Stars Fall to Admirals in 2-0 Goaltending DuelMar 22, 2016
AHL's Top Two Rookie Goaltenders Combine for 57 Saves
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- In a matchup of the American Hockey League’s top two rookie goaltenders, Juuse Saros’ 28 saves outlasted Maxime Lagace’s 29-save performance in a 2-0 win for the Milwaukee Admirals over the Texas Stars on Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center.
Stefan Elliot’s first period goal held up as the game-winner. The Stars suffered just their second shutout loss of the season going back to the Stockton Heat’s 1-0 win over Texas back on Oct. 21. The Admirals generated both of their goals on the man-advantage in the win.
The Stars (35-23-6-3) and Admirals (41-21-3-1) meet up again on Saturday at 7 p.m. in their final matchup of the regular season.
Elliot’s game-winner came at 17:50 of the first period off a wrist shot from the left point that beat Lagace through a maze of bodies for the veteran defenseman’s fifth of the season.
After a scoreless second, Milwaukee carried their one-goal lead into the third and extended things again on a late power play when Max Gortz snapped a wrist shot from the top of the slot past Lagace with just under four minutes remaining. Texas opted for the extra-attacker, but Saros shut the door the rest of the way to finalize his shutout performance.
Both goaltenders remained active throughout the game on quality scoring chances for each team. Lagace kept things at a one-goal deficit for Texas midway through the second with a breakaway save on Milwaukee’s Felix Girard, and also denied a one-time power play goal from the right circle on a sliding save across the crease in the third. Late in the third, Saros swallowed a clean one-time chance from the Stars’ Curtis McKenzie in the slot after Justin Dowling set up the play from behind the net.
Saros’ did the bulk of his work on the penalty kill as the Stars finished 0-for-5 on the power play. Milwaukee finished 2-for-5 and outshot Texas in the game 31-28.
The Stars’ first shutout loss of the year back in October came at the hands of another AHL rookie goaltender in Stockton’s Jon Gillies. Saros entered the game leading all AHL rookies in wins (22), goals against average (2.34) and second in save percentage (.916). Lagace entered the game second in wins (18), fourth in goals against average (2.79) and first in save percentage (.917).
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and currently in their seventh season at Cedar Park Center. Full season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2015-16 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
1. Juuse Saros (MIL)
2. Maxime Lagace (TEX)
3. Stefan Elliott (MIL)
W - Saros
L - Lagace
Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars