CEDAR PARK — Even if you sped a DeLorean up to 88 miles per hour and fixed the flux capacitors, you would still have a hard time getting past Maxime Lagace or Jon Gillies.
The rookie goaltenders dazzled in a 1-0 duel that Marty and Doc would likely schedule their time travel around. And, heck, with time travel, the duo would likely travel back to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2015 once again, just to re-watch the game.
In the end, Stockton prevailed on a power play goal by Freddie Hamilton.
It was the only shot to beat either goalie as Gillies posted a 36-save shutout. Lagace took the tough-luck loss as he stopped 32 of 33 shots.
“He played really well,” Gillies said. “I’m learning more and more, every goalie is good in this league and he was no exception. He was unbelievable and he made some huge saves.”
Each goalie got a little bit of help from the posts in the first period, then they started trading highlights.
Gillies stopped Devin Shore on a breakaway with a sprawling glove save, then Lagace countered as he kicked away a one-timer in the first period.
“Just trying to think about the next shot you’re going to get,” Lagace said. “Sometimes there was not too much action on my end and I tried to stay focussed.”
Lagace put on a clinic during a Stockton power play in the second period.
He made a pair of glove saves, and kicked out the toe on a seemingly sure goal by Heat stud rookie Oliver Kylington.
Not to be outdone, Gillies left Stars captain Travis Morin looking skyward after a glove save with four minutes into the second period that could only be described one way — Great Scott!!
“Him and I actually had a little conversation about it, he didn’t get all of it,” Gillies said. “He said nice save. Just tried to get something in front of it because it was kind of a broken play and I saw it get passed to the backdoor. Thankful I was able to come up with the save.”
That save allowed Hamilton’s goal to stand up as the game winner.
The brother of NHLer Dougie, Hamilton fired a wrist shot that traveled through a screen and finally hit the back of the net.
Even after allowing the goal, Lagace dazzled.
With 3:30 remaining he made a pair of stops on point-blank chances, keeping Texas within striking distance.
And the Stars had one last chance with Lagace pulled, but couldn’t beat Gillies.
“If you look at the overall game, we didn’t get much puck luck,” Laxdal said. “We hit three posts in the first period … you’re going to have those games. I thought Maxime Lagace played very well for us. And our effort was there, we just didn’t get the result.”