|(Credit: Rockford IceHogs)|
In an early game against the Rockford IceHogs, the Texas Stars came out with a decisive 5-1 win. Texas brought high-energy hockey to the table right from the start and never looked like they were going to lose this game.
After the Stars dominated the first period and were able to take an early 1-0 lead, Remi Poirier held down the fort for the rest of the morning. Poirier faced 32 shots, saving all but one of them. In addition, Texas did a good job of limiting odd-man opportunities for Rockford. The IceHogs were forced to create in set situations, rather than in transition. This allowed Poirier to hold strong in between the pipes and eventually led to a victory for the Stars.
Texas created premium opportunities right from the drop of the puck in the first period. Both Antonio Stranges and Mavrik Bourque found themselves with breakaway chances early in the period. While Stranges and Bourque were unable to finish those chances, their skating set the tone for the first 20 minutes. About halfway into the first frame, Kyle McDonald dropped a pass to Nicholas Caamano, who then put a wrist shot into the back of the net to score the first goal of the game. Texas clearly outpaced and outskated a speedy Rockford IceHogs team, with Stranges leading the charge for the Stars.
Rockford made the game much more physical and controlled the puck in the second period. Texas generated most of the quality chances in the first; Rockford generated most of the quality chances in the second. However, Poirier was solid in net for the Stars and did not let anything through. While the IceHogs had a strong period, they were unable to do enough to get back even with the Stars.
Early in the third period, Texas ran away with the game. Seconds after killing off a Rockford power play, the Stars were given a power play opportunity of their own with about 17 minutes remaining in the game. Kyle McDonald converted off his own rebound just seconds into the power play to take the game to 2-0. A minute later, Riley Damiani fired a shot into the top corner and further extended the Texas lead. Halfway through the period, Texas did let a Cole Guttman shot through for Rockford but that would end up being the Stars’ only blemish.
A strange moment occurred near the end of the game, as Caamano scored a goal that was not even contested by Rockford’s goalie, Jaxson Stauber. After the puck was put in the back of the net, Stauber seemingly was arguing with the referees that his helmet was off and that the play should have been blown dead. The referees clearly disagreed and Caamano was awarded his second goal of the morning. Matej Blümel also added an empty-netter to bring the final score to 5-1 for Texas. Kyle McDonald finished the morning with three points and was named the first star of the game.
The Stars are now undefeated in two school day games this season. Texas defeated Chicago 4-0 in October and were victorious this morning 5-1 against Rockford. This is actually the third straight morning game the Stars have won if you include the end of last season.
Texas returns to home ice on Friday evening where they will play the Milwaukee Admirals at 7PM.
Injuries, scratches and notes
Berard, Jacob Murray, Arcuri (scratch)
Petrovic (birth of child)
Bayreuther (out - ankle)
Today’s attendance was 5,406.