|Phillip Danault had a natural hat trick for Rockford, all in the third.|
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
"If you go back and reflect on the game, I think they outplayed us start to finish. I don't think we deserved to win tonight."
It's not like Texas didn't have chances for the victory. Up 3-2 after two periods, Texas dropped a winnable game by allowing four goals in the final frame.
"We're up going into the third period and we have to find a way to close it out," said Kevin Henderson. "This is a team we need to catch. Being at home, we have to find a way to win."
Texas and Rockford swapped goals in the second period with each club getting an even strength and a power play tally. The Stars saw Justin Dowling score on a one-timer and Kevin Henderson tally his second of the year to make it 2-2 late in the frame.
Travis Morin found himself uncovered in the right wing circle and Gemel Smith feathered a pass over to him for the one-time bid that made it 3-2.
The Stars would start the third on two near-consecutive power plays but couldn't cash in on either.
Laxdal assessed, "They're a physical team and we aren't built to be a big heavy team. They're going to take penalties and we have to take advantage of that."
Greg Rallo and Cameron Gaunce found themselves in the box just after the stars PP and Rockford as able to take advantage of that chance. Laxdal thought the Gaunce cross-checking minor was a soft one, but it made it 5-on-3 for Rockford for 84 seconds nonetheless.
Garrett Ross scored for the Hogs to tie the game on the two-man advantage.
Then the game became The Phillip Danault Show. Coming off a Texas power play, Danault stormed down the ice with Rockford and potted his first of the night. Two minutes later, it was 5-3 thanks to Danault again. He finished the hat trick into the empty net four minutes later.
The Stars tried valiantly to get back into the game after ceding the fifth goal, pulling Campbell with over three minutes left in the frame. Campbell, who started his second game in as many nights this evening, took the loss with 35 saves on 40 shots. He didn't look great, but really this was a team failure more than it could be pinned on any one player.
Texas has a full five days off before their next game against Iowa.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Jokipakka, McKenzie, Ritchie (call up)
Wrenn, Peters (scratch)
Troock. Fortunus, Faksa (injury)
Texas lost Scott Glennie after an awkward fall in the first period.
Tonight's attendance was 6,165.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - February 28 2015