Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rockford Stays Alive with OT Win Over Texas Stars

3-2 finals marks third straight OT contest in the series

(Credit: Todd Reicher)
The power play was lethal on both sides of the scoresheet tonight. Texas collected two power play goals but the ultimate game-winner came in overtime, yet again, on the power play from Rockford. Victor Ejdsell had a two-goal night, opening and closing the scoring, and keeping Rockford alive for another night in the Western Conference Finals.

The IceHogs opened the scoring in the game with a nice play by Victor Ejdsell. After a strange bounce at center, Ejdsell beat Andrew Bodnarchuk around the edge right to left to score his sixth of the postseason. Things got dicier for Texas as the Hogs had two posts in the early going and outshot the Stars 13-3 at one point.

Penalty trouble for Rockford was a gift to Texas once again in this contest. Gustav Forsling hauled down the always quick Denis Gurianov to earn a tripping call and Viktor Svedberg got a cross-checking call to make it a 97 second long 5-on-3 for the visitors.

Travis Morin had the two best chances on the power play and cashed in on the second. Jeff Glass sealed the post on the left-wing side on the first chance, but Morin snuck by Glass on the right side just a short while later. Morin walked it down and pulled the trigger with Glass going low and Morin beating him high. Texas extended its streak of games with at least one power play goal to six tonight.

By the end of the period, Texas had closed the shots gap to 16-14 Rockford.

Rockford was denied of a goal in the second period for the first time in the playoffs. The Stars would find twine on yet another power play opportunity late. A dagger of a goal coming off the stick of Matt Mangene at the point, his first goal of the playoffs. Mangene’s shot didn’t go in clean, as it deflected off Carl Dahlstrom and in with just 25.7 seconds left in the middle frame.

Andrew Bodnarchuk had a scary moment early in the third period as a shot rode up his stick and got up under his visor. He went down hard and fast, clearly in pain, but did leave the ice under his own power. He would return to play after some repairs.

Texas went into a shell in the third period, and it bit them. The Stars didn’t get their first shot of the period until 4:48 remaining in the frame. That didn’t come until Texas saw their lead evaporate with a tip in front by Luke Johnson that eluded Mike McKenna 13 minutes in.

In overtime, Colin Markison headed to the box with a tripping minor and set up the ultimate game winner. Ejdsell was left all alone on the right wing side, and Matthew Highmore drew off the defenders and then dished to Ejdsell for the winner.

Texas gets another crack at closing out the series tomorrow night in Rockford at 7 PM.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-McKenzie
Dickinson-Dries-Markison
L'Esperance-Hintz-Flynn
Gurianov-Fyten-Laberge

Bodnarchuk-Regner
Nyberg-Scarlett
Bayreuther-Mangene

McKenna

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
O'Brien, Payne, Calderone, Kelleher, Rallo, Hansson, Paliotta, Robertson, Desrosiers (scratch)
Elie (injury)
Heatherington (illness)

Tonight's attendance was 3,291.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Rockford - May 24 2018

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