Brett Ritchie scored the overtime game winner 11:44 in to give the Texas Stars a 3-2 win and, more importantly, 1-0 lead in this best-of-five series. “An unfortunate bounce with a rolling puck,” said Austin Watson. "That’s hockey and that’s overtime.”
The momentum swung the Stars’ direction after defenseman Scott Ford went to the penalty box four minutes before the game winning goal. Texas outshot Milwaukee 6-4 in extra time.
Patrick Cehlin was recorded with the first goal scorer of the series 12:05 in the game. Following the goal, goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp received a ten minute game misconduct for shooting the puck into the stands.
The Admirals suffered an offensive drought following the goal. They totaled only one shot in the next 27:55 plus during the game. “We got away from our game a little bit. It can’t happen,” said Watson.
Texas would answer back sixteen seconds remaining on the first period clock thanks to a goal from Matt Fraser. That goal would give them confidence heading back to the dressing room for the first intermission. In the second, Kevin Connauton would take a 2-1 lead for the Stars.
Zach Hamill played hero for his team on the power play in the third period with the game tying goal that would force overtime. After the goal, Hamill taunted Nilstorp, which somehow did not result in a penalty.
One of the more underrated players of the night was Magnus Hellberg, who saw his shutout streak end at 161:27 because of Fraser’s goal in the first. Hellberg stopped 41 shots in his Game 1 loss.
Two players to watch for throughout the series will be Mike Liambas and Mike Commodore. They were chirping at each other the entire night, including Liambas squirting a water bottle at the defenseman while on the bench.
The Admirals must not think about this loss too much, as they return to the BMO Bradley Center Saturday for Game 2. Puck drops at 7:00pm CT, and Fang Faction will have the recap posted that night.
Goals and Assists
1-0 MIL: PP Patrick Cehlin – Shalla and Hamill at 12:05 in the 1st
1-1 tie: Matt Fraser – Morin and Sceviour at 19:44 in the 1st
1-2 TEX: PP Kevin Connauton – Fortunus and Hedden at 9:09 in the 2nd
2-2 tie: PP Zach Hamill – Winchester and Ekholm at 7:11 in the 3rd
2-3 TEX: Brett Ritchie – Hedden and Connauton at 11:44 in OT
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Brett Ritchie: OT GWG
2. Kevin Connauton: Goal and Assist
3. Zach Hamill: Goal and Assist