Cedar Park --
The Texas Stars scratched and clawed, but ultimately fell to the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 in overtime on Friday night at Cedar Park. Texas clung to a 1-0 lead for most of the game, but surrendered a late goal to Milwaukee forward Gabriel Bourque in the game’s final minute to send the game to overtime. Ryan Thang from the Admirals capped off the comeback with the game winner late in the extra period.
“We played pretty well,” said Stars defenseman Matt Stephenson. “They got a late goal and that shifted momentum. I felt like we had some chances in overtime, but they had more puck possession. Anytime you spend too much time in your own zone bad things happen.”
The Stars opened up the scoring with a power-play goal from Raymond Sawada
midway through the first period to send Texas up 1-0. They would hold onto that slim lead for most of the game, playing a tight, defensive-minded game before allowing the game-tying goal to Milwaukee forward Gabriel Bourque with only 4.4 seconds left in the third period.
“It’s playoff hockey,” said Texas defenseman Brenden Dillon
. “Games are going to go like that when you go into overtime – it’s anybody’s game.”
The Admirals now lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and could eliminate the Stars on Monday night when the series shifts back to Milwaukee for game six.
Despite the pressure Monday’s game holds, Texas isn’t’ quite ready to hit the panic button.
“You just have to play loose, don’t panic, stick to your identity and play your game,” said Matt Stephenson. “Anything can happen in this game.”
Perhaps that confidence comes from the stellar goaltending Dallas Stars draftee Richard Bachman
provided on Friday night. The 5-11, 175-pound goaltender put on a clinic, stopping 36 of the 38 shots that came his direction. He was especially solid in the overtime period, where the Admirals out-chanced the Stars for most of the period.
The effort was not enough however, as the Stars must now win consecutive games in Milwaukee to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
If the Stars win game six, the deciding game seven will be played on Tuesday, April 26 at Milwaukee.West Division Semifinal (best of seven)Texas and Milwaukee
Game 1: Texas 2 at Milwaukee 5
Game 2: Texas 3 at Milwaukee 1
Game 3: Milwaukee 2 at Texas 3 OT
Game 4: Milwaukee 3 at Texas 2
Game 5: Milwaukee 2 at Texas 1 OT (MIL leads series 3-2)
Game 6: Texas at Milwaukee on Mon., April 25 at 7:00 PM
Game 7: Texas at Milwaukee on Tues., April 26 at 7:00 PM -X
X - If Necessary
The best of seven series shifts to Milwaukee Monday, April 25th at 7:00 PM. There will be a watch party at Cedar Park Center with doors opening at 6:30 PM. If needed, the series will finish at the Bradley Center for Game 7 on Tuesday, April 26th.