Chiasson’s Three-Point Game Leads Texas to Comeback Win
TORONTO, ON – Rookie Alex Chiasson had a goal and two assists to lead the Texas Stars to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Toronto Marlies Sunday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum. The win keeps Texas in first place overall in the American Hockey League with 63 points.
The Marlies had a dream start to the game as a Luke Gazdic giveaway in the defensive zone went right onto the stick of Toronto captain Ryan Hamilton, who quickly snapped the puck over the glove of an unsuspecting Cristopher Nilstorp just 1:18 into the game. The Marlies would have doubled their lead midway through the period on a five-on-three power play, but, when Tim Connolly’s shot slipped behind Nilstorp, Jordie Benn cleared the puck off the goal line to keep Texas within one. Shortly after the Stars killed off Toronto’s two-man advantage rookie Alex Chiasson tied the game with his 12th goal of the season. Chiasson was in perfect position to the right of the Marlies crease to bang home the rebound when Mike Hedden’s shot kicked off the pads of Toronto goalie Mark Owuya at 15:51; Hedden and Gord Baldwin assisted on the goal. A mere 35 seconds later Colton Sceviour thought he gave Texas the lead as he backhanded a rebound into the open net, only to have it waived off as Gazdic was whistled for a charging penalty.
The second period belonged to the Stars. They out-shot the Marlies 15-6 in the middle frame, even while killing off two more Toronto power plays and a little more five-on-three time. Justin Dowling gave Texas a 2-1 lead with a stunning goal when he raced down the right wing and lifted a backhand from a sharp angle over the shoulder of Owuya and into the top left corner of the net at 17:42. The goal was assisted by Chiasson and Carl Sneep and put the visitors in the lead 2-1.
Texas grabbed a much-needed insurance goal 68 seconds into the third period and Jordie Benn found Hedden with a beautiful feed and Hedden redirected the pass off the underside of the crossbar and in for his third goal of the season. Chiasson picked up a second assist on the goal for his third point of the game. Toronto made things interesting at the 9:02 mark when Greg McKegg lifted a third chance rebound over Nilstorp to cut the lead to 3-2. The Marlies would pull Owuya with a full two minutes left in regulation, but the Stars were able to dig in and hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 23-of-25 shots to record his 17th win of the season in goal for Texas, while Mark Owuya had 30 saves on 33 shots in the loss for Toronto. The Stars out-shot the Marlies 33-25 in the game and went 0-for-3 on the power play. Texas’ penalty kill produced a herculean effort by holding the Toronto power play to 0-for-7.
The Texas Stars now return home for a three-game home stand beginning on Tuesday, February 12th, as they host the Houston Aeros for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff 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.
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