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Texas Stars survive OT on road to grab 3-0 series lead

McKenzie's winner puts Dallas' AHL affiliate within a victory of its third Calder Cup Final berth in nine seasons

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The Texas Stars continue to show playoff resilience and now are on the brink of their third trip to the Calder Cup Final in the past nine seasons.

Curtis McKenzie tallied a goal at 5:12 of overtime Tuesday to give Texas a 6-5 win over the Rockford Ice Hogs at BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Illinois. McKenzie was trying to make a pass across the slot in transition and Rockford defenseman Adam Clendening accidentally redirected it past goalie Collin Delia.

It was the second straight game for McKenzie to score the OT winner and also his second goal of the game. The two teams have gone back and forth in this series, and Game 3 was a perfect example of how tough both teams have played.

Tweet from @TheAHL: Second consecutive overtime game.Second consecutive overtime goal.Curtis McKenzie, take a bow! #TEXvsRFD pic.twitter.com/ZRUD3z9cx2

Rockford had leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3, while Texas was up 3-2 and 5-4. Rockford scored with 50.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, as Cody Franson sent a shot from distance that slipped through a crowd and beat Texas goalie Mike McKenna.

McKenna finished with 34 saves and is now 10-2 in the playoffs. Texas has gone 6-1 in its seven playoff overtime games and has now played 35 OT games on the season.

McKenzie finished with two goals and an assist, while Sheldon Dries had two goals. The Stars also got an unlikely goal from Austin Fyten, who was playing his first game of the playoffs as he jumped in for an injured Remi Elie.

Texas needs one more win to earn a trip to the Final and has games Thursday and Friday (if necessary) in Rockford.

 
Texas lineup

Travis Morin - Justin Dowling - Curtis McKenzie  
Jason Dickinson - Sheldon Dries - Colin Markison  
Denis Gurianov - Roope Hintz - Brian Flynn  
Samuel Laberge - Joel L'Esperance - Austin Fyten

Dillon Heatherington - Brent Regner  
Andrew Bodnarchuk - Reece Scarlett  
Gavin Bayreuther - Matt Mangene

Mike McKenna  
Landon Bow 

 

Western Conference Finals schedule (Texas leads 3-0)

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 - Texas 6, Rockford 5 (OT)

Game 4 - Thu., May 24 - Texas at Rockford, 7 p.m. CT

*Game 5 - Fri., May 25 - Texas at Rockford, 7 p.m. CT

*Game 6 - Mon., May 28 - Rockford at Texas, 7 p.m. CT

*Game 7 - Tue., May 29 - Rockford at Texas, 7 p.m. CT

*if necessary

Photo credit: 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.

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