Rockford, Ill. – An early 3-0 lead wasn’t enough for the Rockford IceHogs Tuesday evening, as the Hogs dropped a 5-4 contest to the Texas Stars at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Rockford scored three goals within the first five minutes of the first period before Texas eventually found their offense midway through the period to begin their comeback.
Jimmy Hayes ignited an IceHogs scoring frenzy just 1:51 into the first period. Texas goaltender Jack Campbell blocked a Ben Smith shot but Hayes was there on the doorstep to sweep in the rebound and give Rockford the early 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later and on the power play, Marcus Kruger cleaned up a Brandon Saad shot to put the Hogs up 2-0.
The early scoring continued when Hayes one-timed a cross-ice Shawn Lalonde pass at 4:37 for his second goal of the evening. Smith added his second assist of the night on the play.
But Antoine Roussel ceased the Hogs scoring spree and Texas answered with four goals of their own. Roussel squeaked in a power-play goal past Rockford netminder Alec Richards to cut the lead to 3-1.
Then at the 14:59 mark, Alex Chiasson tipped in a Jordie Benn shot to make it a one-goal game. Jamie Oleksiak assisted on the play.
The Stars tied the game 6:03 into the second frame. On their second power play of the night, Benn ripped a slap shot over Richards’ left shoulder to knot the game up at 3-3. Benn was set-up by Cody Eakin and Tomas Vincour.
Then, the Stars gained control of the game at the 14:57 mark with their first lead of the night. Reilly Smith delivered a shot in traffic and past Richards to push Texas ahead 4-3.
The Texas lead lasted just over two minutes before the Hogs answered while on the power play. Adam Clendening fired a shot from the right faceoff circle at the Texas net where Andrew Shaw tipped it in to lock the game at 4-4 heading into the final period.
On their third power play of the night, the Stars converted for a third time when Colton Sceviour picked-up a loose puck and snapped it into the back of the net to push the Stars back into the lead for good.
Richards turned away 14 of the 19 chances he saw in a losing effort while Campbell earned the win with 33 saves. The Hogs finished 2-for-7 on the man advantage while Texas converted on all three of their opportunities.