UTICA, NY – Mike Hedden had a goal and an assist and goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp turned aside 28-of-29 shots to lead the Texas Stars to a 2-1 road win over the Utica Comets Saturday night at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Mike Hedden opened the scoring at the midway point of the first period, tipping-in a shot from William Wrenn at 9:56. Wrenn and Hubert Labrie both had assists on the goal, which extended Hedden’s current point streak to eight games. The Comets answered back with just 1:07 left in the period as Frank Corrado sent a cross-ice pass to Alexandre Grenier and the rookie’s shot from the left circle beat Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp to tie the game at one.
The Stars entered the contest with the AHL’s top-rated power play and they received their first opportunity of the night at 3:29 of the second period when Utica captain Colin Stuart was whistled for interference. With 27 seconds left on the man-advantage, rookie Matej Stransky fought off a scramble at the top of the crease and swept a loose puck into the open net for his third goal of the season, assisted by Justin Dowling and Hedden, to give Texas a 2-1 lead.
The Comets turned up the pressure on the Stars, out-shooting Texas 11-5 in the third period, but Nilstorp came up big time and time again to preserve the 2-1 victory.
Cristopher Nilstorp finished with 28 saves on 29 shots in goal for Texas to record his third win of the season. Joacim Eriksson took the loss for Utica, while stopping 21-of-23 shots. The Comets out-shot the Stars 29-23 and went 0-for-2 on the power play; Texas was 1-for-1 on the man-advantage.