Texas Defeats Rockford in 2-1 ThrillerApr 5, 2019
Dahill Office Technology Corporation Three Stars:
CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, faced the Rockford IceHogs in game one of a two-game weekend Central Division series. Ty Dellandrea converted on a penalty shot for his first career goal, leading Texas to a 2-1 victory.
Both teams came into the game ready to battle for two crucial points in the Central Division standings, sitting just outside the playoff picture. In a fast and physical start to the game, the Brad McClure struck first, scoring his fourth goal in two games just six minutes into the contest. Dillon Heatherington forced a turnover that made its way to Dellandrea. The first-year forward carried the puck to center ice and dished it to Adam Mascherin to carry into the zone. Brad McClure snuck to the top of the right circle where he received a pass from Mascherin to take on Collin Delia with no IceHogs defenders to help. McClure went around the pad of Delia and tossed a backhand shot into the top left corner of the goal to make it a 1-0 game. Texas would eventually carry the one-goal lead into the second period, holding Rockford to just seven shots in the first 20 minutes.
The score remained 1-0 the entirety of a back-and-forth second period. The IceHogs got their first shot on the man advantage when Josh Melnick was called for hooking at 7:53. Rockford fired a set of shots at Texas’ goal, but the man between the pipes, Jake Oettinger, stood strong through the test to help his team kill of their only penalty of the game. The IceHogs halted the Stars on two chances on the man advantage.
The IceHogs got on the board for the first time at 7:35 in the third period to steal the shutout from Oettinger. The Stars netminder made an initial save on the Dylan Sikura shot, but Peter Holland got the goal after a rebound trickled through the legs of Oettinger to tie the game at one with just over half of the period remaining.
Texas pushed the pace in the second half of the period in search of a game-winning goal. A turnover in Rockford’s offensive zone would prove to be exactly what the Stars needed to run away with the win. Dellandrea sped into the zone on a breakaway opportunity but an attempted shot was interrupted by the IceHogs defense, leading to a penalty shot. The rookie fired a blast over the left shoulder of Collin Delia for the eventual game-winning goal.
Oettinger made his first start at the H-E-B Center and earned the win after stopping 23 shots by the IceHogs. The goaltender made several beautiful saves in the victory, including a good look by Rockford with 29.4 seconds left in the contest. The first-year goalie has allowed only two goals on 48 shots he has faced in two career appearances. Delia suffered the loss after allowing two goals on the Stars’ 28 shots.
The two teams will meet for the final time this season tomorrow night at the H-E-B Center as the playoff push continues. Texas holds a 5-2-0-0 record against the IceHogs in the previous seven meetings.
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski