It was a triumphant return for Texas Stars captain, Landon Wilson, who led his team to a 4-3 overtime victory against the Rockford IceHogs in Cedar Park tonight. Let's take a look at the play-by-play.
Matt Climie got the start tonight, but Brent Krahn was on the bench for the first time in four months. Only 1:49 into the first, Ludwig dropped gloves with Dowell, who had just laid a solid hit on Garrett Stafford. Ludwig got the extra two for roughing. Rockford scored first on the night with a point shot from MacArthur that hit the post and went in. The first goal was scored with the extra man on the ice for a delayed penalty. Rockford would score once more before the period was out to make it 2-0. Sceviour and Wilson had an excellent 2-on-1 chance which came back the opposite way for the goal off a pudgy rebound from Climie.
As I mentioned in the preview, Rockford is a first period team, and they proved that tonight. Texas, however, is a second period team, and they also proved that tonight.
Texas scored their first of the game off a mishandle of the puck by IceHogs goalie Corey Crawford. Crawford attempted to clear the puck around the boards behind his net and Warren Peters cut it off and passed to Ray Sawada on the backdoor for his fourth of the season.
Landon Wilson, fresh off 2 months on the shelf, potted his third goal of the season next when a pass from Aaron Gagnon found his stick in front of the net. Texas had tied it 2-2. Wilson again found the back of the net off a pass from Travis Morin that he buried from the backdoor at 12:04 of the 2nd for a 3-2 lead. Wilson was having a heck of a night and even got in a scrap at the end of the second period with Kearns.
Matt Keith evened the score at 12:41 of the third though with his 16th of the season. It appeared from my vantage point that Climie had tried to glove the puck and ended up redirecting it into his own net. He fell in a rather "I can't believe I just did that" sort of way after the goal was scored. And so we went to overtime tied 3-3.
One-hundred seconds into the overtime period, it looked like it was over when the IceHogs had Matt Climie out of position with an open net. Rockford's player tried to roof it and the puck glanced off the crossbar for a no-goal. At the opposite end 60 seconds later, with Corey Crawford out of position himself, Travis Morin managed collect a rebound and get the puck around a sprawled Crawford for the 4-3 win.
So, like I said, Rockford is good in the first and bad in the second. Texas managed to weather the storm in the first, only allowing two goals, certainly not an insurmountable margin. Then, the Stars poured it on in the second, outshooting Rockford 15-8 and outscoring them 3-0. Rockford did not manage to get a shot off in the overtime period. Pucks that hit the pipe don't count as shots.
So where does this put us in the standings? Clearly it would have been better not to give one of our division rivals a free point tonight at home. However, Texas got the extra point and is now tied with Milwaukee for 3rd place in the division. Technically, Milwaukee is ahead with one game in hand over Texas.
Landon Wilson had one heck of a game in his first since his injury. Two goals and fighting major is a fine night for any player. Hopefully his return can inject more energy into a team that could possibly go as high as #2 in the division playoff race if they start winning consistently.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Graham, Tousignant and Gazdic (scratched)
Tonight's attendance was 5,878.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - March 5 2010