The Chicago Wolves twice rallied from two-goal deficits to pull into ties but in the end fell 8-5 to the Stars on Saturday night in Texas.
Rocco Grimaldi scored three power-play goals, Kyle Marino and Alex Green each had their first tallies of the season and Matt Donovan chipped in three assists but it wasn’t enough as the Wolves came up short in the second of back-to-back games at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
The Stars wasted little time in taking the lead as Matej Blumel struck on the first shot of the game just 19 seconds after puck drop.
Later in the opening period, Texas made it 2-0 on a power-play goal by Oskar Back.
Just when it appeared the Stars would run away and hide, Marino pounced :08 after Back’s goal to pull the Wolves within a score. The veteran forward wheeled toward the Texas net and flipped a backhander that snuck past Stars goaltender Matt Murray to the stick side. Ronan Seeley and Ryan Wagner picked up assists on Marino’s first goal in the Wolves uniform.
The Wolves kept coming and evened the score at 2-2 on Green’s goal midway through the first. The defenseman’s one-timer from the point following a pass from Wagner eluded Murray to the glove side. Seeley also earned his second assist of the game on the play.
Texas regained the lead late in the first when Nick Caamano found the back of the net to make it 3-2 at the intermission.
Grimaldi’s team-leading eighth goal of the season pulled the Wolves into a 3-3 tie late in the second. With Chicago on the power play, Grimaldi rifled a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed over Murray’s right shoulder and into the net. Donovan and Vasily Ponomarev had assists. It marked the fourth consecutive game the Wolves have scored with a man advantage.
Just :27 later, Curtis McKenzie scored to give the Stars the lead at 4-3 after two periods.
Texas extended its lead to two early in the third on a score by Antonio Stranges but the Wolves wouldn’t quit and a short time later cashed in on Grimaldi’s power-play goal to pull within one.
This time, the veteran forward banged home a rebound of a Max Comtois shot for his second score of the contest. In addition to Comtois, Donovan was awarded an assist.
Grimaldi wasn’t done and notched his third power-play goal of the game on another wicked wrist shot from the top of the right circle that solved Murray to even the score at 5-5.
Texas made it 6-5 a short time later on a goal by Scott Reedy and that proved to be the game-winner. Derrick Pouliot and Michael Karow each had empty-net goals for the final margin.
Keith Kinkaid (26 saves) took the loss in goal for the Wolves while Murray (29 saves) earned the win for the Stars.
The Wolves dropped to 5-13-1-1 on the season while Texas moved to 13-5-2-1.
Next up: The Wolves travel to Iowa to take on the Wild on Tuesday night (7 p.m.).
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2023-24 season—everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings—visit chicagowolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.