CEDAR PARK, Texas —The Chicago Wolves surrendered two power-play goals and could not rally as they dropped their sixth straight game to the Texas Stars with a 5-4 loss on Saturday night at the Cedar Park Center.
Center Philip McRae paced the offense for the Wolves (21-17-14-1) with a pair of goals while center Pat Cannone and defenseman Petteri Lindbohm chipped in the other two. Goaltender Jordan Binnington (12-8-2) made 30 saves in the loss.
Texas (18-15-9-0) got out to a strong start and dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, capitalizing early on defenseman Cameron Gaunce’s perfectly-placed shot. The blueliner’s laser from above the faceoff circle found the top corner to evade a screened Binnington just 1:55 into the contest.
The Stars doubled their lead with a power-play tally at 12:31. With five seconds remaining in the man-advantage, defenseman Julius Honka gave the home team a two-goal cushion. Center Travis Morin threaded a pass through the middle of the ice for the rookie, who buried it short-side.
The final minutes of the opening frame belonged to the Wolves, who cut Texas’ lead in half at 14:05 to go into intermission trailing by one. Right wing Ty Rattie broke out on an odd-man rush, faked a shot and instead sent a pass to a wide-open McRae to make the score 2-1.
The Wolves knotted it up early in the second period, striking at 1:31 to even the game at two goals apiece. After captain Brent Regner fell to his knees to keep play in at the blue line, forwards Shane Harper and Terry Broadhurst connected on a passing play to get the puck to Cannone. The center buried it with a quick shot past Stars goaltender Jussi Rynnas.
At 11:04 of the middle frame, Chicago took its first lead at Cedar Park Center since March 5, 2013. McRae collected his second of the night on a power-play tally, picking up a rebound in the middle of the zone and firing through traffic to find a gap glove-side and put the Wolves up 3-2.
The lead was short-lived as Texas tallied twice in 11 seconds in the final five minutes of the period. Forwards Brendan Ranford and Jesse Root put the Stars back in front, the first coming on a power play, as Chicago’s lead quickly turned back into a deficit.
Left wing Curtis McKenzie regained the two-goal lead for the Stars in the third period. The forward snuck in all alone and finished a Ranford pass with a tap-in from the crease to put Texas up 5-3 with 18:07 remaining.
Chicago pulled within one as Lindbohm registered a goal in his second straight game. Regner made a move around a pressuring Stars forward along the blue line, feeding an open Lindbohm who had time and space to release a wrister and make it 5-4.
Rynnas (12-3-5) kicked out 31 shots to earn his second win in as many nights against the Wolves.