In a unique format of 2-3 in a best-of-5, the Texas Stars, who are the number one seed in the Western Conference, had the option of starting at home or in Milwaukee. The Stars chose to begin on the road and the Stars were able to steal game one from the Admirals, 3-2 in overtime in front of 3,053.
The game winning goal was scored by rookie sensation, Brett Ritchie at 11:44 of the first overtime period with assists from Mike Hedden and Kevin Connauton.
Milwaukee got on the board first when Patrick Cehlin took advantage of Cristopher Nilstorp’s misconduct penalty just 10 seconds into the man advantage. Texas completely shut down the Admirals offense, going as far as not allowing a shot in the final half of the first period. The Stars full grabbed the momentum with the heartbreaking “last-minute-goal,” when Travis Morin sent the puck toward Milwaukee’s goalie, Magnus Hellberg. Fresh off a plane from Dallas, Matt Fraser tipped in Morin’s shot and the Stars tied up the game with just 15 seconds remaining in the first.
The Stars made their defensive stranglehold on Milwaukee even tighter in the 2nd as they only allowed one shot to the Admirals. On the other end of the ice, Texas peppered Hellberg with eleven shots and it was at the 9:09 mark when newly acquired defenseman, Connauton showed the Stars organization just how impressive his skating can be when the puck is on his stick. Kevin made a couple of sweet moves and wristed a shot that found the top of the goal over Hellberg’s glove to give Texas their first lead of the night.
The Stars began to play sloppy in the 3rd period as they took 3 minor penalties in a 4 minute time span. Milwaukee tied the game at 2 when Zach Hamill went high on Nilstorp during a 4-on-3 power play for the Admirals.
The game was over thanks to Ritchie’s overtime winner and Nilstorp turning aside 29 of 31 shots. An area which Texas will look to improve on is their special teams. The Admirals went 2-for-5 with the man advantage while the Stars only capitalized once on 7 tries. Game 2 between the Stars and Admirals will be tomorrow night at 7:00 PM at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The series will shift back to Cedar Park next Wednesday, May 1st.