MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, evened the best-of-five series in the Calder Cup Central Division Finals with a Game Two win 5-3 over the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
Stars captain Curtis McKenzie opened the scoring in favor of Texas 7:23 into the contest when he chipped a backdoor feed from Matej Blumel past Yaroslav Askarov to make it 1-0.
Alexander Petrovic put the Stars up a pair 18 seconds into the second stanza when his shot from the right point sailed off the right post and in. In a similar fashion to the Stars defenseman, Marc Del Gaizo scored from the right point at 12:55 to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The third frame saw Oskar Back score his first-ever AHL playoff goal short-handed after maneuvering around Askarov and tucking it in near the right post to make it 3-1 Stars 9:13 into the period. Roland McKeown clutched up by scoring a pair of late goals with 5:32 and then 4:23 remaining in regulation to tie the game 3-3. However, Mavrik Bourque fired in his first goal of the playoffs with 2:30 to go on a power play for the eventual game-winner. The Stars leading scorer this postseason, Rhett Gardner, then ensured a 5-3 victory to even the series 1-1 when he scored an empty-net goal for his fourth goal and seventh point of the postseason.
In goal for the Stars, Matt Murray made 34 saves on 37 shots to improve to 4-1 in this year’s playoffs. For the Admirals, Askarov was handed the loss after he gave up four goals on 20 of the shots he faced.
The remainder of the best-of-five series now shifts to the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in Texas. Game Three is set for Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. while Game Four is slated for Friday night with Game Five to be played Sunday night, if necessary. Tickets for Games Three and Four can be purchased by visiting TexasStars.com.
Photo Credit: Milwaukee Admirals