CEDAR PARK, Texas – A 29-17 shot count favoring the Texas Stars was not enough as the San Diego Gulls won Game 1 of the Pacific Division Semifinals by a 3-1 score on Thursday night at Cedar Park Center.
San Diego (1-0) took a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five matchup with the win. Justin Dowling was the Stars’ only goal-scorer in the game with a shorthanded tally. Anton Khudobin stopped 28 shots in net to lead the Gulls to the win. Maxime Lagace suffered the loss in his first career postseason start for Texas (0-1).
Game 2 is Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Cedar Park Center.
Nick Ritchie’s first of the playoffs with just over four minutes remaining in the middle frame was the game-winner, and Chris Mueller padded the San Diego lead to 3-1 midway through the third on a no-look, backhand shot in front of the net that slipped through the leg pads of Lagace.
San Diego opened up the scoring late in the first.
Antoine Laganiere found a bouncing puck in the slot with five minutes to play and snapped home his first of the playoffs. On the penalty kill 39 seconds into period two, Dowling forced a turnover at center ice for Texas and slipped a shorthanded breakaway goal past Khudobin to knot the score at 1-1 before San Diego pulled away for good.
Lagace finished 14 of 17 in net for the Stars.
Texas went 0-for-4 on the power play. San Diego went 0-for-2.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and currently in their seventh season at Cedar Park Center. Full season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.