Three third period goals buries the IceHogs
Rockford, Ill.- Entering Tuesday night’s matchup, the Texas Stars had the number one power play in the American Hockey League and the Rockford IceHogs experienced that first-hand in a 6-2 loss in front of a sellout crowd at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
After giving up a late second period goal, Rockford found life when Ben Smith tipped in a Kyle Beach shot past Tyler Beskorowany to make it a 3-2 game at 11:47 in the final frame.
But Texas showed their prowess on the power play, and it was too much for the IceHogs to overcome. The Stars scored three unanswered goals in the final frame, two of which came on the man advantage.
Matt Fraser tapped in his second goal of the night, on the power play, to put the Stars back up to a two goal lead at 4-2 at 14:52. Philip Larsen and Raymond Sawada picked up the helpers.
Then at 16:04, Luke Gazdic raced into the IceHogs zone and flipped the puck over Alec Richards to push the lead to 5-2.
Larsen converted with another power play tally at 18:36 in the third period to finish the Hogs off, 6-2.
In five total opportunities, the Stars converted on three man advantages while the IceHogs finished the contest one-for-three.
Texas got on the scoreboard early with a goal from Ryan Garbutt at 5:43 of the first period. Tomas Vincour and Mathieu Tousignant tallied assists on the marker.
After only converting on one of their last 17 power play chances over the last three contests, Rockford scored immediately on their first man advantage of the night to make it a 1-1 game. Just four seconds into the power play, Brandon Pirri won a face-off and pushed the puck back to Shawn Lalonde and he blasted a shot from the blue line past Beskorowany at 17:55 of the first period.
But the Stars answered back less than a minute later to make it a one-goal game. Tousignant picked up his second point of the night as he slid the puck past Richards at the 18:26 mark. Vincour and Garbutt were credited with assists on the play, each earning their second points on the night.
Ryan Stanton was sent to the box for a slashing penalty, and Travis Morin fed a pass to Fraser, who beat Richards with just 38 seconds left in the middle frame to give the Stars a 3-1 lead.
Richards made 29 saves in the loss, while Beskorowany turned away 33 Rockford shots to pick up his first win on the campaign.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 29 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Game time is 7:05 p.m. This will be the third meeting between Rockford and Peoria this season. Saturday’s game is sponsored by Pepsi, and the first 2,500 fans through the doors will receive an IceHogs baseball cap. It is also an Illinois Lottery Cup game. The IceHogs won their first Illinois Lottery Cup matchup against the Rivermen on Oct. 9.
For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades” initiative.