Friday, November 16, 2018

Four Goals in Third Period Send Texas Stars to 5-1 Win Over Rockford

The Texas Stars rode a four goal third period to a 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night. Recently acquired defenseman Taylor Fedun had the game winning goal early in the final frame to go with an assist. Roope Hintz also notched a two point game.

“I really like our game from start to finish,” said Stars head coach Derek Laxdal. “If you look at the second period, we probably had six or seven grade A chances. [Collin] Delia made some highlight reels. We just talked about keep on pounding pucks to the net and you’re gonna get rewarded. I thought we played one of our most complete games of the year.”
(credit: Andy Nietupski)
The Stars blistered Rockford goaltender Delia with rubber all night, outshooting their opponent 41-16. Though he didn’t see a ton of action, Stars goaltender Landon Bow had an important bounce back from a tough outing on Wednesday. “From Bow on down I thought our guys were solid.”

The urgency that Laxdal was preaching after Wednesday’s loss was there from the drop of the puck for the Stars. It primarily manifested when the Stars were down a man.

Dowling drew a huge penalty to even things up while the Stars were initially on the kill six minutes into the contest. During 4-on-4 play, Gurianov made a perfect read during his 2-on-1 rush, holding up just enough in the offensive zone to find a passing lane. Hintz was the benefactor, finishing the play for his tenth point in nine AHL games.

Confidence continued to surge in the latter half of the opening frame for the Stars, though it didn’t lead to any goals. After they went shorthanded once again, the Stars generated two sparkling chances that would’ve been goals if Delia hadn’t suited up for Rockford. “It’s tough to play in a game like that when a goalie is standing on his head, and you kind of get frustrated.”

Jordan Schroeder’s roofer from in close tied the game with one minute and fifteen seconds left in the second period. It had the potential to be a deflating goal considering the Stars had owned the entire frame, outshooting the opponent 15-4 due to a few power play chances. As is often the case, Delia was the best player for the IceHogs.

“We had so many good looks there in the first two periods,” said Fedun. “The message in the locker room was: stick with it, it’s going to come eventually. [Delia] made some really big saves.”

For the third period, Delia finally looked more man than machine when Fedun scored less than twenty seconds into the third period. The veteran defenseman, who has been logging big minutes in his first three games with the Stars, feathered a softy from the point that just crept by the heavily screened Rockford net-minder.

“Taylor Fedun does a great job getting pucks through,” said Laxdal. “Travis Morin had a great screen on the goal. Once we got that second goal, I thought we took a little pressure off ourselves.”

The IceHogs committed a bad boarding penalty to give the Stars their sixth power play of the game halfway through the period which led to a momentary fracas. Morin cleaned up a loose puck in front of Delia to give the Stars some breathing room and Hintz his second point.

“I think we just stuck with it,” said Fedun. “The quantity of shots that we were throwing on net, we knew that if we kept at it that a couple were going to go in for us.”

Fedun’s second point came on an offering from the point that was redirected in by Laberge to put the Stars up 4-1. Colton Hargrove topped off the four goal frame when he cleaned up his own rebound on the rush with less than five minutes of regulation.

Laxdal was complimentary of both players after the game: “[Fedun’s] a solid vet. I know him from Edmonton when I coached the Oil Kings and he was with the Oilers. That was a great pickup for our group. Once we get our D corps back it should be one of the best D corps in the American Hockey League. [Hargrove’s] done a great job. He’s got six goals for us while playing up and down the lineup. When we need someone to step up, he steps up.”

The Stars head south on I-35 to take on the San Antonio Rampage next Friday. The puck drops at 7:30 CST.

Tonight's lines:
Morin-Dowling-Condra
Caamano-Hintz-Gurianov
Hargrove-L’Esperance-Mascherin
Laberge-Phelan-Markison

Heatherington-Fedun
Hanna-Gleason
Nyberg-Hansson

Bow

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Mersch (lower body)
Norrish, Payne (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 5,046.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - November 16 2018

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