Stars Fall to IceHogs in 3-2 Shootout Battle

Stars Fall to IceHogs in 3-2 Shootout Battle

Feb 26, 2020

CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, fell to the Rockford IceHogs following a four-round shootout on Wednesday night. Texas battled back late in the game to level the score but couldn’t break through Collin Delia in the shootout to collect the extra point in the Central Division standings. 


The teams exchanged goals in the first period to begin a back-and-forth game. Texas opened scoring midway through the period via a power play goal as Justin Dowling dished a pass from the left circle and Joel L’Esperance gained control of the puck in front of the net. L’Esperance then lifted a goal over Delia’s shoulder to put Texas ahead 1-0. However, Rockford struck back less than four minutes later to level the score at one. Gabriel Gagne collected the puck at center ice from Alexandre Fortin, skating into the zone from the right circle. Ultimately, Gagne snuck the shot through the Texas defender and squeezed a goal between Jake Oettinger’s legs. 


The IceHogs broke the tie early in the second period, creating a lead they would hold for the remainder of the period. After a turnover in the Stars zone, Gagne hustled down the ice and created a 2-on-1. Getting some space in the right circle, he ripped a shot between Oettinger’s body and the post to extend the lead.


Oettinger battled through the third period making several impressive saves to keep Texas within one goal. With seven minutes remaining in the game, L’Esperance started the game over at two with another power play goal. Dowling initiated the play as he fought through pressure from the IceHogs defense in the left circle and dished a pass to Gavin Bayeruther at the point. The defenseman then fired a shot from the blue line that bounced off Delia’s pads and onto L’Esperance’s stick. The forward then then slid the puck past the netminder’s pad for his second power play goal of the evening, a shot that would eventually force overtime. 


Texas net each of their two goals on the power play, going 2-for-4 overall. Additionally, the Stars successfully killed five penalties to hold off the IceHogs on the man advantage.


Texas controlled the puck for a majority of the overtime period and saw a flurry of close chances including a breakaway chance from Ben Gleason who split the defense. Despite the chances, Delia stood strong for Rockford for the entire extra frame and gave T.J. Brennan a late chance that rang the post. The goaltenders hot streak continued in the shootout as Jason Robertson, Dowling, L’Esperance, and Anthony Louis each took their shot but could not convert on the opportunities. Dylan Sikura eventually ended the game in the fourth round of the shootout with a quick goal through Oettinger’s legs.


Delia earned the win in a 30-save performance, while Oettinger suffered the shootout loss after surrendering two goals on 25 shots and making three additional saves in the shootout.


The Stars and IceHogs hit the ice again on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at 7 p.m. at H-E-B Center for their sixth game of the season series.

Written by Stevie Golding
Photo Credit: Andy Nietupski

Game Info Shots Goaltenders 3 Stars (Xerox Business Solutions Southwest)
Boxscore TEX: 32  W: Collin Delia (RFD) 1: Gabriel Gange (RFD)
Photo RFD: 26 SOL: Jake Oettinger (TEX) 2: Dylan Sikura (RFD)
Video     3: Joel L'Esperance (TEX)
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