Chicago Wolves win over Texas Stars leading AHL Central Division 12 to 1
Noesen, Drury score two goals apiece as Chicago earns ninth in a row
Texas-born Stefan Noesen and Winnetka native Jack Drury produced two goals and one assist each to spark the Chicago Wolves to a 7-2 victory over the Texas Stars Sunday afternoon at H-E-B Center.
Defenseman Josh Jacobs and forwards Andrew Poturalski and Spencer Smallman also scored for the Wolves (17-4-1-1), who won on the Stars’ home ice for the third time in four days and secured their first nine-game winning streak since the 2005-06 season.
Chicago, which leads the AHL’s Central Division, improved to 12-1-0-0 on the road and swept a five-game road trip for the first time in the franchise’s 28-year history.
Texas (7-10-3-1) needed just 44 seconds to get on the board. Defenseman Ben Gleason pulled and dragged the puck past a Wolves forward, then stepped up to unleash a blast for a 1-0 lead.
The Wolves answered at 13:20 with a little help from the Stars. Josh Leivo (3 assists) secured the puck behind the net and tried to jam it past goaltender Adam Scheel, but the rebound came out to Drury in the left circle and he flicked it toward the goal. Scheel got a piece of the puck, but it came to rest on the goal line — until Scheel’s teammate tapped it across the line in an errant attempt to clear the puck.
Chicago took the lead for good shortly after killing a penalty. Jacobs batted a Texas shot to the ice, then flipped it to Poturalski in the defensive zone. The captain spied Noesen sneaking past two defensemen and threaded a pass between them to set up Noesen’s breakaway score at 13:57 of the second.
Noesen struck again at 18:39, this time on the power play. Leivo controlled the puck along the left half-wall and steered it back to the point for C.J. Smith, who rocketed a shot toward the traffic in front of the net. Noesen collected the rebound just outside of the crease and shoved it home for a 3-1 lead.
The Wolves killed off Texas’ 5-on-3 power play to start the third period, then used that momentum to take a 4-1 lead on Jacobs’ goal at 2:38. Smith skated from the top of the right circle to the top of the left and steered a pass toward the traffic in front of the net. Jacobs ducked into the slot and tipped the shot past the unsuspecting Scheel (2-3-2), who kept looking for the puck.
Drury registered his fifth goal in the last five games thanks to a sterling give-and-go with Leivo at 9:03 of the third. Defenseman Jesper Sellgren, holding the puck behind the Wolves’ net, whistled a pass up the ice to an accelerating Drury. He fed Leivo along the right boards, received a return pass and placed a perfect backhand into the net.
Texas’ Rhett Gardner scored on a penalty shot at 12:05 — the first allowed by the Wolves since 2014 — but that just inspired Chicago to add to its lead. Poturalski whistled home a power-play tally at 13:18, then backup Stars goaltender Colton Point turned over a puck and David Cotton fed Spencer Smallman at 13:41.
Scheel (2-3-2) stopped 20 of 25 shots in the opening 49 minutes, then Point added 4 saves in the final 11. Makiniemi (10-2-1) earned 26 saves to become the second AHL goaltender to reach double figures in wins.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena for two big home games this week. They host the second-place Manitoba Moose at 11 a.m. Thursday, then host the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m. Saturday for Superhero Night and the Wolves Wall Calendar Giveaway, presented by Rose Pest Solutions. To get special deals on tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 7, STARS 2
Chicago 1 2 4 — 7
Texas 1 0 1 — 2
First Period—1, Texas, Gleason 3 (Cecconi, Dellandrea), 0:44; 2, Chicago, Drury 6 (Leivo, Gust), 13:20.
Penalties—Gleason, Texas (high-sticking), 4:23; Drury, Chicago (slashing), 8:50; Melnick, Texas (hooking), 20:00.
Second Period—3, Chicago, Noesen 9 (Poturalski, Jacobs), 13:57; 4, Chicago, Noesen 10 (Smith, Leivo), 18:39 pp.
Penalties—Caamano, Texas (hooking), 4:56; Cecconi, Texas (holding the puck), 7:31; Drury, Chicago (slashing), 11:47; Rosburg, Texas (high-sticking), 17:12; Smallman, Chicago (high-sticking), 19:04; Keane, Chicago (hooking, 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:29.
Third Period—5, Chicago, Jacobs 2 (Smith, Serikov), 2:38; 6, Chicago, Drury 7 (Leivo, Sellgren), 9:03; 7, Texas, Gardner 1 (unassisted), 12:05 ps; 8, Chicago, Poturalski 12 (Drury, Noesen), 13:18; 9, Chicago, Smallman 3 (Cotton), 13:41.
Penalties—Keane, Chicago (slashing; penalty shot), 12:05; McKenzie, Texas (cross-checking), 12:42; McKenzie, Texas (cross-checking), 15:49.
Shots on goal—Chicago 12-9-10—31; Texas 9-8-11—28. Power plays—Chicago 2-7; Texas 0-4. Penalty Shot—Gardner, Texas (good vs. Makiniemi at 12:05 of the third). Goalies—Chicago, Makiniemi (26-28); Texas, Scheel (20-25), replaced at 49:03 by Point (4-6). Referees—Cody Beach and Jordan Watt. Linesmen—Aaron Schacht and Eric Anderson.
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