Thursday, February 21, 2019

McKenzie, Lagace Lead the Way for Wolves in Stars 3-1 Loss

Though today's tilt was much more competitive than the last time the Stars played a day game in Rosemont, the result was still the same. The Chicago Wolves beat Texas 3-1 to put them even with Iowa at second place in the Central division with one game in hand. Texas, on the other hand, can't seem to find consistency while a playoff spot is still there for them to take. It's almost as if they're missing the league leader in goal scoring.

Two familiar faces led the charge for the Wolves--Curtis McKenzie and Max Lagace. The former Stars captain scored his first goal against his old team in the second period to go with Gage Quinney's shorthanded tally. Both goals in the middle frame gave the Wolves the lead, which they never relinquished.
(credit: Texas Stars)
Lagace was spectacular in his 38-save effort. Many of those shots were from the perimeter, as the Wolves were doing a stellar job of keeping the Stars to the outside for the most part, but Lagace's glove was on point. The only time the Stars managed to get a puck passed him was early in the first period when defenseman Joel Hanley fired one through traffic, and Hanley was heavily screened. It was great timing for Hanley after he signed a two-year deal to stay with the Stars yesterday.

The chances were there in the third period for the Stars to find the equalizer, but Lagace met them every step of the way. The closest they came was when Travis Morin hit a post with less than five minutes to go, and his line-mates scrambled to make a play behind the net. In the end, Daniel Carr's empty-netter sealed the deal and padded his league-leading 64 points.

The Stars head to Grand Rapids tomorrow to take on the division leader.

Tonight's lines:
Mersch-Dowling-Gurianov
Caamano-Morin-Condra
McClure-Hargrove-Calderone
Payne-Phelan-Mascherin

Heatherington-Hansson
Bayreuther-Hanley
Hanna-Gleason

Desrosiers

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Markison (lower body)
Laberge (upper body)
Nyberg, Naas (scratch)

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