The Texas Stars ended 2016 with a 3-1 loss to the San Diego Gulls on Saturday. Gulls rookie goalie Kevin Boyle followed up a shutout with a 37-save effort.
Here is the official release
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The offensive woes continued for the Texas Stars as rookie goaltender Kevin Boyle stopped 37 shots in net to lead the San Diego Gulls to a 3-1 win on Saturday night in front of 4,569 fans in attendance at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Brendan Ranford was the lone goal-scorer for the Stars (15-13-1-1). Boyle picked up his second career AHL win and finished the two-game set between the two teams stopping 59 of 60 shots in net for the Gulls (13-11-2-1). Stefan Noesen tallied the game-winning goal on the power play at 11:28 of period two.
The Stars host the defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, in a two-game set beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. CST at H-E-B Center.
After a scoreless first period, Ranford slipped a tight-angled shot past Boyle from the bottom of the right circle at 6:29 of the second to give Texas a 1-0 lead. Ranford’s fifth of the season ended a 98:24 drought without a goal for the AHL’s third-ranked offense at 3.52 goals per game. Jason Dickinson and Matej Stransky tallied the assists.
30 seconds after Ranford struck, Chris Wagner tapped in a loose puck in the goal crease off an awkward bounce that Stars netminder Maxime Lagace lost track of through traffic in front of the net. Noesen tapped in his fifth of the year from the top of the goal crease during a 5-on-3 power play for San Diego and a 2-1 Gulls lead entering the break.
Keaton Thompson added a second power-play goal 90 seconds into the third with a drive from the blue line, and a two-goal night for the AHL’s worst power play unit entering the game at 15.6%. Texas made a final push with a 6-on-4 power play effort in the game’s final two minutes, but Boyle and the Gulls defense closed the door on the night.
Texas finished 0-for-4 on the power play. San Diego went 2-for-7. Lagace finished 20 of 23 in net for the Stars.
Saturday was the first time Texas lost three straight games in regulation since Dec. 28, 2015.