Texas Heads into All-Star Break with Big 5-4 Win Over Chicago

All-rookie third line makes huge contribution to Texas win
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Texas got back-to-back wins in a two game set at home for the first time all season with a big win against the Chicago Wolves tonight. The high-scoring 5-4 victory was powered in large part by the all-rookie third line of Jesse Root, Branden Troock and Eric Faille.

"Coach wanted our line to cause havoc on the ice, so we were high energy out there tonight," said Troock. "It's pretty easy to play with them, we roll really well. We've been drawing up some plays that have been working for us."

The biggest play for the trio came eleven seconds after Brendan Ranford tied the game for Texas in the second period. Jesse Root got his fourth of the year to put the Stars ahead for good.

"It was a big goal," said Root. "That's what you have to do in these games. Chicago is a great team, and they were making a push. That swung the momentum in our favor."

Coach Laxdal had asked for more from his third line and he said they "did exactly what we asked of them" in both games this weekend.

The Stars got on the board twice in the first, both thanks to their defensemen and traffic at the net. Cameron Gaunce struck first, an unlikely blast from the veteran blue liner. Justin Dowling set up the goal, which sailed in clear from the point.

On the power play, Julius Honka scored from the blue line as well. A nice pass from the low right wing side by Morin changed the angle enough for Honka to slip the puck in five hole on Binnington.

Honka gave it back later in the period of a giveaway that turned into a Chicago 2-on-1. Ty Rattie passed to Phil McRae, who beat Rynnas for the Wolves opening goal.

Pat Cannone finished off a quick play with a one-timer shot on bent knee from the wing side. The Wolves quickly changed the angle of attack from right wing to left and Cannone had an empty net.

Chicago went up 3-2 on a pinball play that saw Rynnas make the first and second saves but put the puck on the stick of McRae again. His unassisted tally came in the dying seconds of a penalty kill for the Stars. Julius Honka was in the box for a questionable boarding call.

The Stars comeback came quickly thereafter. On a power play of their own, Brendan Ranford competed the pass from Justin Dowling to the things. Just 11 seconds later, Jesse Root and the third line got the 4-3 tally as Root rushed in and put a shot on Binnington despite being draped by a Wolves defender.

The clubs traded goals in a high-flying third period. Curtis McKenzie opened the scoring with the net presence that the Stars had established all weekend. It was an easy tap-in for the forward after Jamie Oleksiak bombed a shot on net. Brendan Ranford passed the puck to the crease where McKenzie collected his fifth of the year.

Petteri Lindbohm made it interesting with 9 minutes left, taking the lead down to one for Texas. The Stars would persevere.

Texas now gets a required four days off. They will reconvene on Thursday for morning skate.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ritchie (call up)
Stransky, Wrenn, Glennie, Peters (scratch)
Henderson, Faksa (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 6,309.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Chicago - January 24 2015


  1. Big back to back set of wins. Really hoping for a 10 point homestand. Enjoy the break everyone.

  2. Any notes as to why they used so many D? Was it just for added bulk against Chicago or was there a long-term strategy in mind for the players or the team?

    1. I asked. Coach said they wanted to keep those guys in the lineup even with Jokipakka and Oleksiak down.

  3. Mangene seemed to play mostly forward. Valentine played mostly forward but also took some time at defenseman.


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