The Texas Stars split the first two games of their first-round Calder Cup Playoff series against San Diego. And the Idaho Steelheads have grabbed a 3-2 series lead against the Allen Americans in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ minor league affiliates.
Thursday, April 21: San Diego 3, Texas 1
The Stars outshot San Diego, 29-17, but fell 3-1 to the Gulls in Game 1 of the Pacific Division Semifinals at Cedar Park Center. The power play was a sticking point for the Stars, who went 0-4 with the man-advantage.
“I thought five-on-five we did a pretty good job playing, but the power play was the big difference in the game for us,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media. “It started with our puck movement. I didn’t think our backend did a great job of bringing the puck up. And we just looked a little disconnected. Don’t take away anything from San Diego. I thought their penalty killers had more energy than we did on the power play.”
Nick Ritchie’s goal at 15:58 of the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and was the game-winner. Justin Dowling scored shorthanded for Texas’ only goal. Maxime Lagace got the start in goal and stopped 14 of 17 shots.
Saturday, April 23: Texas 5, San Diego 1
The Stars scored twice on the power play in the second period to turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead and went on defeat San Diego, 5-1, to even the Pacific Division Semifinal series at 1-1. Esa Lindell’s power-play goal at 2:30 of the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and was the game-winner. Matt Mangene added another power-play goal late in the second to extend the lead to 3-1.
“I thought our guys responded really well in the game. From start to finish, it was a solid effort,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media. “We had a little more urgency, a little more of that playoff mentality. The other night [Game 1], it felt like just another regular season game. Tonight it felt like a playoff game.”
Derek Hulak, Curtis McKenzie and Justin Dowling also scored for Texas. Jack Campbell got the start in goal and stopped 25 of 26 shots. Nick Ritchie scored the lone goal for San Diego.
The game was the first for the Stars in their newly named arena, which is now the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Texas-San Diego Playoff Schedule (Series tied 1-1)
Game 1 – Thursday, April 21: Gulls 3, Stars 1
Game 2 – Saturday, April 23: Stars 5, Gulls 1
Game 3 – Thursday, April 28: Texas at San Diego, 9:05 p.m. CDT
Game 4 – Friday, April 29: Texas at San Diego, 9:05 p.m. CDT (if necessary)
Game 5 – Monday, May 2: Texas at San Diego, 9:05 p.m. CDT (if necessary)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Derek Hulak – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Gemel Smith – Jason Dickinson – Matej Stransky
Cory Kane – Mike McMurtry – Remi Elie
Esa Lindell – Niklas Hansson
Mattias Backman – Julius Honka
Ludwig Bystrom – Matt Mangene
Idaho Steelheads update
The Idaho Steelheads won two of three games over the past week to take a 3-2 series lead over the Allen Americans in the first round of the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. Game 6 is Tuesday night in Allen. A seventh game – if necessary – is scheduled to be played in Allen on Wednesday.
Stars goaltending prospect Philippe Desrosiers is 3-2 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in the series. Dallas prospect Emil Molin has two assists in five games and Stars prospect Taylor Peters has one goal in five games.
Idaho-Allen Playoff Schedule (Steelheads lead 3-2):
Game 1 – Thursday, April 14th: Steelheads 3, Americans 1
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16th: Americans 3, Steelheads 1
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 20th: Americans 3, Steelheads 1
Game 4 – Friday, April 22nd: Steelheads 3, Americans 1
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23rd: Steelheads 7, Americans 1
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 26th: Idaho at Allen 7:05 PM CDT (If necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27th: Idaho at Allen 7:05 PM CDT (If necessary)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.