Admirals forced to Game 5, Stars Win in Double Overtime thriller
There will be a Game 5 on Sunday for the Milwaukee Admirals in Cedar Park, Texas as they fell 4-3 to the Stars on Friday.
Center Oskar Back scored the game-winning goal with a shot from the left circle in the double overtime.
This was the fifteenth time in franchise history the Admirals went to double overtime and now go to a winner-take-all game for a second consecutive series.
“We fought hard in the third and we came back in the game,” head coach Karl Taylor said postgame. “I thought there was lots of good in our game. The powerplay needs to give us one and they didn’t tonight, so maybe that’s the difference in the end.”
Milwaukee was unable to convert on three powerplay chances against the Stars. The Admirals had a powerplay in the second overtime with a tripping call on defenseman Michael Karow.
This was the fifth-longest game in Admirals history going 95 minutes total in hopes of advancing to the Western Conference Final for the third time since joining the AHL in 2001.
“We knew this would be a hard series,” Taylor said. “Now, we have a winner-take-all game and we’ve had a lot of those in my tenure in Milwaukee. So, maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Forward Michael McCarron scored his first career playoff goal to ignite the goal-scoring in Game 4 at 6:13. Two minutes later it was forward Luke Evangelista who got on the scoresheet quickly making it 2-0 Milwaukee in the first period.
Stars defenseman Alex Petrovic didn’t let his team go out quiet to start the game. He scored at 16:30 before going to the locker room. Then it was all Stars in the second period.
Forwards Curtis McKenzie and Nicholas Caamano scored to take a 3-2 lead over Milwaukee. Admirals forward Austin Rueschhoff was called for elbowing at 17:36 of the second before Texas exploded on offense.
Rueschhoff redeemed himself as he put home a missed shot from forward John Leonard that banked off the wall behind goaltender Matthew Murray as the scoring chance was set up on a silver platter.
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Goaltender Yaroslav Askarov made 29 saves in the game while Murray stood on his head stopping 42 pucks shot by the Admirals.
Evangelista and defenseman Jordan Gross now lead Milwaukee in scoring with 11 points going into the final game of the series.
How the Admirals got here
After finishing the regular season in second place in the Central Division the Admirals took on the Manitoba Moose first in the postseason.
Milwaukee split the first two contests in Manitoba before wrapping up the series in Panther Arena.
The Moose took Game 3 to overtime as forward Joakim Kemell scored at 6:10 of the third period to force the extra frame. Moose forward Wyatt Bongiovanni won it for Manitoba taking a 2-1 series lead.
Milwaukee fired back in Game 4 with their backs against the wall. Second period goals from Kemell and forward Kiefer Sherwood to take a 4-1 lead. Two late goals from Manitoba weren’t enough as Milwaukee added an empty netter from forward Austin Rueschhoff.
The series came down to the final minute of action as defenseman Spencer Stastney scored with 27 seconds to play in regulation. Milwaukee clinched the series to move on to face the Stars.