The Stars defeated the league-leading Abbotsford Heat 3-1 in British Columbia tonight to open a weekend set with the Calgary farm team. Texas scored first in this one off the stick of Reilly Smith. After the Heat evened it up, Taylor Vause scored his first of the year and Cody Eakin his eighth to set the score at 3-1. Cristopher Nilstorp and the Texas defense endured a harrowing final four minutes, including a brief 6-on-3 advantage for the home club. Over that period, Texas played possibly the best team defense since its inaugural season.
With the win, the Stars extended their record to 5-0 in games where they score first. The Stars are 7-1-1-0 in their last nine games and on a five game point streak.
Texas and Abbotsford skated to a scoreless first period, only managing nine shots between the two clubs.
The Stars opened the scoring in the second period on their third power play of the period. The goal came straight off the faceoff from the stick of Reilly Smith, who jammed it home in a net mouth scramble. The rookie's sixth of the year was assisted by Tomas Vincour and pivot man Cody Eakin.
Brady Lamb answered back seven minutes later. T.J. Brodie made some nice moves down low to avoid Texas defenders and then kicked the puck out to the point. Lamb scored his first professional goal to tie things at one all.
Not to be outdone, Texas's rookie Vause popped in his first of the year just four minutes later. Vause tucked the puck just under the crossbar behind a sprawled Danny Taylor. His fourth line compatriots, Antoine Roussel and Mike Hedden, assisted on the tally.
The Stars capped off a solid second period with another excellent goal from their top line. Alex Chiasson swooped around the Heat net clockwise and backhanded the puck at the cage. Cody Eakin tipped the shot past the tender for the 3-1 lead.
The Stars needed a gargantuan effort to keep that 3-1 score as the final. Already down a man, Dillon went to the box as well. Abbotsford pulled goalie Danny Taylor and held a 6-on-3 advantage for 30 seconds. Taylor would not play another second for the rest of the game. The Heat could not get through the brick wall of the Texas defense and Cristopher Nilstorp.
The Heat and Stars faceoff again tomorrow at 9:00 PM Central time.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Gazdic, Sloan (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 3,700.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Abbotsford - December 14 2012