When the Stars & Admirals took the Ice at the Cedar Park Center last night, it quickly looked like that the Admirals were able to come away with a set sweep as the Admirals defeated the Stars 4-3 in OT back on Tuesday Night. Milwaukee took a quick 3-0 lead before the Stars took over the game with some amazing performances from Adam Pardy who was sent down from the Dallas Stars and brought back after a strong 3 assist performance last night.
Also included another 3 point nights from Scott Glennie as well. But perhaps the biggest night of all went to Ryan Garbutt who recorded a hat trick that was finished off with an empty netter with 1:47 left in the game to put the game away and win 6-3.
That win allowed Texas to gain some serious ground in the Western Conference Playoff Race by leap frogging both Hamilton & Rockford and are now even with the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, the Stars are just 2 points back of Lake Erie.
However, they are still 5 points back of 8th Place Peoria and will have to climb past 4 teams to get there as the Stars are getting ready to leave on a 3 game road trip out East with games against the Rochester Americans (Friday), Hamilton Bulldogs (Sunday) & Lake Erie Monsters (Wednesday).
The Stars return home on January 17th with a weekend series against the San Antonio Rampage who have been climbing in the standings by winning 7 in a row at one point in January to climb to 7th Place. And have their sights to overtaking teams like the Abbotsford Heat, Chicago Wolves & Houston Aeros who sit from 4th through 6th and are seperated by just 3 points.
Game Story from Steve Habel of the Austin American Statesman
From Cedar Park, Texas: Texas' Ryan Garbutt scored the first regular season home hat trick in team history and Matt Fraser and Scott Glennie scored goals in a minute and a half span of the third period to help complete a stirring comeback and grant the Stars a 6-3 win against Milwaukee before 4,158 fans at Cedar Park Center.
Garbutt's 3rd goal of the game, an empty netter, came at the 18:13 mark of the third period and was the fourth scored by the Stars while dominating the final period. Adam Pardy had three assists for Texas and Scott Glennie added two assists for a three point night.
The win also snapped a five game losing streak for Texas (21-22-2 44 PTS) who is five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Western Conference with 29 games left in the season.
"Getting the hat trick was fun and all, but getting this win was the most important thing," said Garbutt, who now has 16 goals on the season, the second most on the team. "We showed the kind of character we have with this comeback tonight, and hopefully this win will get us going and we can carry the momentum forward."
Milwaukee (24-20-1 50 PTS) caught Texas flat footed in the early going, scoring three goals over a span of just eight minutes in the first period.
First, the Admirals Kyle Wilson skated right into left unabated across the goal crease before beating Texas Goalie Andrew Raycroft low on the stick side, giving Milwaukee a 1-0 lead at the 5:12 mark. Zack Stortini added to the advantage at the 11:05 mark where he sent home a rebound of a shot by Jani Lajunen.
Two minutes later, the Stars picked up a pair of penalties (one by Raycroft for hooking) that lead to a 5-on-3 opportunity for Milwaukee. The Admirals made Texas pay for their mistakes, as Chris Mueller swept a shot into the net for a power play goal and a 3-0 Milwaukee lead.
The Stars comeback began with Colton Sceviour's goal off a cross ice pass from Glennie and an assist by Brad Lukowich at the 6:04 mark of the second period.
Texas then clawed back to within 3-2 as Garbutt lit the lamp at 10:53.
Garbutt tied it just 59 seconds later into the third period and the Stars poured it on for the remainder of the game.
Before the Stars paid tribute to Lukowich, their team captain; who played in his 1,000th career professional game late last month
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