Stars Win 4-3 in Overtime Thriller
CEDAR PARK, Texas - The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, met the Rockford IceHogs on home ice for a divisional match-up and came out on top of a 4-3 victory. The back-and-forth game resulted in an overtime and shootout battle. Travis Morin's lone shootout goal gave Texas the extra point in the contest.
Midway thought the first period Andrew Campbell went off for a hooking minor, and the Stars saw a perfect opportunity to take a lead in the scoreless contest. Just five seconds into the power play, the team's league leading unit took the 1-0 lead. Joel L'Esperance won the faceoff in the right circle and the puck found its way to Ben Gleason and Morin. Veteran skater Morin fired a shot at Kevin Lankinen that bounced off the pads and onto the stick of L'Esperance who lit the lamp for his 20th goal of the season. Dylan Sikura later cashed in for the IceHogs to even the score in the final minute of the period heading into the middle period.
The Stars came into the second period looing to regain their lead, and All-Star Denis Gurianov answered. Justin Dowling made his way down the zone, and sent a perfect pass to Gurianov who was able to shoot a rocket straight past Lankinen, giving the Stars a 2-1 advantage. In the final five minutes of the period, the Stars earned back-to-back power plays. However, the advantage turned sour and resulted in a shorthanded, game-tying goal by IceHogs winger Nathan Noel.
The Central Division rivals came into the third period battling for the game-winning goal. A fight between James Phelan and Noel 3 minutes into the period resulted in an early power play opportunity for the IceHogs. Anthony Louis converted on his team's man advantage, giving Rockford their first lead of the game. Texas battled for more than ten minutes to tie the game but were able to finally sneak one by Lankinen. With just over four minutes remaining in regulation Gurianov net his second goal of the night, that would eventually force overtime.
Neither team could find the edge in overtime, forcing a shootout to be the deciding factor. The Stars sent out Morin in the first round, who recorded the only goal in the shootout, securing the victory for Texas. Landon Bow went 3-for-3 against the IceHogs in the skills competition and earned his tenth win in eleven starts at home.
3 Stars presented by Dahill Office Technology Corporation
Denis Gurianov (TEX)
Joel L'Esperance (TEX)
Nicholas Caamano (TEX)
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars, and continue their home-stand against the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. Full-season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2018-19 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
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