Stars Fall to Wolves in 4-1 DecisionMar 22, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, battled the Central Division leading Chicago Wolves for the eighth and final time of the season, and came out on the wrong side of a 4-1 final. Michael Mersch was the lone Stars goal-scorer in the decision.
Chicago opened scoring four and a half minutes into the game when Dylan Coghlan took advantage of his team’s only chance on the power play, his first of a two-point effort. The Wolves defenseman shot a one timer through traffic in front of the crease and past Landon Bow for the opening tally. Chicago’s penalty kill would end the night 2-for-2, holding the Stars on a pair of power plays.
Mersch evened the score less than a minute and a half later. A shot from Justin Dowling bounced off the pad of Oscar Dansk and battled for at the top of the crease. Mersch pulled the puck to his forehand with a Wolves defender draped on his back and tapped a goal into the virtually open net. The veteran forward now has seven points in eight games against the Wolves and became the fourth Stars player to reach 20 goals this year.
The Stars fought to take the lead, sending several chances toward the net but failing, with several chances being deflected wide by the Chicago defense. The Wolves would turn that into offensive momentum and with just five minutes until the intermission, Ryan Wagner put the eventual game winning goal into the net to give his team a 2-1 lead. The deflection goal would carry the Wolves into the second period and give Wagner his first game winning goal this year.
Early in the second period, Keegan Kolesar increased the Wolves lead to 3-1, cleaning up a shot from Curtis McKenzie. The rebound found his stick on the left side of the net before burring the rebound. The Stars put seven shots on goal in the period but also had several opportunities that went uncredited. Mersch sent a shot over the net from close quarters while Adam Mascherin rang the post to the left of Dansk were a two of the Stars chances that failed to bring them back into the game.
With the net empty and the Stars pushing the pace late in the third period, Tomas Hyka launched the puck down the ice into the empty net, to wrap up the Wolves 4-1 final.
Bow stopped 23-of-26 shots he faces, but ultimately suffered the loss, just his second home regulation loss in the last 18 games. The Stars netminder holds a 18-4-1 record at the H-E-B Center this year. Dansk held down the fort for Chicago, allowing only one goal against, and zero through the final 40 minutes.
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski