Gulls take opener from Stars

The San Diego Gulls won the first playoff game in franchise history, getting 28 saves from Anton Khudobin in a 3-1 road victory over the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center on Thursday night.

Game 2 of the best-of-five Pacific Division semifinal series is set for Saturday night in Texas.

Antoine Laganiere put the Gulls on the board first, taking a feed from Matt Bailey and slipping a shot past Maxime Lagace for his first career AHL playoff goal at 15:00 of the opening period.

Texas pulled even just 39 seconds into the middle frame as Justin Dowling took a long pass from Esa Lindell, broke in on Khudobin and scored shorthanded to make it 1-1.

Michael Sgarbossa forced a turnover down low and Nick Ritchie pounced on the loose puck, ripping a shot past Lagace from in close to make it 2-1 for San Diego with 4:02 left in the second period.

Chris Mueller, a member of the Stars’ Calder Cup championship team in 2014, sent a no-look backhand shot past Lagace with 9:04 remaining in regulation to close out the scoring.

Khudobin (1-0) got the win in his first postseason appearance in any league since backstopping the Houston Aeros to the conference finals in 2009.

Lagace (0-1) finished with 14 saves in his pro playoff debut.

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “H” (best-of-5) 
P2-San Diego Gulls vs. P3-Texas Stars 
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 21 – San Diego 3, TEXAS 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 23 – San Diego at Texas, 8:00
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Texas at San Diego, 10:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 29 – Texas at San Diego, 10:05
*Game 5 – Mon., May 2 – Texas at San Diego, 10:05
   *if necessary… All times Eastern