|Photo Credit: Ross Bonander|
Cedar Park, TX - The Texas Stars picked up a point but fell in heartbreaking fashion, 4-3 to the Chicago Wolves in overtime, spoiling Stars captain Curtis McKenzie's milestone 500th AHL game Saturday night at the HEB Center in Cedar Park.
Goalie Adam Scheel got the start between the pipes on short notice after the Dallas Stars recalled Ben Bshop from his conditioning assignment Saturday afternoon and was solid despite the loss, turning away 29 of the 33 shots he faced. Bishop is expected to retire on Tuesday.
For the second time in as many games the Wolves got on the board first when on the power play Chicago captain Andrew Poturalski beat Scheel to his stick side 5:21 into the game to give the visitors the early 1-0 lead. Porturalski finished the night with 4 points to add to his league lead of 32 (11 G, 21 A).
Scheel managed to bounce back from the early goal, taking away several scoring chances and keeping the Stars in the game as the offense struggled to find any rhythm in the 1st before Ty Dellandrea got Texas on the board to tie the game at 1-1 in the closing minutes of the period. The goal, Dellanrea's 5th goal of the season came off of a feed from the opposite point from Jordan Kawaguchi, who was playing in his first game in 2 weeks.
The Wolves re-took the lead 5:21 into the 2nd when Stephan Noesen picked up his first of 2 goals on the night, giving Chicago the 2-1 edge but the Stars answered back just 3:00 later when Riley Damiani scored on a yawning net off a feed across the crease from Anthony Louis to level the score at 2-2, extending Damiani's point-streak to 9 games.
As the 3rd period opened, both teams buckled down and played settled hockey, as opposed to the 12-goal outburst between the 2 sides on Thursday and the 2-2 tie stayed on the board until noted Star-crusher C.J. Smith gave the Wolves their 3rd lead of the night when he beat Scheel in traffic at 11:00 of the 3rd, giving Chicago the 3-2 edge. Smith's goal was his 3rd in 2 games against the Stars this season.
Texas turned things up as the period waned, only to have multiple opportunities turned away by Wolves goalie Alex Lyon who finished the night with 27 saves on 30 shots. The Stars finally got to Lyon when on the power play McKenzie, camped out by the net, buried one past him off of a Dellandrea feed, sending the 5,481 in attendance into a frenzy with the score 3-3 with 2:28 left in the game. The Stars power play unit finished the night 1-for-2 on the job.
Neither team really got much going the rest of the way and with both teams having picked up a point, the game headed to overtime where Noesen added his 2nd goal of the night with 1:40 left in the extra frame, abruptly ending the night with the 4-3 final.
The loss dropped the Stars record to 7-9-3-1 (18 pts) leaving them in 7th place in the 8-team Central Division, 16 points behind the Wolves, who improved their record to 16-4-1-1 (34 pts).
The 2 teams will square off again Sunday night at the HEB Center to close out the 3-game series with an early 5 p.m. puck drop.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Shea, L’Esperance, Borgman, Felhaber, Martin, Comeau (back, week-to-week)
Tonight’s attendance was 5,481