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Texas Stars Report: Maxime Lagace Could Force A Tough Decision In Net

After playing just 17 minutes for the Dallas Stars system last year and bouncing around the ECHL, Maxime Lagace is proving that he is a force to contend with in net for the Texas Stars.

Maxime Lagace in warmups for Texas
Maxime Lagace in warmups for Texas
Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

Maxime Lagace might have had an off week on the balance, dropping both of his contests, but his body of work is raising eyebrows. In Derek Laxdal's words, he could force some tough decisions down the road in net.

Last season, Maxime Lagace was a bit of an afterthought in the scope of the organization's goaltending. With Jack Campbell and Jussi Rynnas at the AHL level and Olivier Roy as the ECHL starter in Idaho, there was just one spot left in the AA league for a goaltender. Maxime Lagace and Henri Kiviaho were the two men battling for the spot.

Henri Kiviaho won it and that set off an interesting journey for Lagace. After being assigned to Idaho early in the season, he was recalled almost immediately but didn't play for Texas aside for 17 minutes of mop-up duty in a loss. In November, he was assigned to Missouri of the ECHL and got into 15 games. He was then reassigned again inside the ECHL to Bakersfield.

After that journey, it was easy to see why a lot of folks had written off his skills after his first professional season.

However, Lagace has a raw talent that has never benefited from actual goalie coaching. His work over the summer shows that he is ready to shed any hint of being a 3rd string ECHLer. This week's goalie duel with Stockton's Jon Gillies showed that he has the chops to do it.

Now the question is if he can keep it up. If he can, soon the question will be what happens when Jack Campbell comes back?

Goalie Maxime Lagace Turns Heads Despite 1-0 Texas Stars Loss

After a 24 goal outburst in their first four games, the Texas Stars found themselves on the wrong end of a good old fashioned goalie duel last Wednesday evening in Cedar Park.

"Both goaltenders played very well," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "We had some good looks to tie it up but we didn't get puck luck."

Maxime Lagace made his third straight start after winning his previous two on the road in Rockford this weekend. The rookie netminder stopped 32 of 33 shots on the night.

"I felt good in net," said Lagace. "The boys played hard. It could have gone either way. Their goalie had a good game as well."

Jon Gillies, Stockton's (Calgary Flames) goaltender, picked up well-earned first star honors for stymieing Texas on all 36 shots he faced on the night. Despite it only being his 3rd AHL game, it was his second shutout.

Lagace has been astounding this week and is working to defy expectations after a year spent bouncing around the ECHL. His work with Mike Valley has really helped his game and was on display tonight as an active glove hand kept Texas with a clean sheet until late in the third period. A power play goal from Freddie Hamilton was his only blemish on the night.

Shore Scores to Stay Hot, But Texas Falls in Iowa 3-2

The Stars found no luck against the Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild) on Saturday night, falling 3-2 despite a late push to even things up. Derek Hulak scored his second goal of the season and Devin Shore scored his seventh to stay very hot and right at the top of the league standings.

Maxime Lagace took the loss, his second of the season, as the Stars dropped to 4-2-0-0 with the defeat.

Texas Stars Offense Returns in 4-1 Victory in Iowa

Texas never trailed in Sunday's contest in Des Moines, jumping out to a 1-0 lead en route to a 4-1 victory. Travis Morin scored his first of the season, as did Justin Dowling.

Devin Shore scored his league-leading 8th goal of the year. So far, he has been held without a point in just one game. Remi Elie completed the scoring with his second of the year.

John Muse took the start in net, improving his record to 3-0.

Texas Stars Drop 4-3 Shootout Decision as Dickinson Scores First Pro Goal

The Stars took their first trip to Milwaukee (Nashville Predators) this season and headed to their first shootout of the season. The four round bout culminated in an Admirals win, capping off a comeback from behind 3-1.

The loss snapped Texas' seven game victory streak against the Ads. Jason Dickinson potted his first professional goal and Travis Morin tallied his second of the year in the victory. Julius Honka had his first of the year.

John Muse got his second start in a row and stopped 41 of 44 shots in the loss, moving him to a 3-1 record on the season.

The Week Ahead

Texas comes home to play the Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers) for the first time on Friday and Sunday in their only action of the week.

Injury Report

Justin Dowling and Matt Mangene both returned to the healthy ranks this week.