CEDAR PARK -- There was no dramatic comeback for the Texas Stars Wednesday night. The Stars, who rallied to win Game 3 on Tuesday, once again faced a two-goal deficit and this time they could only cut it to one, falling 3-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals in Game 4 of the West Division Semifinals.
The series is now tied 2-2 with the next game of the series Friday in Cedar Park.
“It’s a three-game series and the teams that stay to their identity their best are the teams coming out,” said Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.
Wednesday’s game was evenly played, but special teams play ended up being key. Milwaukee was 2-5 on the power play and Texas was 1-4 with the man-advantage.
“I think we’re playing well,” said Texas forward Greg Rallo. “We could have buried a couple more of our chances, but as far as going into Friday, I don’t think we need to make any major changes. Stay the course.”
The Admirals scored the only goal of the first period, cashing in on their second power play chance of the game. Gabriel Bourque finished off a tic-tac-toe passing sequence, scoring from close range with 5:57 remaining in the period to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
The Stars tied the game at 6:25 of the second period when Scott Glennie scored his first AHL playoff goal, grabbing the rebound of his own shot and then roofing a shot over the shoulder of Admirals goalie Jeremy Smith from the bottom of the left faceoff circle.
“It feels really good. It’s exciting,” said Glennie, Dallas’ first round pick (8th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. “I just threw a puck on net, went and got the rebound. It’s good to get the first one over with. … It would have been nice to score a goal in a winning cause, that’s for sure. But at the same time it was so nice to score. That’s what I was drafted to do. It was a good feeling.”
The Admirals regained the lead by taking advantage of another power play. Taylor Beck scored off a rebound from close range to give Milwaukee a 2-1 lead at the 12:37 mark.
The Admirals extended their lead to 3-1 at the 3:13 mark of the third period on a goal by Mark Van Guilder, who got to a loose puck in front of the net and put it past Texas goalie Richard Bachman.
Texas cut the lead to 3-2 with 11:15 remaining in the third by taking advantage of a lengthy five-on-three power play. Rallo scored off a one-timer from the left circle after taking a pass from Aaron Gagnon.
The Stars still had 1:46 of five-on-four power play time left after Rallo’s goal, but a holding call on Gagnon 34 seconds later ended that chance with the man-advantage.
The Stars pulled goaltender Richard Bachman for the extra attacker with about 1:20 to go, but couldn’t get the equalizer and Milwaukee held on for the win.
Game 5 is Friday in Cedar Park with Game 6 and Game 7 – if necessary – both in Milwaukee.
“[Game 5] is pretty important considering in our league Game 6 and 7 are back there,” Rallo. “We’ve got to make sure we come out and play hard Friday. It would be nice to go back to their building with that lead.”
Series schedule (Series tied 2-2)
Game 1 – Milwaukee 5, Texas 2
Game 2 – Texas 3, Milwaukee 1
Game 3 – Texas 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Milwaukee 3, Texas 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Milwaukee at Texas, 7:30
Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Texas at Milwaukee, 7:00
Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Texas at Milwaukee, 7:00*