HOCKEY TEXAS STARS Nil­storp now looks the part

Chipped front tooth is an­other notch in rookie goal­tender’s ad­just­ment to North Amer­i­can hockey.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Amer­i­can-States­man Cor­re­spon­dent

By Steve Ha­bel CEDAR PARK — Cristo­pher Nil­storp, barely two months into his rookie year in the Amer­i­can Hockey League, is still learn­ing the ins and outs of North Amer­i­can-style hockey. But af­ter he took a puck to the face mask in prac- tice last week, at least the Texas Stars’ goal­tender looks as if he be­longs.

“I think it makes me look tougher,” said a smil­ing Nil­storp, part of his left front tooth miss­ing. “Now I am just like all the rest of the guys.”

The learn­ing curve for Nil­storp, who is from Swe­den, has been steep since he signed a one-year, two-way con­tract with Dal­las in June, al­low­ing him to play for the AHL’s Texas Stars while the NHL con­tin­ues to work on its la­bor


But Nil­storp has shown that he’s a quick study, go­ing 9-7 with two shutouts in the Stars’ first 25 games. He’s stop­ping more than nine of ev­ery 10 shots he’s fac­ing. He’s helped the Stars go 13-8-22 through the first third of the sea­son, good enough for a third-place tie in the league’s tough South Di­vi­sion.

His 2.18 goals-against av­er­age ranks sev­enth in the league. Dur­ing one three-game stretch, Nil­storp had a shutout streak of 1 hour, 54 min­utes, 56 sec­onds of game time, just eight min­utes short of Brent Krahn’s fran­chise record, set two sea­sons ago.

“He has been real good for us, and we knew all along that he was go­ing to be solid in the net,” Stars coach Wil­lie Des­jardins said. “I like that he wants to com­pete. He doesn’t need ev­ery­thing to be per­fect, and he’s not afraid to take the chal­lenges head-on. Our guys have a lot of con­fi­dence with Nil­storp in the net.”

Nil­storp, 28, is an AHL rookie but is in his eighth year of pro­fes­sional hockey. He posted a .923 save per­cent­age, a 2.04 goals-against av­er­age and

Cristo­pher Nil­strop signed a 1year deal with Dal­las in June.

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