“It was just a real stinker on our part,” said Wolves coach Craig MacTavish.
The Wolves started out the scoring with a nice wrap-around goal by Nathan Longpre, just three minutes into the game.
Just over a minute later Texas answered with a deflection goal from Brad Lukowich on the power play to tie the game at one.
The score sheet was quiet until the second period when the Wolves’ Jordan Schroeder scored his 10th goal of the year on a two on one to break the tie.
From that moment on it was all Stars in the second period as they went on to score three goals in a row to take a 4-2 lead going into the third.
“It was pretty poor effort for us and that’s not Chicago Wolves Hockey,” said Darren Haydar. Effort seemed to be a problem for the first two periods of the game as the team seemed lackadaisical.
Down by two goals going into the third period, the team did pick up their effort by out shooting the Stars 12-5.
Chicago’s Steve Reinprecht was awarded a penalty shot with about ten minutes to go but he was stuffed by Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft.
The Wolves kept firing and eventually Mike Duco scored a goal on a nice pass from Haydar with one minute to go to cut the lead down to one. In the final minute the Wolves had much pressure but could never put the puck in the back of the net.
“The only positive we can take is that we fought in the third period to make it a game,” said Haydar. “In hockey you can’t wait and play twenty minutes to win a game; you got to play sixty minutes.”
Although effort was the main problem of the night, the usually strong penalty kill (which let in one goal in last 21 attempts) let in two goals and this may be attributed to poor goaltending. For the second game in a row goalie Eddie Lack gave up four goals, some of which were easy.
“We challenged Eddie to play better and wanted to give a guy an opportunity coming back,” said MacTavish on why he went with Lack instead of goalie Matt Clime, who has won six of his last seven starts.
The power play did score an uncharacteristic goal as they were just 2-29 going into the game. Haydar says that the key to getting the power play on track is execution, getting shots to the net, and cutting down on turnovers.
The Wolves take on Illinois Lottery Cup rival, Rockford Icehogs in Rockford on Friday. “We got to go to work and show up to play,” said Haydar. “We can’t expect some guys to show up and some guys to take the night off.”
The Wolves hope they can find their winning ways against Rockford this weekend.
by Ryan Peraino - Lemont High School