ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves fell behind by two goals in the second period, but their last-minute push wasn’t enough as they fell 4-3 to the Texas Stars Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena.
Forwards Nathan Longpre, Jordan Schroeder, and Mike Duco scored for Chicago, which has dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 4-9.
“We didn’t have enough left in the tank to pull out the victory,” said Wolves head coach Craig MacTavish. “We gave ourselves a chance but couldn’t pull out two points.”
With the score deadlocked at 2-2 in the second period, Texas (18-18-1-2) bagged two goals in a 57-second span to take control of the game. Left wing Mike Hedden held the puck along the near boards and slipped a pass to forward Matt Fraser in the slot. Fraser hammered a one-timer past Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack at 13:57.
The Stars doubled their lead 57 seconds later while working on the power play. Defensemen Maxime Fortunus stick-handled the puck in the far circle and snapped a shot through Lack’s legs at 14:54.
Chicago (21-14-1-3) closed to within 4-3 at 18:53 of the third period with a power-play goal by Duco, but Texas goaltender Andrew Raycroft slammed the door in the final minute to preserve the win for the Stars.
The Wolves opened scoring 3:06 into the game when Longpre skated into the Wolves zone along the near boards, wrapped around the net and tucked the puck between the post and Raycroft’s outstretched pad.
Texas tied the score 1-1 when defenseman Brad Lukowich’s shot from the far point sneaked past a screened Lack at 5:27 of the first period.
Chicago regained the lead at 2-1 when forward Michael Davies and Schroeder skated in on a two-on-one break and Davies slid a pass to Schroeder, who one-timed a shot past Raycroft.
Raycroft (4-2-1) kicked out 25 of 28 shots.
The Stars knotted the score at two just 23 seconds later when defenseman Jordie Benn received a pass in the far circle and wristed a shot over Lack’s glove.
Lack (9-10-3) posted 26 saves.
The Wolves open an Illinois Lottery Cup home-and-home series with the Rockford IceHogs at 7 p.m. Friday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Texas 1 3 0 -- 4
Chicago 1 1 1 -- 3
First Period---1, Chicago, Longpre 7 (Miller, Connauton), 3:06; 2, Texas, Lukowich 4 (Glennie, Sceviour), 5:27 pp. Penalties---Oreskovich, Chicago (checking to the head), 5:03; Hauswirth, Texas (slashing), 14:04.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Schroeder 10 (Davies, Sweatt), 2:45; 4, Texas, Benn 8 (Hauswirth, Connolly), 3:08; 5, Texas, Fraser 21 (Hedden, Morin), 13:57; 6, Texas, Fortunus 4 (Lukowich, Glennie), 14:54 pp. Penalties---Wathier, Texas (tripping), 4:04; Baumgartner, Chicago (hooking), 14:17.
Third Period---7, Chicago, Duco 9 (Haydar, Mancari), 18:53 pp. Penalties---Lukowich, Texas (cross-checking), 18:31.
Shots on goal---Texas: 10-15-5--30. Chicago: 10-6-12--28. Power plays---Texas: 2-2. Chicago: 1-3. Goalies---Texas, Raycroft (25-28). Chicago, Lack (26-30). A---3,032. Referee---Joe Sullivan and Francis Charron. Linesmen---Al Stensland and Mathieu Chenier.