Texas has lost three games in a row. The games have ranged from tough breaks, to uninspired performances. On Wednesday Texas received the former, losing a gritty, goaltender duel of a game 1-0 in the Shootout to the Chicago Wolves.
With a slight tweak in the forward lineup, along with the return of Ludwig Bystrom, the Stars looked rejuvenated early on.
Cole Ully had a great chance early, banking his own rebound for an attempt Ully just couldn’t lift high enough to bury past Jordan Binnington.
Shots were 8 to 2 in favor of Texas through the first eight minutes. The rest of period had a high pace, but nothing adventurous. Justin Peters was never tested as Texas dominated possession and spent most of the first period in Chicago’s zone.
The second period saw Chicago push back. Though Peters never had to be brilliant, he did have to be focused. The brilliance came later.
Referee Mike Mullen swallowed his whistle when Jared Nightingale tried to pick a fight with Matej Stransky in front of the benches, even dropping one of his gloves. It was an oddball sequence sandwiched in between a strong exchange on the ice as the Wolves pushed back.
With the officiating taking an odd turn (plenty of rough stuft went uncalled), Chicago kicked it into high gear. Ty Rattie had an open net that Peters flopped on his stomach to get a piece of. The Wolves, smelling blood, managed several more high danger area chances but Peters kept Chicago on a scoreboard leash.
To start the third period, Justin Dowling had a brilliant, Herculean effort to break into the Chicago zone with Mark McNeil on a two on one, but McNeil fumbled the pass.
Dowling followed up his effort with another great, swift zone entry, drop passing to an unprepared Matt Mangene.
McNeil had another opportunity to bank it in when the puck bounced favorably to him behind the net with no one covering him. Missed opportunities remained the theme of the night.
Werek had a great point blank chance with eight minutes left right on Binnington’s doorstep, but the Chicago netminder kept the proverbial gates closed.
Texas had a great opportunity with less than three minutes remaining when Ty Loney took a high sticking penalty. The power play couldn’t take advantage, sequestered by stout goaltending, a good Chicago penalty kill, and some questionable execution on Texas’ part to punctuate the extra period.
Jason Dickinson, Denis Gurianov, and Anrew Bodnarchuk were Texas’ overtime starters. Chicago dominated the first several sequences. Texas got going when Julius Honka broke through the neutral zone; a reminder that his development isn’t being challenged in the AHL.
Matt Mangene had one of the better chances in overtime but Binnington was busy channeling his inner Carey Price.
— Chicago Wolves (@Chicago_Wolves) March 16, 2017
Both netminders stood tall as they had all night, and were the real stories of the game. Kenny Agostino and Rattie scored to give Chicago the win in the Shootout.
Texas returns to action at 6 against the Cleveland Monsters on Friday.
Texas Stars Line Up
Brandon DeFazio – Jason Dickinson – Denis Gurianov
Ethan Werek – Travis Morin – Matej Stransky
Cole Ully – Justin Dowling – Mark McNeil
Caleb Herbert – Austin Fyten – Matt Mangene
Ludwig Bystrom – Julius Honka
Andrew Bodnarchuk – Darren Dietz
Dillon Heatherington – Nick Ebert
Scratches: McMurtry, Bow, Stevenson, Smith, Hache
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