|(Photo Credit: Milwaukee Admirals)|
Milwaukee, WI - The Texas Stars coming off of a stunning two-game sweep of the Chicago Wolves, saw the Central Division leading Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators affiliate) score two goals in the final five minutes to top Texas 3-2 in front of 2,650 Tuesday night at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
The teams skated scoreless in the opening 20 with Texas dominating from the get-go. Texas outshot Milwaukee 13-6 in the period and had multiple chances but could not find any daylight past Ads rookie netminder Yaroslav Askarov to get the upper hand. Each team came away rejected on their initial chances on the power play and the period was highlighted by a one-punch KO by Riley Tufte on Zach Sanford, who also picked up an instigator and a Misconduct/Instigating on the play as well, midway through the period.
Milwaukee got the scoring started 2:25 into the second when Kiefer Sherwood scored a hard-luck unassisted goal. Sherwood, positioned behind the goal, threw the puck in front of the net, deflecting it off of Stars blueliner Michael Karow's boot, getting it past Texas' goalie Anton Khudobin for the 1-0 lead.
Texas rallied back at 8:10 when Matej Blumel one-timed a perfect Tanner Kero dish from the right circle to knot the game at 1-1. Kero's assist was set up by solid work from Riley Barber's incessant gritty offensive play. Barber was also credited with his ninth assist to add to his team-leading 19 points.
Late in the second, Texas took their first lead of the night when after a flurry of shots, Alex Petrovic found the puck in front of the net and buried it for his career-high sixth goal of the season to give Texas the 2-1 advantage with 4:42 left in the middle frame. Forwards Fredrik Karlstrom and Jacob Peterson received the assists on the goal that gave the Stars a lead that they would take to the second intermission.
Texas outshot the Ads 18-10 in the second, giving them a 31-16 lead in that department through 40 minutes of play.
Milwaukee came out hot in the third, applying relentless pressure throughout the period, to the tune of an 18-5 shot advantage for the final stanza. Khudobin stood tall and met every challenge until Markus Nurmi found his own rebound and solved Khudobin to level the game at two-apiece with 5:09 remaining. Nurmi sealed the deal for the Ads just over two minutes later when he redirected a Roland McKeown shot past Khudobin to give Milwaukee a lead they would not relinquish with 2:58 left.
Askarov closed out his solid night stopping 34-of-36 shots to earn the win while Khudobin finished with 31 saves on 34 shots, taking the loss as his personal three-game winning streak was snapped.
Texas continues their six-game, three-city, eleven-day road trip on Friday for the opener of a back-to-back clip in Grand Rapids to face the Griffins. Puck drop for both Saturday and Sunday night's games are scheduled for 6 p.m. CST at Van Andel Arena.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Cecconi, Stranges, Ducharme, Rosburg (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 2,650