Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Goalie Maxime Lagace Turns Heads Despite 1-0 Texas Stars Loss

Texas comes up empty on offense for first time this season
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
After a 24 goal outburst in their first four games, the Texas Stars found themselves on the wrong end of a good old fashioned goalie duel this evening in Cedar Park.

"Both goaltenders played very well," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "We had some good looks to tie it up but we didn't get puck luck."

Maxime Lagace made his third straight start after winning his previous two on the road in Rockford this weekend. The rookie netminder stopped 32 of 33 shots on the night.

"I felt good in net," said Lagace. "The boys played hard. It could have gone either way. Their goalie had a good game as well."

Jon Gillies, Stockton's goaltender, picked up well-earned first star honors for stymieing Texas on all 36 shots he faced on the night. Despite it only being his 3rd AHL game, it was his second shutout.

Lagace has been astounding this week and is working to defy expectations after a year spent bouncing around the ECHL. His work with Mike Valley has really helped his game and was on display tonight as an active glove hand kept Texas with a clean sheet until late in the third period.

Texas had a bit of a "lull" coming in to the game as Calgary's system was on full display with a strong forecheck. The Stars had chances to break the scoreless tie early in the first with two shots going off the post. Travis Morin had a beautiful setup in the slot snagged by Gillies, and Jason Dickinson was hauled down on a breakaway in the third.

Devin Shore, coming off being named the AHL's Player of the Week, got a few good looks but didn't score in a game for the first time this year.

"If you look at Shore's shifts, he had some great looks," said Laxdal. "Devin isn't a flashy guy. He's hard working, and he'll take the puck to the net. He'll get by you. He had 3 looks tonight and just couldn't get any of them to go."

Late in the third, Esa Lindell got a little too anxious to put a body on a player and body checked a Stockton forward a few seconds after he had dumped the puck into the Texas zone. The call of interference was a fair one, but certainly not the call you want to get late in a 0-0 hockey game.

Freddie Hamilton made that penalty sting with a wrister that beat Lagace for the 1-0 lead. Texas had trouble getting established in the zone in the final minutes to pull Lagace. A final push with the net empty and a faceoff in the Stockton zone generated one or two chances but not the tying goal.

Texas now hits the road to face Iowa on Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight's lines:
Ranford-Morin-Elie
Dickinson-Shore-Rallo
Hulak-Smith-Stransky
Ully-Kane

Lindell-Johns
Blacker-Honka
Bystrom-Backman
Evans

Lagace

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Campbell, Faksa (callup)
Troock (scratch)
Dowling, Mangene (injury)

The Stars have run a system the past two games where they dress three centers and four pairs of wingers and then rotate them all around independently. It worked well in Rockford, so they gave it another go tonight.

Cam Braes has left professional hockey to pursue his master's degree.

Tonight's attendance was 5,726.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Stockton - October 21 2015

5 comments:

  1. That sound you hear is Jack Campbell's stomach churning. He is toast, baby!

    ReplyDelete
  2. An internet troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

    Your only contribution to this forum is to slam one player. If that’s all you’re going to do then start your own forum dedicating to hating Jack Campbell or go be a Rampage fan and let the real fans talk about Texas Stars hockey.

    That being said Lagace has played amazing, especially on Wednesday. One thing I noticed from him even during the training camp was that all of his movements were sharp and crisp. There didn’t seem to be any wasted movement or over reaction to shots. The power play goal that beat him on Wednesday was unfortunate as he was completely screened.

    That Gillies glove save on Morin was incredible. That has to be one of the top five saves I’ve ever seen at CPC. I was also glad to see that Morin said something complimentary to Gillies who then tapped Morin with his goal stick as a thank you. That’s some professional courtesy. I hate losing but I didn’t leave the game feeling like we blew it. It was a hard fought game.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well excuse me for being a Texas Stars fan who has been completely frustrated by their dedication to a player who consistently underperforms. I know they blew a huge draft pick on the kid, but he has been a dud. Their dedication to Campbell has been ruinous for the team. First they let Nilstrop go - what a year he had last year! - and now my boy JUICY was let go so they could stick with Campbell. Well, I'm sorry, but that is a disastrous decision, and I for one am thrilled that this new talent has emerged. I just hope the Stars don't once again trade this guy off or let him sign elsewhere so they can stick with the eternal prospect Campbell. He is lousy and the longer he stays on the bench, the better!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Goalies take longer than any other position to develop. Jack Campbell was one of 21 goalies from the 2010 draft. Of those 21 only three have found a permanent spot on an NHL roster: Phillip Grubauer of the Washington Capitals, Petr Mrazek of Detroit and Frederik Anderson of Anaheim. The rest of the goalie class includes Calvin Pickard of San Antonio, Kent Simpson of Stockton Heat, Tyler Bunz of Bakersfield Condors, who are all still in the AHL. The remaining drafted goalies are in smaller leagues or overseas.

    Goalies are notoriously difficult to predict in a draft. A high draft selection does not always equal highest return on investment. Henrik Lundqvist was drafted 205th overall, Pekka Rinne was 258th, Jonathan Quick was 72nd, Ben Bishop was 85th, Braden Holtby was 93rd, and Jaroslav Halak was 271st .

    I agree that we all wish we had a little bit more to showcase with the first round draft pick from 2010. I am sad and disappointed with Campbell’s injuries. It’s no secret that his one year contract is a “prove it” season. If he doesn’t perform then he’s gone, as it is in this business. When we get a stellar performance from Lagace let’s not focus on Jack Campbell.
    We’ve discussed Jack Campbell enough and everyone knows how you feel about him and the management’s decision to keep him. It’s clear that none of the other Stars fans want to join in your revelry of Jack’s perceived demise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If goalies take so long to develop why are all these other guys passing Campbell? And I am hardly alone. I am a season ticket holder, and there is not love for Campbell in all of Section 104. Unlike you, I am thrilled with his injuries. Keeps him off the ice.

    ReplyDelete

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