‘The bat­tles are tough here, and the emo­tions are high, but I like that.’

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS BRIEFING - Cristo­pher Nil­storp,

Texas Stars goal­tender five shutouts in 54 games for Fär­jes­tads BK dur­ing its Swedish hockey sea­son’s cham­pi­onship year in 2011-12. He was Team Swe­den’s No. 3 goalie at the 2012 IIHF World Cham­pi­onship, where he caught the eye of Dal­las Stars Gen­eral Man­ager Joe Nieuwendyk.

At a rangy 6 feet 4 inches, Nil­storp is de­cep­tively quick to the puck and sur­pris­ingly tough. When op­pos­ing cen­ters lean back into the crease against him, he is not afraid to mix it up with them and push back. In North Amer­ica, the game is really played in a NorthSouth style. Here, things hap­pen quicker, mag­ni­fy­ing mis­takes and pro­duc­ing con­stant pres­sure.

“The bat­tles are tough here, and the emo­tions are high, but I like that,” Nil­storp said. “Even with all the dif­fer­ences and things I am still learn­ing, I think the game here is more fun to play as a goal­tender. Here, they will shoot from any­where, so I have to al­ways be ready.”

Nil­storp, the third old­est player on the Stars’ ros­ter, is in a dif­fer­ent stage in his life from most of his team­mates. He’s played pro hockey long enough to have that calm­ness and com­po­sure about him, and even though he is not a vo­cal leader, those at­tributes add to the team.

“Things are go­ing bet­ter and bet­ter,” Nil­storp said. “It was dif­fi­cult at the start, es­pe­cially in the size of the ice. Some­times it feels like a com­pletely dif­fer­ent game — the play­ers are stronger, and they shoot bet­ter and faster. I am still work­ing on get­ting com­fort­able.”

Cristo­pher Nil­storp, at age 28, is an Amer­i­can Hockey League rookie but he is in his eighth sea­son of pro­fes­sional hockey.

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