Sunday, December 2, 2018

Erik Condra's Five Points Power Texas Stars to 7-4 Win Over Chicago Wolves

(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars finished off their three game in three night road trip with a 7-4 win over the Chicago Wolves. Stars alternate captain Erik Condra was sensational as he paced the team in scoring with two goals and three primary assists. Travis Morin and Nick Caamano both had two goals in the contest, and captain Justin Dowling also found twine.

In his tenth season as a professional, Condra continued his eight game point streak to push his season total to 26, tying him for third in league scoring as of this posting. He got off to a hot start with two points in the first period, giving the Stars an early 2-0 lead. Less than four minutes into the contest, he cleaned up a loosed puck after defenseman Shane Hanna fired it off the back wall behind the net. Condra then set up Morin on the back door for an easy tap-in goal a couple minutes later.

The only fly in the ointment for the Stars on the night was their penalty kill. They went 50% in the game and went to the box six times. Wolves defenseman Dylan Coghlan was the first to make them pay with his one timer from the left circle when the Stars went shorthanded with two minutes left in the opening frame.

Phil Desrosiers got the start in net for the Stars and had a pedestrian night with 18 saves on 22 shots. It was really a weird game for a Stars goaltender as the Wolves didn't crack double digits in shot attempts until late in the second period.

Dowling answered Coghlan's goal four minutes into the second period with a power play one timer of his own. The goal gave Condra his third point for the sweet set up. Condra continued his dazzling display a couple minutes later when Ben Gleason sprung him for a clean breakaway, pushing the Stars lead to three.

Wolves forward Brandon Pirri also had a fine game and now sits tied with Condra's scoring total. His power play came with seven minutes left in the middle frame. Caamano's first goal was the answer on a weird play. Defenseman Brady Norrish set him up for a couple of attempts in Maxime Lagace's crease. The call on the ice was initially ruled in Lagace's favor as it appeared he did just enough to keep the puck from crossing the goal line. After the next whistle, the play was reviewed and Caamano was awarded the goal.

The Wolves weren't finished with their strong showing on the power play, with forward Reid Duke cleaning up a loose puck less than four minutes into the third period. Caamano tallied his second marker on the following shift after a hard working forecheck by Colton Hargrove to force the turnover. Morin's power play goal came about ten minutes later to give the Stars a seven spot and Condra his fifth point.

Frustrations boiled over for the Wolves late in the game when they were down 7-3. Lagace swatted Stars center James Phelan in the back of the head on one play after he was parked in the crease. When Phelan turned around to take issue, Alex Gallant streaked over from center ice and threw a sucker punch on Phelan to give the Stars some time on the power play. Matthew Weis scored with a minute and a half left of play to further muddy Desrosiers' numbers, but the Wolves never truly threatened in this game.

The Stars head home to Cedar Park to take on the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday. The puck drops at 7:00 PM CST.

Tonight's lines:
Gurianov-Dowling-Mascherin
Condra-L'Esperance-Morin
Caamano-Hargrove-Mersch
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Gleason-Hanna
Vala-Norrish

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Nyberg, Pearce, Payne (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 3,927.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - December 2 2018

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