Friday, April 5, 2019

Ty Dellandrea's First Professional Goal Gives Stars 2-1 Win Over IceHogs

The Texas Stars held serve in the four-team morass that is the final playoff spot in the Central division, beating the Rockford IceHogs 2-1 on Friday. In what is continuing to be a theme late in the season, two blue chip prospects stepped up to help the Stars win. Dallas Stars 2018 first round pick Ty Dellandrea had the game winning goal in the third period on a penalty shot. Goaltender Jake Oettinger got another start in net and turned in a 27 save performance.

“We’ve been in the playoff mode for three weeks,” said head coach Derek Laxdal. “Give our guys a lot of credit. They grinded out a hard-fought win. There’s a ‘never say die’ attitude in that dressing room. For the young kid to score on the penalty shot to win the game, and Jake Oettinger was really good again. A lot of good, young energy in that room.”

(credit: Andy Nietupski)
For Dellandrea, it was a special moment to score his first professional goal in front of his family members. “Felt really good,” he said. “We got a big two points and it was pretty special. My family flew down today to come watch. So to have them there and get the first one, it’s a good feeling. But I’m really excited about the win.”

On a somber note, Travis Morin left the game in the first period and did not take a shift afterward. Laxdal called his injury “upper body” and hinted that it could potentially be long term. The Stars had to roll three rookie centers for most of the game.

Dellandrea’s first mark on the game came in the first period when he sprung Adam Mascherin into the offensive zone. Mascherin dished to Brad McClure who broke open the scoring six minutes into the contest and continued his recent strong play.

“I just kind of made a play in the middle and Masch was in the right spot to pick it up. Masch made an unbelievable pass to bring the D in and pass it to Brad. That was a big one early in the game to take control.”

The IceHogs continued to attempt a pushback to no avail through two periods. Oettinger was completely cool between the pipes. He talked more about the job his defensemen did in front of him, tough.

“Out there, every guy can score and make plays,” he said. “I think our D do a really good job of boxing out around me. Our forwards sold out a couple of times and made some big blocks. That’s what you need this time of year. I think if they continue to do that, it’s going to make my life easy.”

Oettinger had a tough break in the third period when the IceHogs tied the game up. Seven and a half minutes into the frame, he made the initial kick save on a shot from the point, but Rockford forward Peter Holland was there for the putback. I think even thought [Rockford] scored late, we still had control,” said Dellandrea. “We felt good about how the game was going. The three centers were working hard.”

Five minutes and change later, Dellandrea took matters back into his own hands. First, he turned on the jets for a breakaway and was rewarded with a penalty shot when he was stymied by Collin Delia. No matter. His entombed his penalty shot chance, setting off a raucous applause from the Stars faithful.

Laxdal talked about how moments like these will be building blocks for the young players going forward. “This is really going to springboard [Dellandrea] next year going into Traverse City and Dallas Stars camp next year.”

Milwaukee won their game against Chicago, which means that for now the Texas Stars are still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. All they can do is win the games in front of them.
“Our guys are doing what it takes to win the game. It was a playoff atmosphere. The guys banded together and found a way to win.”

The Stars play against Rockford tomorrow night at 7 PM.

Tonight's lines:
Mersch-Morin-Condra
Caamano-Melnick-Gurianov
Mascherin-Dellandrea-McClure
Hargrove-Gardner-Markison

Heatherington-Hansson
Bayreuther-Hanley
Cecconi-Gleason

Oettinger

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Laberge (upper body)
Nyberg, Hanna, Cuglietta, Damiani (scratch)

Tonight’s attendance was 6,009.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rockford - April 5 2019

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