first period.
The Stars came out in the second period and seemed to have the upper hand early on. Against the run of play Nick Palmieri put the Aeros back in front at 3:31, lifting a backhand shot past Nilstorp. Texas again answered back, this time with a power play goal from Cody Eakin. The Stars’ leading scorer took a pass from Alex Chiasson and Reilly Smith and, from a very sharp angle, one-timed the puck past Matt Hackett from just below the right faceoff circle at 8:48. Houston struck back with a power play goal of its own late in the frame as Charlie Coyle blasted a one-timer into the net from Mikael Granlund at 17:05 for a 3-2 Aeros lead.
Texas tied the game at 6:24 of the third period, although it took a video review for the goal to count. Antoine Roussel raced down the left wing and beat Hackett with a low backhand that was cleared off the goal line by a Houston defender. The goal light did not come on and play continued, but after the next whistle the referee went to the video review and eventually awarded the goal to Roussel and the Stars.
In overtime Houston defenseman Kyle Medvec, who did not have a shot on goal in regulation, jumped into the offense at the right time and swept in a rebound on the back door at 2:15 of the extra session to win the game for the Aeros.
Matt Hackett stopped 27-of-30 shots to record the victory for Houston, while Cristopher Nilstorp made 25 saves on 29 shots in the loss for Texas. Jack Campbell did not face a shot on goal in 27 second of action early in the first period. The Stars out-shot the Aeros 30-29 in the game and went 1-for-2 on the power play; Houston was 1-for-1 on the man-advantage.
The Stars now return home to face the Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27th against at Cedar Park Center. Thursday’s game is an H-E-B Night, a $3 Beer Night and features a post-game open ice session. 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.
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Photo credit: Morris Molina – Houston Aeros