ROSEMONT, ILL – It is the same story it has been for a while now, as the Chicago Wolves’ losing streak was extended to seven games in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Texas Stars Tuesday at Allstate Arena. Brandon Pirri’s tying power-play goal sent the game into extra time, but the home team would only finish with a point on the night.
After breaking a five-game pointless drought Sunday against the Rockford IceHogs, the Wolves came out blazing in the first period, jumping out to a 19-3 shots on goal advantage.
“You could feel the positive vibe in morning skate and before the game. We came out and played really well in the first,” said head coach Rocky Thompson.
Landon Bow stood tall all night in the net for the Stars, however, as he saved all 19 shots in the opening frame. The netminder was easily the difference maker in the game, saving all but one shot no matter what Chicago seemed to throw at him.
Matt Mangene broke the scoreless tie at 14:25 of the second period as he put Max French’s feed from behind the goal line past Kasimir Kaskisuo. The Stars would hang on to the lead entering the third, tallying nine shots in the period to Chicago’s eight.
The Wolves would be victorious on their fourth power play opportunity of the night, with Pirri’s shot from the top of the circle going bar-down and in behind Bow. Chicago had a unique setup for the face-off leading to the goal, as Beau Bennett lined up far away from the rest of the players.
“We were just planning if Pirri won it back straight away, I was gonna take it down and platter it back. We made a good entry and scored ten seconds afterwards. It worked out, and I’m glad it did,” said Bennett.
Pirri’s goal left the two teams knotted at one at the end of regulation.
However, 21 seconds of extra time is all it took for the Stars to walk away with the extra point. Jason Dickinson scored the game-winner after he dangled around one Wolves’ defender and his shot went past another to the top corner.
Kaskisuo made 18 saves on 20 shots faced in the loss.
What is it going to take to get a win after seven-straight losses?
“It starts in practice, but we do have to do things better ourselves as well. We’ve gotta fight to get traffic in front of the goalies and that’ll help,” said Rocky Thompson.
Bennett led the team with eight of their 32 shots. He has yet to score since returning to the lineup after a stint in the NHL. When asked about his scoring drought, Bennett said,
“I’m getting good looks, but I just need to get a greasy one and then the other ones will start falling. But right now, it’s just not going in like it usually does.”
On a positive note, the Wolves announced Tuesday morning they had acquired goaltender Michael Leighton on loan from the Arizona Coyotes. Rocky Thompson was very excited about him joining the team.
“I think it’s huge for us. He’s the winningest goalie in the American Hockey League. He’s a good guy, I’ve known him for a long time. He’s great in the dressing room and he’s been there before and he’s done that with every situation in the game so that’s good for our guys and it’s a calming presence.”
Will Leighton’s addition be the spark Chicago needs for a win? We will see this weekend when the Wolves play three games in three days.
Their first game is Friday night at the Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Be sure to follow @SinBinWolves for up-to-date Chicago Wolves news and game updates.
Texas Stars notes, courtesy @SinBinStars:
- Bow’s play in period one and the first half of the second was heroic. He also made huge saves in the final minute of regulation for the Stars, and absolutely stole the game for them.
- Mangene’s fifth goal of the season came on a great play behind the night, especially by rookie French who made the pass for the score.
- As the game went on, the Stars did a better job of forcing shots from the outside and limiting one-timer opportunities. They did a great job with how they responded after Chicago’s game-tying power-play goal. This is a huge upside, as they have let a few games get away from them in a hurry in the third.
- If Dickinson had not seen a call-up to Dallas, he would be solely leading the team in goals. His eighth of the season, which ties him for the team lead with Curtis McKenzie, in overtime was beautiful.
- This is the third road win of the season for the Stars, who are 3-6-0-0 on the road and 9-8-0-1 overall.
- They next play Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. EST in Cleveland. @SinBinStars will have your coverage for this, and every other, Stars game.