Machacek, Oystrick lead Wolves in Game 3

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Spencer Machacek racked up a game-high three points, tallying two goals and an assist to pace Chicago past host Texas by a 5-3 count on Tuesday at Cedar Park Center in Game 3 of the West Division Finals.

The Wolves now hold a 2-1 lead in the series, which resumes on Wednesday night with Game 4 in suburban Austin.

Defenseman Nathan Oystrick also potted a pair of goals for Chicago, and Brett Sterling scored his first of the playoffs for what turned out to be the game-winning marker.

Stars forward Perttu Lindgren both opened and closed the game’s scoring, and Texas also received a goal from Aaron Gagnon in the losing effort.

Lindgren’s strike 2:41 into the contest was answered by a pair of Wolves power play goals, as Machacek connected at 5:46 and Oystrick followed with his first of postseason play at 8:33. Gagnon then scored a man-advantage marker of his own at 11:37 to make it a 2-2 game after 20 minutes.

Chicago took control in the second frame, outshooting the Stars 13-2 and outscoring them 2-0. Sterling beat Texas goaltender Brent Krahn at 5:11, and Oystrick notched another power play goal with 1:28 to play in the frame.

Matt Climie took over in goal for Texas in the third period, but Machacek extended the Wolves’ lead to 5-2 with an unassisted goal at 7:28. Lindgren brought the Stars within 5-3 with just over five minutes left, but they could get no closer.

Jason Krog and Tim Stapleton each chipped in two assists for the Wolves, who produced their highest offensive output since a 6-5 win over Milwaukee in their playoff opener on Apr. 14.

Chicago goaltender Peter Mannino (6-3) earned the victory with 27 saves and survived a 17-6 shots disadvantage in the third period as Texas attempted to claw back.

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 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., May 7 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 9 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Texas at Chicago, 8:00