Rockford Snags Point Thanks to Special Teams Surge
Cedar Park, Tex. - Nathan Noel energized the IceHogs with a highlight-reel, shorthanded goal late in the second period, but Dennis Gurianov tallied twice to help Texas force OT and Travis Morin scored the shootout clincher as the Texas Stars defeated the Rockford IceHogs 4-3 in a back-and-forth battle Friday Night at H-E-B Center.
Morin's winner was the first attempt of the shootout, and the only successful conversion for either team. Texas goaltender Landon Bow stymied attempts from Rockford's Victor Ejdsell, Dylan Sikura and Anthony Louis.
In the final minute of the second period, with the IceHogs on the penalty kill trailing 2-1, Noel provided the equalizer in dazzling fashion. The rookie forward skated down the left side of the ice then fired the puck top shelf while falling as he cut to the middle.
The IceHogs carried the momentum into the early stages of the third period, where Louis converted on the power play 4:38 into the stanza to give Rockford its first lead of the game. Louis found himself open in the high slot, then fired a wrister high to the glove side of Bow for his team lead-tying tenth goal of the season.
In the waning moments of the third period, Gurianov netted his second of the night to draw Texas even, firing a wrister from the right circle that got past the glove of IceHogs goaltender Kevin Lankinen.
Lankinen would finish with 26 saves on 29 shots in the loss, turning away two of Texas's three shootout attempts.
NEXT HOME GAME: Jan. 18 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins | 7 p.m.
The IceHogs take the Grand Rapids Griffins on Fleece Blanket Giveaway Night. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a free IceHogs fleece blanket, courtesy of Dental Dimensions.
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