Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Tucson Roadrunners, Game 5

           Texas Stars                        Tucson Roadrunners
    38-24-8-6, 90 pts, .592      v.      42-20-5-1, 90 pts, .662
  #2 Pacific Division                       #1 Pacific Division

May 11th at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Stars lead 3-1

Being completely honest, at the start of the series if you had told most there was a chance for the series to be over after five games, not many would have picked the Stars to be the advancing team. However, thanks to incredible goaltending from Mike McKenna and offense that is clicking just right, Texas has that chance tonight.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
You want your best players to show up in big situations, and the Stars got that on Wednesday. Mike McKenna pitched his second shutout of the post season. The Stars had, as a team, two shutouts in the entire regular season. Now McKenna has two (and a 44 save relief effort) in eight playoff games. Further, the Stars power play activated with Curtis McKenzie scoring his 2nd of the postseason. Both of McKenzie's goals this playoffs have been game winners.

And in case you hadn't noticed, Brian Flynn is pacing the entire league right now with ten points in eight games (6 goals, 4 assists).

Texas has tightened up its penalty kill in the postseason as well. With 3 goals allowed on 23 chances, they are the second best team on the PK among those still left standing. Only Rockford bests them (20/22).

It goes without saying that it's desperation time for the Roadrunners. Some of their best players have been silenced. Dylan Strome, who had eight points against San Jose, doesn't have a point in the series and is minus-7. The fact that he still leads the scoring table for the Roadrunners says a lot about where they are in terms of team scoring. They're averaging fewer than two goals per game after averaging four per game in round one.

The Stars have three bites at this apple. Tucson has to play flawless hockey from here on out. Texas would love to avoid the trip to Tucson and close things out tonight, winning their first division championship since they went all the way in 2014.

Stars injury/call up report:
Fyten (questionable)

Roadrunners Web Resources
Twitter: @RoadrunnersAHL
Coverage: @CallahanOnAir (Tucson PBP)