Friday, April 26, 2013

Brett Ritchie Lifts Texas Past Milwaukee 3-2 in OT

Jamie Oleksiak (Credit: Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Admirals)
Brett Ritchie lifted the Stars to a 1-0 series lead with a water bottle-popping wrister in the first overtime period of tonight's game in Milwaukee. Texas allowed the first goal, but true to form all year, came back to win in the overtime period. Texas had a better than .500 record on the season when allowing the first goal.

Both goaltenders were heavily challenged in the game, earning second and third star honors. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start and stopped 29 of 31. Hellberg stopped 41 of 44.

The tight game was dominated by power play goals, as is typical when two teams are rather evenly matched on systems. Kevin Connauton found the net for Texas on the power play. Patrick Cehlin and Zach Hamill did for Milwaukee. Matt Fraser also scored, surprisingly at even strength.

The first started with the Ads shelling the Stars' net, throwing 14 shots at Cristopher Nilstorp. Their fourteenth shot found the net on the power play as Patrick Cehlin completed the pass from Joshua Shalla. The Stars were being outshot 14-7 at that time.

With time winding down in the first period, Texas found twine as well. A hard charge from recently returned Matt Fraser and Travis Morin resulted in Fraser's first postseason goal in the AHL. The goal came off a nice shot from Morin with 15.6 seconds left.

The late period goal pushed Texas forward in the second period as Milwaukee only managed one shot in the entire period. The Stars, for their part, had eleven shots of their own and gained their first lead of the game.

Milwaukee had a steady march to the penalty box in the second as they gave Texas six minutes of power play time in the first twelve minutes of the period. Kevin Connauton snuck down the left wing side on one of those power plays. With the Ads concenrating on the rookie, Brett Ritchie, Connauton beat the young Hellberg over the glove side.

The Ads only had one shot in the second.

Texas had their own penalty troubles in the third and they made no mistake, cashing in for the tie game. Former Dallas Star Brad Winchester sent the puck from right side to the left where Zach Hamill put it home over a sprawling Nilstorp, tying the game at two.

The two clubs fought a hard overtime period. Texas grabbed the momentum from the Ads with a power play  thanks to a Scott Ford holding call. The Stars had a lot of chances but didn't score. It didn't matter as the Stars had grabbed the big mo'.

Offensive faceoffs galore and plenty of shots out the Ads on their heels. Brett Ritchie broke in alone off the pass from Mike Hedden, who had just jumped on the ice off the change. Ritchie roofed a wrister past Hellberg, popping the water bottle and giving the Stars a 1-0 lead in the series.

Tonight's lines:
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Glennie-Vause-McKenzie
Gazdic-Petersen-Wathier

Fortunus-Morrow
Gaunce-Commodore
Oleksiak-Connauton

Nilstorp

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Chiasson, Benn (call up)
Sloan, Wrenn, Jokipakka, Sonne, Cameron, Faksa, Todd, Klingberg (scratch)
Nemeth (injured)

Texas released Brock Montgomery from his ATO this afternoon.

Tonight's attendance was 3,053.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Milwaukee - April 26 2013

10 comments:

  1. So sad that the attendance was only 3,000 in the heart of hockey country!!!! We get that on a mid-season Wednesday game. Big win for Texas and SO excited for this post-season. Top ranked Providence lost to Hershey, so even the big guns aren't bullet-proof.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely tough attendance numbers. Big win for sure.

      No one is safe in the playoffs. Providence needs to win game 2.

      Delete
  2. Attendance is always low in the post season. It's a challenge to get tickets sold with little notice. A Wednesday night game still includes season ticket holder tickets, not all season ticket holders extend into the post season.

    Brett Ritchie looks to be the real deal. Unlike all the other players (historically) we picked up in the last handful of games of the season he can step into a major role and be productive in it. I doubt he stays on the Texas Stars next year though, I see him spending considerable time in Dallas.

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    Replies
    1. Jim Lites said he thinks Ritchie will at least start in Texas. I think he'll do that but head up halfway through the season.

      Delete
  3. Does anyone know why Nilstorp got a 10 minute "misconduct" penalty in the first period? My daddy and I still can't figure it out.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like he mouthed off to the ref and then sent the puck into the stands.

      Delete
  4. Hedden and Dowling don't seem to care who their third guy is, they just keep producing.

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing. Hedden and Dowling are both AHL only contracts. They need to be locked down for next season.

      Delete
  5. Wow ... 3,000 people attendance ... Weak.

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  6. Good to see these kids keeping up the good work. Ritchie is a Stud.

    ReplyDelete

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