One Win Away! Stars Put Hogs on the Brink in OvertimeMay 21, 2018
ROCKFORD, Ill. - After the Rockford IceHogs forced overtime in the final minute of regulation, the Texas Stars went to work and earned a friendly bounce for a 6-5 win and a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
After the Stars were denied on a flurry of offensive chances in the extra frame, Curtis McKenzie's crossing pass on an odd-man rush deflected off the stick of Rockford's Adam Clendening and in the net to give Texas the win.
It was the Stars' seventh straight win in the playoffs. Overtime was needed after Rockford's Cody Franson slipped a shot through traffic and past Mike McKenna of the Stars with 51 seconds to play in regulation.
McKenna stopped 34 of 39 shots in net to earn the win. Delia was 21 of 27 in the loss for the Hogs.
Game 4 is Thursday night in Rockford (7-3) at 7 p.m. CT with Texas (10-2) leading the series, 3-0.
The Stars almost sealed the game in regulation as Sheldon Dries tallied his second of the night midway through the third and Austin Fyten added his first of the playoffs with 5:30 remaining to turn a one-goal deficit into a 5-4 lead before Franson extended things.
It was a wild first period with five combined goals between the two teams. Tyler Sikura opened up the scoring for the Hogs 4:43 into the contest on a rush down the middle of the ice, but less than three minutes later Curtis McKenzie cashed in on a two-man advantage for Texas. Midway through the first John Hayden finished off a long offensive possession for Rockford to make it a 2-1 score, but just over a minute later Justin Dowling snapped home another Texas goal through the left circle at 13:24.
Shortly after Dowling leveled the game, Jason Dickinson fed Dries in front of the IceHogs net for a tip-in goal to make it 3-2 Stars entering the break.
The Hogs bounced back in period two to regain the lead with a pair of goals starting at 6:17 when Gustav Forsling's shot from the point was deflected to level the score at 3-3. Luke Johnson followed up on a Stars turnover for a backdoor tap-in with eight minutes remaining and a 4-3 IceHogs lead.
Photo Credit: Rockford IceHogs