|Jamie Oleksiak and Toby Petersen (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
"They're a resilient group," said former Admiral and current Star Chris Mueller, who had two assists in the game. "Once you get a little momentum, that's what happens in hockey. In my years in Milwuakee, we always said never give up."
Late game penalties contributed to the comeback for Milwaukee again this evening as Texas granted six power play opportunities to the Ads on the night.
"Penalties have gotten us in trouble," said Jamie Oleksiak. "When you have guys off and PK guys are logging a lot of minutes, it stunts you. Come third period, you can see the wear and tear."
After scoring four unanswered in the second period, Texas weathered the third period storm for a 5-4 win.
Coach Desjardins added, "We played a pretty good game, but I think they outplayed us in the first period. We had a good pushback at the beginning of the second period."
The game ends the season series with Milwaukee at two wins and two losses for Texas.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the playoffs this year," noted Mueller.
Texas opened the scoring in the first period off a nice individual effort by Taylor Peters, finished off by Francis Wathier at the net. Peters rushed in on net on a breakaway and Wathier trailed him to finish the scoring play just three minutes into the game. Austin Watson and the Admirals answered back with a rebound goal seven minutes later.
The score would be tied at one after twenty, but not before Texas had to weather 120 seconds of 3-on-5 hockey.
"That was huge," said Oleksiak. "You can't say enough for the guys killing the 5-on-3. Those guys sacrifice the body and did a great job taking away their options. Whenever you get a kill like that, it builds on the momentum."
The momentum erupted into a four goal outburst for the Stars. Curtis McKenzie went first, going hard to the net and putting one five hole on Scott Darling. Mike Hedden went next, on the power play, redirecting a laserbeam of a shot from Kevin Connauton for the 3-1 lead.
Jamie Oleksiak scored his second of the weekend and third of the year before the end of the second period. A screened shot from the left wing point found twine after a frenetic effort from the Stars saw them get a boatload of shots on net.
"Whenever you get a goal like that, it's huge. I'm trying to enjoy them more this year. When everyone is playing well, it makes it easier for everyone."
Toby Petersen finished off the Stars' scoring on the night with a shorthanded tally. A lucky bounce set Petersen off to the races. The one-time AHL All-Star Fastest Skater went between the legs on Magnus Hellberg for the goal. Hellberg replaced Darling after the second after Darling went off with an equipment issue.
"It's bounces," said Mueller of the two shorthanded goals on the weekend. "We're being aggressive [on the PK], and we know what they like to do."
Milwaukee then scored three goals in the six minutes to end the third period and came just short on the overall effort to tie the game.
Budish (PP), Sissons and Bitetto all potted goals for Milwaukee as Texas fans moved closer to the edge of their seats with each passing minute.
Coach Desjardins put it succinctly, "The discipline has to be better. We're taking penalties we can't take."
Mueller expanded, "We've got to be a little smarter with the stick."
With thoughts of the prior games in the Midwest on their minds, the Stars' locked down the game with 41.6 seconds left with a couple of timely clears.
The Stars are in action again on Wednesday against Abbotsford, which leads the division.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Smith, Ranford, Wrenn, Labrie (scratch)
Campbell, Nilstorp (injury)
Tonight's attendance was 5,961.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - November 9 2013