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Stars News

Stars Wrangle Rivermen 4-1
Stars Wrangle Rivermen 4-1
Fraser and Smith Each Score Twice for Texas in Physical Win Over Peoria

CEDAR PARK, TX – Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith each scored two goals to lead a relentless offensive performance as the Texas Stars defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-1 in a grueling battle Saturday night at Cedar Park Center.

It was the second meeting in less than a week between the former division rivals, and the bad blood boiled over quickly to begin the first period. Within the opening six minutes of the game, there were three separate bouts as Texas forwards Mike Hedden, Antoine Roussel and Francis Wathier all dropped gloves with Peoria’s Taylor Chorney, Chris Bruton and Anthony Peluso respectively. The Rivermen struck first while down a man as Jaden Schwartz lifted a backhand past Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp at 7:24 to give Peoria a 1-0 lead. The goal was the first shorthanded tally allowed by Texas this season. Reilly Smith answered 36 seconds later for the Stars, taking a rebound from a Cody Eakin shot off the end boards and quickly beating Peoria netminder Jake Allen top shelf to even the score 1-1. Texas out-shot the Rivermen 13-9, and both squads went 0-for-1 on the power play as the contest remained tied at one heading into intermission.

The middle frame was dominated by the hosts as the Stars jumped out to a 3-1 advantage behind the hot hand of their leading goal scorer Matt Fraser. Fraser notched both of Texas’ second period goals, the first coming at 4:01 when he buried a one-timer after a beautiful cross-slot pass from Travis Morin. Next, a rebound from a Morin point shot found Fraser’s stick, and he calmly wristed a forehand by Allen at 8:26 to record his ninth goal of the season. A heated verbal exchange between the two sides closed the session after Peluso appeared to spear Nilstorp. The blow to the midsection dropped the Stars goalie to the ice, but it went unnoticed by the officials. The Stars fired 17 shots in the period while holding the Rivermen to just seven and carried a two-goal cushion into the locker room.

Texas staved off an early third period push by the visitors thanks to another lock-down effort between the pipes by Nilstorp, who made acrobatic stops on multiple Peoria chances to hold the lead. The Stars found themselves with a two-man advantage midway through the frame when Smith delivered once again. A loose rebound bounced to Smith in the right slot and he cashed in upstairs at 11:32, widening the gap to 4-1 and recording his second goal of the night. The Stars killed off a late Rivermen power play to put the victory on ice and have now registered points in 12 of their last 14 games.

Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp earned his eighth win of the season stopping 23-of-24 shots, while Peoria starter Jake Allen managed to turn away 39 of the 43 shots he faced in the loss. Texas out-shot the Rivermen 43-24 in the game and finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Peoria went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Texas returns to action Friday, December 14th as it travels to British Columbia for a two-game weekend set with the Abbotsford Heat at 9:00 p.m. CST at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Spots Centre. The Stars’ next home game is scheduled for Wednesday, December 19th against the San Antonio Rampage at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center for another Winning Wednesday and H-E-B Night. 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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