Benn’s monster night puts Stars in control

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Rookie Jamie Benn tallied a hat trick and added two assists, figuring into all five goals as Texas claimed a 5-3 win over Chicago at Cedar Park Center on Friday in Game 5 of the West Division Finals.

The Stars now hold a 3-2 lead in the series, which will shift back to suburban Chicago for Game 6 on Monday night. With one more victory, Texas will advance to the Western Conference Finals in its inaugural season.

Anthony Stewart staked the Wolves to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal just 2:23 after the opening face-off, but Texas took control by scoring the game’s next four goals.

Benn registered a power play marker of his own at the 9:40 mark and then scored at even strength just over three minutes later. Perttu Lindgren lit the lamp in the first period’s closing minute, and Benn completed his hat trick 5:43 into the second period.

That goal chased Wolves starting goaltender Peter Mannino, and Chicago wound up climbing back into the game.

Stewart notched his second of the night at 11:14 of the second period to cut the Wolves’ deficit to 4-2, and Tim Stapleton made it a 4-3 game with just 1:31 to play in regulation time.

But Aaron Gagnon sealed Texas’ victory with an empty-netter in the closing seconds, and Benn earned his second assist of the night on the play.

Stars goaltender Brent Krahn set a personal playoff high with 43 saves on 46 shots in net, improving to 7-2 this postseason.

Attendance at the Cedar Park Center was 5,112.

West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 30 – Texas 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – CHICAGO 4, Texas 3 (2OT)
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Chicago 5, TEXAS 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 5 – TEXAS 3, Chicago 2
Game 5 – Fri., May 7 – TEXAS 5, Chicago 3
Game 6 – Sun., May 9 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Texas at Chicago, 8:00