Former Blackhawks draft pick helps Stars down Wolves

Anthony Louis, a sixth-round pick in 2013 and a native of Winfield, scored twice to help Texas move one point behind the Wolves for third place in the Central Division.

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Stars left wing Anthony Louis skates past Wolves right wing Keegan Kolesar on Saturday night.

Texas Stars

CEDAR PARK, Texas — Anthony Louis, a native of Winfield and a sixth-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2013, scored twice to spark the Texas Stars to a 5-3 victory over the Wolves on Saturday night.

Forwards Nicolas Roy and Keegan Kolesar scored power-play goals and center Jake Leschyshyn added an even-strength tally for the Wolves (21-19-3-2), who stand one point ahead of the Stars and Grand Rapids Griffins for third place in the AHL’s Central Division entering the All-Star break.

The Wolves outshot the Stars 37-19. Roy gave the Wolves the lead with his power-play tally at 7:06. After defenseman Brayden Pachal’s shot was stopped by traffic, Kolesar collected the puck in the slot and backhanded a short, nifty pass to set up Roy’s precise flick past goaltender Landon Bow.

The Stars (21-19-2-2) answered quickly with a power-play goal at 9:16, snapping the Wolves’ streak of 21 consecutive penalty kills. Louis snapped a shot from the right faceoff circle over goaltender Garret Sparks’ blocker to make it 1-1.

Texas grabbed a 2-1 lead just 24 seconds later as right wing Brad McClure stole the puck in the defensive zone, spun to face the net and fired it home.

The Wolves tied it at 2 at 12:30 of the first as Roy repaid Kolesar for his earlier setup. Pachal zipped a pass from the left faceoff circle to the right faceoff circle for Roy, who spied Kolesar open at the far post and fed him for a redirect.

Texas regained a one-goal lead at 15:49 of the second period when defenseman Joel Hanley blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle that tipped off forward Tanner Kero, banked off the far post and went in the net. The Stars made it 4-2 at 17:16 on Louis’ snapper from the right circle.

The Wolves pulled within 4-3 on Leschyshyn’s quick strike from just outside the crease at 6:03 of the third. Curtis McKenzie collected the puck in the corner, forced his way toward the net, despite the Texas defender draped all over him, and slid a quick pass to Leschyshyn for a redirect.

Texas responded moments after a power play ended as forward Michael Mersch set up a wide-open Jason Robertson for a blast from the left circle to make it 5-3 at 10:04.

Wolves coach Rocky Thompson pulled Sparks with just over four minutes to go to try to carve into the two-goal deficit, but Bow stood up to the late charge.

Bow (11-8-2) finished with 34 saves, while Sparks (5-13-3) posted 14.

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