|Austin Smith's bid is stopped by Antti Raanta (Credit: Mic Steede/Rockford IceHogs)|
Texas burst onto the scene early, getting two goals from veterans in the first five minutes. Chris Mueller went first, collecting a feed from Mike Hedden in front of the net and depositing it behind Raanta for the 1-0 lead just eighty seconds into the game. Ritchie had the second assist. Mueller slid into the second line as Justin Dowling moved into Travis Morin's spot on the first line.
Francis Wathier went next with his first of the year as rookie Matej Stransky found Wathier for a one-timer off the left wing side. Taylor Peters collected his second pro point on the play.
Texas captain Maxime Fortunus had an uncharacteristic moment late in the first as Adam Clendening came out of the box and leveled Austin Smith. While Fortunus did not get a fighting major, he did collect a double minor for roughing, about as far as you can go without getting the major. Texas killed the penalty and went to the room with a 2-0 lead and a 15-11 shot advantage.
Rockford cut the lead in half late in the second period with Jamie Oleksiak in the box. Drew LeBlanc tipped home a Jimmy Hayes backhand to break up Texas's penalty killing streak dating back to six games to October 15th.
Alex Broadhurst tied it up on a giveaway by Texas rookie Taylor Peters. The unassisted tally ignited the crowd and tied the game at two. Another unassisted tally, a takeaway by Mark McNeill, beat Nilstorp high gloveside less than two minutes later. Texas would not recover, giving up an empty net goal with under a minute left to lose 4-2. Texas outshot Rockford 19-9 in the final frame and 48-34 overall.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wrenn, Glennie, Labrie (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 6,353.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Rockford IceHogs - October 23 2013