Texas Stars Weekly Update - Apr. 25, 2016

Apr 25, 2016

Stars, Gulls Tied at 1-1 in Opening Round Series

Last week’s record: 1-1
Playoff record: Pacific Division Semifinals vs. San Diego (Tied, 1-1)

CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars and San Diego Gulls split the first two games of their opening round, best-of-five series last week in Central Texas. The series now shifts to Southern California beginning with Game 3 on Thursday.


Game 3: April 28 at San Diego Gulls, 9:05 p.m. CST
Game 4: April 29 at San Diego Gulls, 9:05 p.m. CST
The Pacific Division Semifinals are tied at 1-1, and Texas now will have to win two of the final three games on the road to advance. Texas was 5-1-0-0 against San Diego this season, but the Gulls were one of the AHL’s hottest teams with a 16-3-3-1 record to finish the season. The Stars’ Brendan Ranford led all skaters in the regular season series with 11 points (6-5=11). The Gulls are led by one of their leading scorers in former Star Chris Mueller, who also has a goal in the series. The series features three of the AHL’s top rookies. San Diego defenseman Brandon Montour tied for the regular season team lead and was third among AHL rookies with 57 points (12-45=57) this year. Stars forward Jason Dickinson was seventh among league rookies with 53 points (22-31=53), and Esa Lindell was tied for eighth among all AHL defenseman with 42 points (14-28=42) this season.


Game 1: April 21 vs. San Diego Gulls, 3-1 Loss:
A 29-17 shot count favoring the Texas Stars was not enough as the San Diego Gulls won Game 1 of the Pacific Division Semifinals by a 3-1 score on Thursday night at Cedar Park Center. San Diego took a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five matchup with the win. Justin Dowling was the Stars’ only goal-scorer in the game with a shorthanded tally. Anton Khudobin stopped 28 shots in net to lead the Gulls to the win. Maxime Lagace suffered the loss in his first career postseason start for Texas. Nick Ritchie’s first of the playoffs with just over four minutes remaining in the middle frame was the game-winner, and Chris Mueller padded the San Diego lead to 3-1 midway through the third on a no-look, backhand shot in front of the net that slipped through the leg pads of Lagace.

Game 2: April 23 vs. San Diego Gulls, 5-1 Win:
The Texas Stars offense erupted for five goals, including two on the power play, in a crucial 5-1 win over the San Diego Gulls in Game 2 to even up their Pacific Division Semifinal series in front of 5,623 fans at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Saturday night. Jack Campbell stopped 25 of 26 shots to keep the San Diego offense at bay. Esa Lindell, Justin Dowling, Curtis McKenzie and Brendan Ranford all tallied multi-point games for the Stars. Nick Ritchie was the lone goal-scorer for the Gulls.


Monday: Practice, 11 a.m. CST
Tuesday: Practice, 10 a.m. CST
Wednesday: Travel Day
Thursday: Game 3, Texas Stars at San Diego Gulls, 9:05 p.m. CST
Friday: Game 4, Texas Stars at San Diego Gulls, 9:05 p.m. CST​
Saturday: TBD
Sunday: TBD


If necessary, Game 5 of the series will be held on Monday, May 2 at 9:05 p.m. CST. Travis Morin is tied with Maxime Fortunus for the franchise record of appearing in 63 playoff games in his Texas career. Justin Dowling leads the Stars with two playoff goals in the series. Saturday’s 5-1 win over San Diego was the Stars’ first postseason victory since Game 5 of the 2014 Calder Cup Final when they eliminated the St. John’s IceCaps to win their first Calder Cup. Dating back to the regular season, Dowling (four games) and Esa Lindell (five games) are both on point streaks for the Stars. Also dating back to the regular season, Saturday’s game was the sixth time out seven meetings the Stars have scored at least five goals in a game against the Gulls.


Last Friday, it was announced that the home of the Stars would now be called H-E-B Center at Cedar Park after the building and H-E-B entered into a new naming rights agreement. Game 2 of the Pacific Division Semifinals was the first sporting event held in the newly-named arena.

All home playoff games will be a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night where the first Stars player to score will win free scratch-off tickets for a lucky row of fans at Cedar Park Center, courtesy of the Texas Lottery.

A watch party will be held for all three road games of the Pacific Division Semifinals at the Lakeline location of Pluckers. All three games start at 9:05 p.m. CST.

The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and currently in their seventh season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Full season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.   

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