CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, were handed a 5-3 loss by the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday night for a split of the two-game series in the Lone Star State.
A sellout crowd of 6,778 fans filed into the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on Saturday night for the Stars’ first-ever Jurassic Park Night. It marked Texas’ fourth sellout of the season.
Derrick Pouliot put the Stars in the score column first by whipping a shot past Mitchell Weeks 1:30 into the opening period. The IceHogs tied the game 1-1 at 7:12 when Logan Nijhoff tapped a pass from Kale Howarth past Remi Poirier. Then with 2:17 left in the period, Mavrik Bourque beat Weeks with a wrist shot into the low-far side corner to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
In the second period, Mike Hardman evened the score at the 4:31 mark after teaming up with David Gust and Jalen Luypen on a three-on-one rush down the ice that led to a tic-tac-toe play and made it 2-2. Rockford then grabbed a 3-2 lead when Anders Bjork scored shorthanded on a breakaway at 12:43. Christian Kyrou tied the game 3-3 by scoring on a power play from the right point with 1:28 left in the frame.
The third period saw Jackson Cates give the IceHogs a 4-3 lead after he tapped in a pass out of the left corner fed to the slot by Marcel Marcel with 9:52 remaining in regulation. Anders Bjork provided an insurance marker for Rockford with 4:59 left on the clock, which sealed a 5-3 victory and handed Texas its first regulation loss on home ice since Oct. 14 (2-1 L vs. Tucson).
With the win, Weeks improved to 2-0-0 on the season after turning aside 28 of the 31 shots he faced. Poirier came down with his fifth loss and is now 11-5-2 on the campaign after making 25 saves on 30 shots.
Texas will be back in action hosting the Chicago Wolves next weekend at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. The two-game series begins Saturday at 7:00 p.m. before it wraps up with Renaissance Faire Night on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
Photo Credit: Ross Bonander / Texas Stars