The Rockford IceHogs were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs by the Texas Stars after a 4-2 loss on Friday at the Rockford MetroCentre. Texas took all four games in the best-of-seven series.
"I thought we played hard for the most part throughout the series," said head coach Bill Peters. "There was obviously a stretch in Game 3 we weren't as commited as we needed to be but as for the two in Texas and here tonight I thought we played hard."
Brent Krahn turned away 38 IceHogs shots to pickup the win after the Stars posted three goals to take a comfortable lead in the first 40 minutes of the game.
Andrew Hutchinson scored his first goal of the playoffs at the 3:56 mark of the first period on the power play to put Texas up 1-0. Assists went to Travis Morin and Landon Wilson.
Then Texas struck again to make it 2-0 as Mathieu Beaudoin picked up the puck and buried his second post season goal at 8:38 in the second period. Jamie Benn and Perttu Lindgren registered the assists.
Hutchinson posted his second of the night on the power play at 10:23 with helpers from Lindgren and Morin.
In the third period, Kyle Beach
finished off a great cross-ice pass from Mark Cullen at 7:51 on the power play for his second goal of the postseason. Brian Connelly also posted an assist.
Beach came back with 35 seconds left in the game and buried his second goal of the game to bring the Hogs within one when he drove a shot from the blue line that trickled under Krahn and in. Bracken Kearns and Connelly had the helpers.
"That's what he does," Peters said of Beach. "He scored over 50 goals in the Western Hockey League. He got a good taste of it here. Everyone got a chance to see what the future is like, possibly. There are still areas that need improvement, but he is what he is. He's a good goal scorer and has good instincts."
The goal came on a 6-on-4 power play after the Stars fended off a 1:09 minute 5-on-3 advantage.
Then Texas put the Hogs away for good when Warren Peters slid in an empty-net goal from the neutral zone with nine seconds remaining. Corey Crawford
was tagged with the loss after stopping 20 of 23 shots. Rockford finished 2-for-7 on the man advantage while Texas also converted on two of four chances.
"We're going to start our exit meetings tomorrow," Peters said. "Chicago's management is here tonight and they have some plans to bring up some guys as "black aces" so some guys will be going up there probably in Round 2."
It was the second straight season that the IceHogs were eliminated in four games in the Division Semifinals.