Bourque, Mueller Leads Ads to Game 1 Win
Milwaukee, WI--Forward Gabriel Bourque tied a Milwaukee Admirals playoff record with five points on two goals and three assists and center Chris Mueller added two goals and two assists as the Admirals took game one of the West Division Semifinals with a 5-2 win over the Texas Stars on Thursday night the Bradley Center.
The Stars the lit the lamp first at 9:48 in the first period on a power-play goal from center Aaron Gagon. After Scott Ford was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking, the Stars scored 17 seconds into the power play. Dan Spang passed across from the blue line to Gagon. The center blasted a shot at a screened Jeremy Smith and the puck trickled in for the 1-0 lead.
The Admirals answered back when Bourque tied the game at 14:22. Roman Josi received in the slot on the far side from Andreas Thuresson. Josi then saw Bourque racing toward the net and launched a cross pass at the near circle. Bourque controlled the puck and tipped a shot that hit the near post and in past netminder Richard Bachman.
The Ads finished the first period with a go ahead power-play goal from Mueller at 17:15. As Milwaukee was in transition against the Stars, defensemen Aaron Johnson skipped a pass up to Bourque on the far side of the boards. Bourque took the space in front of him and saw wide open Mueller in the slot. Mueller controlled the pass and flipped it past goaltender Bachman.
Mueller and Bourque tacked additional points on the score-sheet as Ryan Thang tipped the puck in at the goal line at 7:36 of the second period. Bourque and the Admirals offense took control of the puck in the Stars zone from the near circle passing to Mueller in the high slot. Mueller fired a shot that ricocheted off of Thang and barely trickled over the goal line for a 3-1 lead.
Bourque posted his second goal of the game at 18:41. Mueller skated to the far circle and blasted a shot that was turned aside by Bachman to the near goal line. Mueller pursued the puck and saw Bourque flying through the slot and made a graceful pass to him. Bourque then ripped a wrister that put the Ads up 4-1.
At the start of the third period Texas made a goalie change, benching Bachman in favor of Tyler Beskorowany. Bachman allowed four goals and turned away 13 shots through the two periods of play.
The Stars lit the lamp in the third period on a goal from center Mathieu Tousignant at 6:59. Ray Sawada was on top of the near circle and blasted a shot at netminder Smith that was tipped by Tousignant and slithered under his arm to make the match a two goal game. Phillip Larsen also earned an assist on the play.
However, the Stars would get no closer as Bourque and Mueller combined again to make it 5-2 as Mueller earned his second goal of the game and Bourque his third assist at 9:26.
Smith’s playoff debut earned him third star honors as he turned away 22 shots in the sixty minutes of play.
The two teams are back at it for game two of the series on Saturday night at 7:00 pm. Fans can purchase individual tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or logging on to milwaukeeadmirals.com, while fans looking for playoff packages, group tickets or more information should call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!