Led by veteran goalie Jeff Glass, the Rockford IceHogs grabbed a 3-1 win in Game 5 of the AHL's Western Conference finals Friday night at BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford to keep alive their best-of-seven series against the Texas Stars.
Texas took a 3-0 lead in the series by scoring 13 goals against Rockford goalie Collin Deliain the first three games, but Glass took over in Game 4 and has allowed just three goals in two victories. On Friday, the 32-year-old stopped 40 of 41 shots.
Texas had a 41-21 advantage in shots on goal in the game, but Rockford took a 2-0 lead in the opening nine minutes and then held on. Cody Franson scored his sixth goal of the playoffs just 3:01 into the game, and Luke Johnson followed at the 8:15 mark with what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Texas cut the deficit to 2-1 midway through the second period on a goal by Roope Hintz, his third of the playoffs.
However, Stars goalie Mike McKenna had a shot deflect high off of his padding and over his head at 11:13 of the third period and that provided insurance for Glass, who had not played before Game 4 of the conference finals.
Delia had a 4.09 GAA and .852 save percentage in the first three games. Glass has a 1.47 GAA and .958 save percentage in his two games.
The series moves to Cedar Park for Games 6 and 7. Only three times in AHL history has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series - the 1960 Rochester Americans (vs. Cleveland), the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings (vs. Hershey) and the 2013 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (vs. Providence).
Texas saw the return of defenseman Dillon Heatherington to the lineup from illness, and moved defenseman Matt Mangene up to forward.
Toronto finished a sweep of Lehigh Valley in the Eastern Conference finals with a 3-1 win Friday and will meet the winner of the Texas-Rockford series. The Marlies had the best regular season record in the AHL at 54-18-2-2 and have gone 11-2 in the playoffs.
Travis Morin - Justin Dowling - Curtis McKenzie
Jason Dickinson - Sheldon Dries - Colin Markison
Joel L'Esperance - Roope Hintz - Brian Flynn
Matt Mangene - Austin Fyten - Denis Gurianov
Dillon Heatherington - Brent Regner
Andrew Bodnarchuk - Reece Scarlett
Gavin Bayreuther - John Nyberg
Western Conference Finals schedule (Texas leads 3-2)
Game 1 - Fri., May 18 - at Texas: Stars 4, IceHogs 2
Game 2 - Sun., May 20 - at Texas: Stars 3, IceHogs 2 (OT)
Game 3 - Tue., May 22 - at Rockford: Stars 6, IceHogs 5 (OT)
Game 4 - Thu., May 24 - at Rockford: IceHogs 3, Stars 2 (OT)
Game 5 - Fri., May 25 - at Rockford: IceHogs 3, Stars 1
Game 6 - Mon., May 28 - Rockford at Texas, 7 p.m. CT
*Game 7 - Tue., May 29 - Rockford at Texas, 7 p.m. CT
Photo credit: Greg Hamil / Rockford IceHogs
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.