Leighton Carries Rockford to 5-3 Win Over Stars

Dec 8, 2015

Postgame Video

Stars - 53
IceHogs - 32

Devin Shore Extends his Point Streak to 10 Games for Texas

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Michael Leighton’s 50-save performance in net was the difference on Tuesday night as the Texas Stars fell short to the Rockford IceHogs, 5-3, in front of 6,252 at Cedar Park Center.

Devin Shore extended his point streak for the Stars (12-10-1-1) to 10 games, one shy of tying the franchise record held by Matt Fraser during the 2012-13 season. Leighton’s brilliance earned him his 14th win of the season while John Muse suffered the loss with 27 saves. Rockford’s veteran netminder weathered a storm of 38 shots through the first two periods by Texas to give his team a chance to score a pair of empty-net goals in the third to pull away.

The Stars host the Charlotte Checkers on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Texas capitalized on a 1-0 lead when Esa Lindell flipped a pass in front to Derek Hulak, who drilled a one-time shot six minutes into the first his sixth goal of the season. Rockford (16-5-1-2) answered back to tie the game at 11:50 as Daniel Ciampini tipped in a point shot for his first of the year.

In the second, Rockford took its first lead of the contest at 3:07 as a Chris DeSousa pass to Jake Dowell just outside the crease squirted through the leg pads of Muse. Texas rallied moments later at 5:20 when Shore extended his point streak with a drop pass to Jesse Blacker for a one-timer goal at the top of the circle. It was his first as a Texas Star. Rockford scored again at 14:07 on a Garret Ross goal from Pierre-Cedric Labrie in front of the goal crease and, despite outshooting the Hogs 38-18, Texas trailed 3-2 after two.

With the Stars’ goalie pulled late in the third, Rockford managed an empty net goal with 1:37 left to play by DeSousa, but the Stars rebounded on a scrum in front of the net with Justin Dowling sneaking home a goal to make it a 4-3 deficit. The IceHogs added one more empty-net goal from Dowell to seal the win.

Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play. Tuesday’s game was the finale of the four-game season series between the two clubs. The Stars finish the year 2-1-1-0 against the IceHogs, and the road team won each game.

The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and currently in their seventh season at Cedar Park Center. Full season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2015-16 campaign are on sale now.  For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.   

Three Stars:
1. Michael Leighton (RFD)
2. Derek Hulak (TEX)
3. Jesse Blacker (TEX)
W - Leighton
L - Muse

Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

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