Stars Win 4-1, Take 2-0 Series Lead Behind Remi Poirier's 32 Save Effort

(Credit: Ross Bonander/Texas Stars)

In the most technical of senses, nothing unexpected has happened yet in Texas' series with Milwaukee. The Stars are holding serve, but the feeling of these wins has not been normal. Tonight's sellout crowd got a treat from the home side.

The Stars took a commanding 2-0 series lead with a 4-1 win and earned the chance to close out the series on the road with a win in any of the next three games in Milwaukee.

"We knew we were starting at home and we knew we wanted to win these two games," said forward Matej Blümel, who had a goal and an assist tonight. "We battled both games, played very hard, played the structure we want and and the system that coaches want us to play."

Looking ahead, Texas head coach Neil Graham added, "[The third game] is the toughest because they'll be fighting for their lives...We're gonna have to make sure we're ready to bring our A game."

As discussed here earlier this week, Texas is a team surging at just the right time. They've yet to lose in the postseason and their netminder, Remi Poirier, has a 1.76 GAA and .940 SV% after posting a 3.19 and .904 in the regular season.

"He was great," said Graham. "He made some really timely saves, some big saves... Credit to the group as well. I thought we were really hard around our net. We had a lot of blocked shots tonight from everyone."

It hasn't been without challenges to get here. The Admirals came out like a team on fire to start the first period, outshooting Texas 5-1 early. The addition of Juuso Parssinen and Kevin Gravel after the Predators' first round exit had the potential to spark the club. Texas held firm and earned the first goal.

Late in the frame and with Jack Becker screening in front, Alex Petrovic beat Yaroslav Askarov from the right point to make it 1-0. It felt like Milwaukee had had the momentum for the early going.

"I thought Milwaukee came out hard today. They had some real big moments of pressure."

The second period was where things got a bit out of hand on the discipline front. The most egregious infraction was when Askarov lost his head and body tackled Curtis McKenzie away from the play. The goalie followed up the boneheaded play with a kick, as you can see below.

Texas did not lose its head in response. They simply got even. The Stars league-leading power play took the ice not once, but twice in the ensuing few minutes. The second time was deadly. Mavrik Bourque found an unmarked Kyle McDonald at the hashes for the 2-0 score. McKenzie had the second assist. The two apples where Bourque and McKenzie's 6th and 5th of the postseason, respectively.

"It's that time of year," said Graham of the secondary scoring activating in the win. "Especially heading on the road, they're going to get more favorable matchups that they want to see. Secondary scoring is always big."

Milwaukee charged back hard in the third period. Texas only barely survived an extended shift in their zone just past five minutes in. Just a tick later, the Ads scored in transition. Marc Del Gaizo charged to the net but passed back against the grain to Ozzy Weisblatt for the 2-1 score.

There is a certain something about great teams, however. They respond when pressed. Texas did that tonight. Matej Blümel did not wait long to answer back for the Stars. Just over two minutes later, Blümel collected a shot that missed the net off the end boards and put it back on Askarov.

The building was electric.

"Obviously, it was a big goal from our line," said Blümel. "I'm happy we scored as a line and we got it on the board, but to be honest, the series is not over yet."

The Ads pulled Askarov with 2:40 remaining but could not find their second goal, let alone their third to tie it. Blümel dished to Justin Hryckowian on a 2-on-1 the other way, and the latter earned his first playoff tally into the empty net.

Now, the Stars have all the advantages they could earn as they head to Wisconsin. They simply must win one of the coming three games. But as they said, it's the hardest win to get. Their first chance to end the series comes Wednesday night at 7 PM.

Tonight's lines:



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

Tonight's attendance was 6,778, the team's record 14th sellout of the year.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Milwaukee - May 4 2024


  1. How does Askarov not get a match penalty for this? Guy is a total clown and has been since he got to the AHL.

    1. The rules are different in the playoffs. They shouldn't be but they are. The question now is if he collects any league discipline for the matter.


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. Using a name will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.