Ads Top Texas 4-1, Setting Up Decisive Game 5

(Credit: Milwaukee Admirals)

Seeking to close out their series with Milwaukee again tonight, the Stars dropped Game 4 by a 4-1 score and will now face a decisive Game 5 to advance in the Calder Cup Playoffs and meet Grand Rapids in Round Two.

Less than a minute of clock time in the first period ended up being the deciding factor for the game this evening. Zach L'Heureux had a pair of goals 47 seconds apart to break open the scoring and push his scoring account to 3-4=7 in just four games, all against Texas.

Texas was crisp in the second period and early third and seemed to have spooked the crowd at U-W Milwaukee Panther Arena, given the tightness of the score and what was at stake for the home crowd. They could not push that advantage to tie things and ceded an insurance goal late. 

Notably, Texas' electric power play, ranked first in the league in the regular season, was held scoreless on five opportunities in the contest. With such tight margins, driving home those extra-man opportunities can be a significant difference.

As mentioned, Milwaukee scored twice in the first period, both off the stick of Zach L'Heureux. First up, the rookie netted a power play goal on the backdoor. The captain, Curtis McKenzie, was in the box for a rare unsportsmanlike call after snowing Milwaukee tender Troy Grosenick. 

Just 47 seconds later, the Texas won a faceoff back to Michael Karow in the offensive zone. The win was too clean, and it slid into his skates. L'Heureux collected it with speed and went in on the breakaway for the 2-0 lead.

The vibe changed in the second period. Texas outshot the Ads in the early going by a 4-1 margin and collected the only goal of the frame. The crowd seemed a bit silenced by the Stars' aggressiveness and the score line in the period.

That lone goal came from Matej Blümel, who simply shot his shot from the left-wing circle in transition. He beat Grosenick clean and marked his eighth point of the postseason.

The third period saw Phil Tomasino earn the insurance goal. Nick Caamano had just skated in on a dangerous opportunity against Grosenick. Tomasino went back the other direction and scored off a deflection. Juuso Parssinen drained one from the defensive zone into the empty net to set the final score at 4-1.

Now, the series comes down to Game 5, set for 5 PM on Sunday in Milwaukee. Texas ended its season last year in the second round against Milwaukee in Cedar Park. The Stars look to flip the script on last year and exorcise that demon. 

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches and notes
Stankoven, Pouliot, Murray (callup)
Gardiner, Bertucci, MacDonnell, White, Wheatcroft, Romano, Stranges (scratch)
Reedy (out for the season - upper body)
Haiskanen (out for the season)
Krys (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 5,300.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - May 10 2024