|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
"It was a really good hockey game tonight," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "This was a galvanization win because we had to battle back."
The Stars had two one-goal leads melt away with late period goals in the first and second periods, sending them to both intermissions tied when they had every right to be ahead. Rockford jumped ahead in the third early.
"The entire bench was positive. 'One shot. We'll get this.'"
Indeed they did as Gurianov's second of the night tied up the contest. It was his second of the contest and 11th of the year.
"Every goal we get out of Gurianov is great until he goes back. He was outstanding tonight. That's a fast team and he blew by guys shift after shift."
A scoreless overtime frame put the game to a shootout where Travis Morin was the lone goal scorer for either side. Landon Bow's flawless shootout game him his 10th win in his last 11 home starts and his 16th win overall.
L'Esperance scored his 20th on the power play in the first. After winning the faceoff back to Gleason, he drove the net to collect the rebound off Travis Morin's point shot. Never one to rest on his laurels, L'Esperance noted, "It's pretty exciting obviously, but I've got to keep going."
Late in the frame, Denis Gurianov was called for a pretty weak hooking call, and Texas looked to have survived the two minutes. With a single second left, Dylan Sikura roofed it on Landon Bow for the tie with under a minute in the period.
Again in the second, Texas surged ahead and Rockford came back. Denis Gurianov put on the afterburners to generate a chance then got the eventual goal off a drop pass into the slot by Justin Dowling, as seen below.
The shorthanded tally for Rockford was a backbreaker. Adam Mascherin jumped out onto the ice, seemingly ready to accept the puck at the point. He had to jump right off as he couldn't get his helmet buckled up, a penalty for helmet violation, and Nathan Noel collected the puck and was off to the races.
In the third, Rockford scored on a point shot, again on the power play, to go up 3-2. Gurianov made sure that also melted away with the hockey equivalent of a turnaround jumper, collecting a pass from Nicholas Caamano and sliding it past Lankinen for the 3-3 score.
Travis Morin was the shootout hero, scoring in round one. Colton Hargrove and Justin Dowling were both stopped, but Laxdal noted Gurianov and L'Esperance were up next if needed.
Texas is right back at it tomorrow against second-place Iowa.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Hanna, McClure (scratch)
Tonight’s attendance was 4,823.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - January 11 2019