Reilly Smith Notches Goal, Assist as Texas Wins I-35 Showdown
CEDAR PARK, TX – Cristopher Nilstorp tallied his third shutout of the season stopping 27 shots and Reilly Smith added a goal and an assist as the Texas Stars blanked the San Antonio Rampage 2-0 Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center.
Texas continued its recent trend of scoring first when Reilly Smith quickly put the Stars in front 1-0 at 5:45. Smith blocked a clearing attempt by San Antonio captain Nolan Yonkman, skated to the middle of the slot and lifted a smooth backhand over the glove of Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom to notch an unassisted goal, his seventh of the season. The Stars just missed an opportunity to extend the lead during the frame’s only power play when Tomas Vincour rang a one-timer off the post halfway through the period. Texas outshot the visitors 7-6 and went into intermission with a 1-0 advantage.
After a scoreless second period, Texas wasted little time taking control of the contest. Reilly Smith again blocked a clearing attempt and then found Alex Chiasson by himself in between the hash marks. Chiasson collected the pass and snapped a hard wrister through Markstrom’s legs at 1:02 for a 2-0 advantage. The Stars found themselves on a 5-on-3 disadvantage just minutes later but smothered the Rampage attack and bringing the Cedar Park Center faithful to their feet with a crucial penalty kill. With just more than six minutes remaining in the final period, Jamie Oleksiak leveled San Antonio winger Jon Rheault against the boards. Defenseman Alex Petrovic then dropped gloves with Oleksiak and found himself planted on the ice as well after a flurry of powerful punches by the Texas rookie, earning another standing ovation. The Stars rode the ensuing momentum to the finish line, capping off a 2-0 victory and improving to 4-0 against the Rampage this season.
Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp earned his tenth win of the season and his third shutout, stopping all 27 shots he faced, while San Antonio starter Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves on 23 shots in the loss. A late San Antonio rally allowed them to finish with a 27-23 advantage in the shots column. Both squads finished 0-for-3 on the power play.
Texas heads back on the road for a two-game weekend set with the Oklahoma City Barons beginning Friday, December 21st at 7:00 p.m. at Cox Convention Center. The Stars’ next home game is scheduled for Thursday, December 27th against Oklahoma City at 7:30 p.m. 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.