Texas center Josh Melnick scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Stars a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Thursday night at Allstate Arena.
Forward Curtis McKenzie scored for the Wolves (16-16-3-1). Goaltender Oscar Dansk (11-6-1), honored earlier Thursday as the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for December, had his seven-game winning streak come to a close.
Chicago limited Texas to 10 shots in the first two periods and controlled the action, but the Stars outshot the Wolves 11-5 in the third period to gain momentum going into extra time.
“We played a really good game — a good 40 minutes — and everything was going in the right direction,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “Then we did the exact opposite in the third.”
McKenzie opened the scoring at 7:51 of the first period as center Gage Quinney set him up for an easy tap-in. Quinney, back after missing two games with a lower-body injury, zig-zagged his way between two Stars and drew a third toward him as he approached the net, which allowed McKenzie to sneak alone to the far post and accept Quinney’s pass through the crease.
The Stars (14-17-2-2) pulled even with 33 seconds left in the second period when they wouldn’t allow the Wolves to clear the puck. Park Ridge native Michael Mersch eventually gained control below the right faceoff circle and found a way to slip the puck through traffic for a 1-1 tie.
Melnick lost his footing, but found it just in time below the right faceoff circle to whack the puck through a Wolves defender and Dansk for the win.
Texas goaltender Landon Bow (8-8-2) earned 25 saves while Dansk finished with 20.
The Wolves host the Iowa Wild at 7 p.m. Saturday and the first 2,000 fans receive a Wolves Koozie, courtesy of Sport Clips.