The Texas Stars fought for ninety minutes tonight before succumbing to the will of the Milwaukee Admirals, or should we say, to their goaltender Jeremy Smith. Texas loses the series four games to two and ends their season a good seven weeks earlier than the magical inaugural campaign that saw them go deep into the Calder Cup Finals.
With the Dallas' season seemingly long since ended (has it really only been 15 days?) Stars fans gathered around Twitter and the online radio feed at theahl.com to hear Texas Stars PR everything-man Josh Fisher call the crap out of that double overtime thriller only to be disappointed by a rather unfortunate, undeserved ending.
Texas trailed 2-1 in the third period but a Travis Morin game tying goal started a period of shear dominance for the Stars extending to just seconds before the fateful game winner.
The Stars attack was relentless and constant in the overtime periods. They out-shot the Admirals 19-7 in the extra frames and played the game mostly in Smith's end, but he was equal to the task, as was Michal Neuvirth last year for the Hershey Bears. Goaltending trumps all in hockey, unfortunately.
Which isn't to say that Texas' goaltending was bad. It was quite good. The Stars' Richard Bachman capped a stellar season with a great performance stopping 47 of 50 shots faced tonight (.940) and had a meteoric rise this year in the Stars goaltending depth chart ahead of Brent Krahn, Tyler Beskorowany and Jack Campbell. But more on him later...
The Stars were hampered by the loss of Aaron Gagnon, who left the game in the second period and did not return. Having talked to Aaron I can only assume, given his character, that the cause was loss of limb or decapitation. He's a warrior.
Their campaign may be over earlier this year but the results put forth are ultimately of more utility than they were last season from a Dallas perspective. Brenden Dillon, Philip Larsen, Scott Glennie, Ondrej Roman, Mathieu Tousignant, Tyler Beskorowany, Richard Bachman, etc... There are a lot more names coming out of Cedar Park with a possible Dallas Stars future, and that will be the subject of future articles in this space.
In the mean time we say congratulations to Coach Glen Gulutzan and his Texas Stars. They faced a similarly crazy Western Conference race (compared to the NHL) and made their post-season, putting up a hell of a fight. There's nothing to be ashamed of in this exit.
As always please visit Hundred Degree Hockey for the best Texas Stars coverage on the web.