Friday, March 1, 2013

Wolves Shut Down Texas Stars At Home 2-0

Fraser goes down to block a shot in the first period. (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
The Stars did not have the game they wanted to start the month of March. Texas was shut out at home 2-0 by the Chicago Wolves, their first regulation shutout loss since November 9th. They also lost their second game in a row in regulation, the first time they have done that since the same November 9th game against Toronto.

"We had trouble generating tonight," said Coach Desjardins. "Their D played really well, and we didn't get a lot of great chances. We only had three or four really great chances. We didn't get the pressure we usually get."

Notably, the entire sixty minute game was played without a single minor penalty. "That's an oddity," said forward Colton Sceviour. "I don't think I've been part of a game [like that]." The lack of penalties meant that the Stars' 4th ranked power play never got a chance to step onto the ice. Sceviour pointed out that the Stars have to find ways to win five on five. "Power plays are harder to get in the playoffs," he added.

In a game that lacked energy, it wasn't that Chicago was all that much better than Texas tonight. The Stars simply didn't have the 'oomph' behind their play to give themselves any goals. Former Star Matt Climie got the win with a 33-save shutout.

"You have to give credit to Climie," said Sceviour, who played with Climie his rookie season in Texas, "But we were just missing pucks and missing shots. You have to get goals when you have that many shots."

Adam Polasek struck first for the Wolves with his first goal of the year. Just under five minutes into the game, Polasek snuck down from the point to the high slot to bang in a paunchy rebound. The puck made a clang as it hit the back of the net with a thud.

The slow and plodding effort continued, and Francis Wathier attempted to get the team and the crowd into the game with a big hit on a Chicago defenseman. The goal scorer, Polasek, took him to task in an extended fight where most of the bout was spent trying to get the equipment free.

Darren Archibald broke in alone just a few minutes later and scored his seventh of the year. With just Gord Baldwin and goalie Jack Campbell to beat, Archibald sniped one between the pad and blocker of Campbell for the 2-0 lead. Texas would outshoot the Wolves 8-5 in the period but go to the room with that 2-0 deficit.

The second period was quite uneventful. Texas needed a spark to motivate themselves and the crowd but just could not get the drive they needed in the second twenty. The two teams skated to a period with no minor penalties or goals between them. The only scoresheet event of the period was a solid hit y Hubert Labrie on Mark Matheson, which sent Matheson's equipment flying and sent Nathan Longpre into fisticuffs with Labrie. The Stars would end the period outshooting Chicago 10-7 in the frame and 18-12 overall.

The energy and action in the second period was a barn burner compared to the third. Despite a late push by the home team to breakup the shutout, Texas put 15 shots on the Chicago net but could not break through.

Texas stays in a tie for first in the league thanks to a loss by the Syracuse Crunch. Charlotte, five points back of the Stars in the West, took a 6-2 loss against the Norfolk Admirals tonight as well.

Tonight's lines:
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Hedden-Dowling-Vincour
Jones-Petersen-Wandell
Wathier-Vause-Cameron

Baldwin-Wrenn
Sneep-Johnston
Coyle-Labrie

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Chiasson, Fortunus, Gazdic (injured)
Fyten, Tousignant (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 5,316.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - March 1 2013

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