Button Scores Second AHL Goal to Salvage Point for Texas
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Defenseman Ryan Button scored his second career AHL goal with 1:40 left in regulation to force overtime helping the Texas Stars earn a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the San Antonio Rampage Friday night at AT&T Center.
Rookie Brett Ritchie gave Texas an early lead when he scored a power play goal at 4:55. Chris Mueller and Brendan Ranford executed a clever give-and-go along the left wing boards, creating space for Mueller to fire a shot on goal that went off the pads of goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Ritchie was in perfect position to one-time the rebound into the open net for his fifth goal of the season. At the other end of the ice the Stars’ penalty kill was in strong form, helping goalie Cristopher Nilstorp to deny three first period Rampage power plays.
Rampage captain Greg Rallo tied the game at one just 79 seconds into the second period, ripping a one-timer from the left circle between Nilstorp and the far post. Texas continued to bombard Markstrom in the San Antonio goal, out-shooting the Rampage 15-6 in the frame, but could not find the go-ahead goal.
In the third period, Wade Megan gave the Rampage a 2-1 lead with his first goal of the year, beating Nilstorp on a shot from the slot through traffic. The Stars would continue to be stymied by Markstrom, but their persistence eventually paid off. With just 1:40 left in regulation, defenseman Ryan Button blasted in a slap shot from the right point to tie the game and force overtime. It was Buttons’ second career AHL goal, assisted by Jamie Oleksiak and Francis Wathier.
After a scoreless overtime, where Texas had to stave off another San Antonio power play, the game went to a shootout. Denny Urban and Bobby Butler scored for the Rampage and Markstrom stopped all four attempts he faced to win the game for San Antonio.
Jacob Markstrom finished the game with 45 saves on 47 shots, along with going 4-for-4 in the shootout, to record his fifth victory of the season in goal for San Antonio. Cristopher Nilstorp turned in another fine performance for Texas, stopping 32-of-34 shots through regulation and overtime, then denying 2-of-4 shootout attempts. The Stars out-shot the Rampage 47-35 in the game and went 1-for-5 on the power play; San Antonio was 0-for-6 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars now return home to face San Antonio on Saturday, December 28th with a 7:00 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. Saturday’s game against the Rampage is another Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night, a Coke Zero Family Four Pack Night and is the 2014 Texas Stars Calendar Giveaway night presented by The Parking Spot. 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.
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