Perfect Power Play and Fraser’s Two Points Propel Stars To Third Straight Victory Over Aeros
CEDAR PARK, TX – Matt Fraser notched a goal and an assist and the Texas Stars went 2-for-2 on the power play, recording their fourth straight win with a 4-1 victory over the Houston Aeros Friday night at Cedar Park Center.
Houston struck first with a Kyle Medvec goal at 6:30 to take a 1-0 lead. Nick Petersen zipped a pass from behind the net, through the slot and between three Texas defenders to a charging Medvec who beat Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp’s glove with a one-timer. Texas evened the contest at one with Matt Fraser’s team-leading 15th goal of the season at 13:02. With Aeros forward Jason Zucker in the penalty box for high-sticking, Colton Sceviour’s backhand pass found a wide-open Fraser in the right faceoff circle. The Stars’ leading goal scorer fired the puck into the net before Houston goalie Matt Hackett could get across, tying the game with a power play goal. The Stars held the visitors to just five first period shots while unloading 11 of their own and converted on their only power play opportunity of the frame.
Midway through the second session Texas cashed in with the man advantage again to grab a 2-1 lead. Travis Morin collected a rebound off the end boards and recorded his second assist of the contest when Jordie Benn took his centering pass and jammed the puck past Hackett at 8:49. Fraser also assisted on the goal to score his second point of the night. With less than a minute remaining, Jamie Oleksiak’s long outlet pass connected with a streaking Antoine Roussel at the blue line and Roussel beat the blocker of Hackett on a breakaway to put the Stars ahead 3-1. Texas’ defense was stingy throughout as the Stars outshot the Aeros 15-4 in the middle period to earn a two-goal cushion.
Texas continued to command the action in the third period and after managing just three shots on goal, a desperate Houston squad pulled Hackett at 17:23 to try and gain an offensive spark. Cody Eakin took advantage as he was tackled by defenseman Paul Mara and still managed to sweep the puck into the empty net at 18:53. Eakin’s goal, his 12th of the season, sealed a 4-1 Stars victory. It was their third straight win against the Aeros and the team’s fourth in a row overall.
Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 12-of-13 shots to earn his 15th win of the year, while Houston starter Matt Hackett turned away 35-of-38 shots in the loss. The Stars outshot the visitors 39-13 and finished 2-for-2 on the power play, while the Aeros went 1-for-2 with the man advantage. With the victory the Stars have now earned at least a point in their last six meetings with Houston (4-0-2-0).
Texas gets back to work on Saturday, January 12th against the San Antonio Rampage for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff at Cedar Park Center. Pink in the Rink Weekend presented by Cedar Park Regional Medical Center continues Saturday as the game-worn pink ribbon jerseys will be auctioned off. Saturday night is another Family Four Pack Night and is the Pink in the Rink Puck Giveaway courtesy of the Stars and Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. Also on Saturday the Stars will continue hosting the Health & Lifestyle Expo around the concourse at Cedar Park Center. Doors will be open 30 minutes earlier, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s vendors include: Vitalogy Skincare, Silverleaf, NextCare and Liberty Mutual. 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.