CEDAR PARK, Texas – Toby Petersen’s shorthanded goal midway through the third period gave the Texas Stars a 5-1 lead and they fought off a late charge by the Milwaukee Admirals to win 5-4 Saturday night in front of 5,961 fans at Cedar Park Center.
Stars left wing Francis Wathier opened up the scoring just three minutes into the first period finding the loose rebound from a Taylor Peters’ shot and stuffing the puck into the open net. Austin Watson tied the game halfway through the frame when he knocked in rebound from a Filip Forsberg shot that kicked off the chest of Texas goaltender Allen York. The Stars’ penalty kill was heavily tested, as they fought off four Milwaukee power plays, including a full two-minute five-on-three man-advantage for the Admirals.
Texas was quick to take back the lead in the second period with Curtis McKenzie crashing the Admirals net and sliding one past goaltender Scott Darling, assisted by Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour at 1:20. Former Stars forward Mathieu Tousignant would give Texas a chance at a power play when he pushed defensemen Cameron Gaunce to the ice at the home net after play had ended. Left wing Mike Hedden would capitalize on the power play, tipping in Kevin Connauton’s shot from the left circle. The goal extended Hedden’s current point-streak to six games. Jamie Oleksiak got in on the scoring late in the period as he beat Darling with a slap shot from the top of the left circle at 17:23. Chris Mueller and Scott Glennie picked up assists on the goal, which gave Oleksiak a three-game goal streak.
The Admirals began the third period with a goaltender replacement as Magnus Hellburg came on to relieve Darling, who left with an equipment problem. At 12:42 of the final stanza, Toby Petersen raced off on a breakaway and slid a backhand shot through the legs of Hellburg for a shorthanded goal and a 5-1 Stars lead. Texas appeared to be on cruise control, but found themselves scrambling to hang on as Milwaukee mounted a furious comeback attempt. Zach Budish scored a power play goal at 13:43 and Forsberg made a great pass to Colton Sissons for a back-door tap-in to make it 5-3. After pulling Hellburg for an extra attacker with 1:43 left in regulation, Sissons would setup Anthony Bitetto at 19:18 to cut the Stars’ lead to one, but despite a frantic finish, Texas hung on for a 5-4 victory.
Allen York earned his second win with the Texas Stars, finishing with 34 saves on 38 shots. Scott Darling started the game for Milwaukee playing the first 40 minutes and stopping 25-of-29 shots, before leaving the game due to a skate problem. Magnus Hellburg came on in relief for the entire third period and turned away 8-of-9 shots and took the loss. The Stars and Admirals finished the game tied with 38 shots on goal each. Texas went 1-for-2 on the power play and Milwaukee was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.