Admirals Edge Stars in See-Saw Thriller, 4-3Dec 16, 2016
Travis Morin Appears in his 500th Career AHL Game
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- One word comes to mind when looking at the Texas Stars 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night - close.
The first period saw the Western Conference leading Admirals tally two goals, and the Stars answer back with a pair of their own from forwards Remi Elie and Justin Dowling. Then, in the middle frame, Brandan Ranford scored to take a 3-2 lead before Milwaukee tied the game yet again.
And when Felix Girard scored the visiting team’s fourth goal 6:29 into the final period of play? The Stars continued to apply pressure and drive pucks to the net, hoping to find a way past goaltender Marek Mazanec.
“[Mazanec] was in our heads a little bit,” said forward Justin Dowling. “I mean, when we get that many chances, usually they go in the net. But, sometimes you’re going to have those nights when you’re a little off and it doesn't go in.”
The Stars, who have the most lethal offense in the Western Conference with 93 goals on the season, put the 6-foot-3 Mazanec to the test in the third period. Elie found himself on a short-handed breakaway for the Stars, who lead the League with eight short-handed goals for, but failed to put the puck past Mazanec to even the score.
“He was definitely the difference in the third period,” said Head Coach Derek Laxdal. “We had three, four Grade-A looks, but he made some huge saves.”
Gemel Smith on a two-on-one and Dowling alone down the slot, two more of those Grade-A chances that Laxdal was referring too, and both times, the Milwaukee netminder kept the AHL’s top-ranked offense off the board when it mattered most.
“I thought, when we got more aggressive in the third period, we started to carry the play a little bit,” said Laxdal. “It was a good test four our group, and a good chance to see where we are. They’re number one in our conference, and I feel that we can play with them every night.”
1. Girard (MIL)
2. Dowling (TEX)
3. Elie (TEX)
W - Mazanec
L - Bow
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars