Sunday, February 24, 2019

Texas Ends Road Trip With 4-2 Loss to Chicago

Down the road from the United Center, where the Dallas Stars picked up a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Texas Stars struggled to match their parent club in a 4-2 loss to the Wolves. That leaves Texas with a 1-2-0-1 record for this road trip.

It was good to see forward Joel L’Esperance back with the AHL club, as the rookie sensation picked up right where he left off with two power play goals in the third period. The tallies gave L’Esperance seven goals in his last seven games with Texas.

His first came when Texas was down 3-0 six minutes into the final frame. Erik Condra and Ben Gleason recorded the helpers on the play. The second goal was too little too late, as it came with just over thirty seconds left in regulation, and Chicago’s Dylan Coghlan closed the door on any comeback bid with his goal three minutes after L’Esperance’s initial tally.

(credit: Texas Stars)
The final score and shot totals did not adequately reflect the competitiveness of this game. The Stars looked gassed in the early going, and the Wolves made them pay for their mistakes. In the end, the Stars amassed forty shots on net, but Chicago sat back quite a bit when they went up by three goals. Oskar Dansk was also brilliant in net for the Wolves and made several ten bell saves.

On the other end of the ice, Landon Bow was pulled in favor of Phil Desrosiers after a rocky period and a half. It seemed that head coach Derek Laxdal made the move moreso to jolt his team than to send a message to Bow, seeing that he wasn’t getting any help.

Six and a half minutes into the opening frame, former Stars captain Curtis McKenzie won a puck battle behind the net and centered the puck to Keegan Kolesar who buried a one timer. That gave McKenzie eight straight games with a point.

Within the first five minutes of the second period, the Wolves padded their lead enough to seal the deal with their second and third goals. Daniel Carr continued his outstanding season by scoring his 29th goal on the power play, and Zach Whitecloud finished off a 4-on-2 rush that led to the goalie decision by Laxdal.

The Stars head back to Cedar Park and will look for a better result against the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday.

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

Heatherington-Hansson
Bayreuther-Hanley
Hanna-Gleason

Bow
Desrosiers

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

Center Joel L’Esperance rejoined the team in Rosemont prior to the game.

Phil Desrosiers relieved Landon Bow halfway through the second period after Bow gave up three goals.

Tonight’s attendance was 8,807.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - February 24 2019

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