Excepting the first five minutes, Texas played a great game tonight. But unfortunately, hockey game are made up of three 20 minute periods and you have to play hard in every minute to get the W. Texas gave up two goals in the first four minutes of the game before getting one of their own on the power play. Each team would add another power play tally to set the final at 3-2 for Chicago.
"We're a team that needs to play 60 minutes," said defenseman Jordie Benn, who scored a goal in the game. "Our starts aren't the greatest right now, and we need to change that."
Chicago got the first one of the night just 76 seconds in. A faceoff win by Nate Longpre was fed back to Polasek, who blasted it from the point. Coach Pyle recognized tying up on the faceoff as a going concern, "I'd like to see us block out around the net, tie up around the net off faceoffs."
The Wolves scored again at 3:55 off the rush. The rebound goal was potted by Antoine Roussel, his second of the year, on a rebound. "We gave up a deflection and a rebound and we really didn't tie up around the net," said Pyle. "It's been a problem off and on throughout the year."
So Texas was once again playing from behind. Ryan Garbutt collected his second of the year on the 5-on-3 power play on quite the bang-bang play, with at least 4 of the 5 Stars players on the ice touching the puck within 5 seconds of the goal being scored. Garbutt's tally, assisted by Glennie and Benn, set things at 2-1 to end the first. Texas outshot Chicago 16-8 in the period and 12-5 following Chicago's second goal.
Chicago collected the only goal of the second period, a power play goal on a questionable boarding call to Brenden Dillon. Kevin Connauton's 6th of the year beat Beskorowany from other leading scorers Mark Mancari and Darren Haydar. Chicago outshot Texas in the period 13-11.
Again behind after the second, Texas battled into the third, claiming an early power play. Jordie Benn potted his 5th goal of the year with a puck that seemingly had eyes, finding twine from the blue line to make it 3-2. Assists went to Wathier and Glennie.
Texas was then tasked with mounting a comeback in the third while Chicago didn't give them anymore power play opportunities. Matt Climie didn't help matters, playing lights out in the third by stopping all 15 shots. "5-on-5 we can't buy a goal," said Pyle, a concern that has also been voiced by GM Scott White.
With 1:19 of extra man time, Texas could not find the equalizer and lost in regulation. Coach Pyle has the players, who are mostly Canadian, practicing tomorrow, Thanksgiving. The team then travels to Houston Friday for the first game of a home and home weekend series.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Lukowich (unspecified injury)
Larsen, Vincour (callup)
Tonight's attendance was 5,901.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - November 23 2011