|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
"I thought last night [Bow] settled our team down a bit and gave us the confidence to keep playing," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "Tonight he played the full game and it's good to see him pick up where he left off. It wasn't our best game tonight, but we got a goaltending performance that helped us get along."
The Stars scored early in the contest with Gemel Smith swatted a puck out of the air of a centering effort form Denis Gurianov. After that goal, just 2:38 into the contest, the Texas offense was quiet.
"We didn't have a lot of energy tonight, a couple guys with the flu. Not a lot of cohesion, and we were in survival mode tonight. Bow gave us a chance to win it."
In his first AHL start, Bow approached the game just as he would any other, "I have to be ready to go no matter what. It doesn't change if I'm supposed to start that night."
It was a good thing he had prepared so well, as Rockford bombed him with 38 shots across 65 minutes. Bow was calm and collected for a team that needed a steadying influence. His most challenging save was surely a 2-on-0 in the second period.
"I was thinking [Labrie] was going to do a drop pass and throw something cheeky in there, but I knew I had to stand my ground, and I couldn't make the first move or I'd get burned."
Rockford did even the score in the second with frequent Star-killer Spencer Abbott's sixth goal of the year. At the end of regulation, despite some later power plays by Texas, the score was still tied up at one.
Overtime was a frenetic affair with extended zone time for both teams that easily could have led to a goal either way. Matt Mangene was trapped on the ice for at least two minutes early in the frame as Rockford refused to yield the puck or the zone. The IceHogs outshot Texas 5-3 in the OT and it went to a shootout.
Brendan Ranford beat Mac Carruth blocker side low and Travis Morin went five hole in the shootout. Bow stopped both of his challengers for the win.
Coach Laxdal believes Bow has "earned another look for us" and that he'll be getting another start in the future here in Texas.
The Stars are idle until next Friday at home against Milwaukee.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Honka (call up)
Backman (mid-body injury)
Ully, Herbert (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 5,864.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - December 10 2016