Hard Work Not Enough as Texas Stars Fall to Ads in 2-1 Shootout Loss

(Photo Credit: Milwaukee Admirals)

Milwaukee, WI -
Despite having outgunned, out-worked and out-played the Milwaukee Admirals for 65 minutes, the Texas Stars were unable to be rewarded for the effort they put in as they fell 2-1 to the Ads in a shootout in front of 8,454 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena Saturday night.

With Milwaukee in the uncomfortable position of having only one goalie due to a pregame Yaroslav Askarov injury, veteran Troy Grosenick was a star in net for the Admirals on short notice and led the club to their fourteenth straight victory, a franchise record.

It's challenging to convey how dominant the Stars were on Saturday night. They outshot the Admirals in every period, with the exception of overtime, where they started the extra frame down a man due to a phantom hooking call against Riley Damiani as the third period ended. The Stars outshot Milwaukee 34-18 through forty minutes and held the Admirals to 1-for-3 on the penalty kill. Texas was fruitless on their lone chance on the advantage.

The Admirals took the initial lead 8:17 into the game when Joakim Kemell went off the right post from the right circle against Stars netminder Matt Murray - making his second start in as many nights - to give the Ads the initial lead. 

Shortly after, Logan Stankoven did Logan Stankoven stuff and answered right back when he took a picture-perfect drop pass from Mavrik Bourque and buried it past Grosenick for the netminders only blemish of the game with 8:26 left in the first.

The teams went scoreless the rest of the way, despite Milwaukee being on the advantage to start the overtime, again, to a really bad call. 

The game could have been different had the teams gone to OT 3-on-3, but due to horrific officiating, it was not the case, yet the Stars survived it and took it to the skills competition, a shootout.

Jordan Gross five-holed Murray in the second round of the shootout while Grosenick shut down all three of the Texas All-Stars ( Stankoven, Bourque and Blumel) to secure the win to clinch their league-leading fourteenth straight victory.

With the SOL, Texas falls to 22-17-2-2 (48 pts.) but remains in second, tied with the Grand Rapids Griffins - who lost 4-3 in a shootout to Manitoba Saturday - in the Central Division race, with a game in hand. With the victory, the surging Admirals improve to 31-10-1-0 (63 pts.) to extend their dominance of the Central Division. The Stars will get another crack at the division leader when the season is concluding in April

Between the pipes, while Murray was rarely tested, he made the spectacular saves when he needed to while turning away 20-of-21 en route to seeing his record drop to 10-9-2-1. Brookfield Wisconsin native Grosenick stood on his head, stopping 33-of-34 as well as the shut down in the shootout, improved his record to 14-3-0-2.

Up next, the Stars travel to Rockford to close out their current three-game road trip where it started. Texas has a Tuesday night rematch with the IceHogs following a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night. Faceoff at the BMO Center is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. 

Tonight's lines


(* - starters)

Injuries, scratches and notes
J. Murray (scratch)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Berard, Reedy, Caamano (out - upper body)
Wheatcroft (out - lower body)

Three Stars
1. MIL - T. Grosenick
2. TEX - L. Stankoven
3. TEX - M. Bourque

Tonight's attendance was 8,454