The Rockford IceHogs are facing a tough uphill climb in their Western Conference Final series against the Texas Stars, as they fell 3-2 in overtime in Game 2.
The IceHogs now trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series as the scene shifts to Rockford for Game 3.
About nine minutes into the overtime period, the Stars got a power play after Gustav Forsling was sent off for tripping, and they quickly converted. Curtis McKenzie potted his fourth goal of the Calder Cup playoffs to beat Collin Delia, and in the blink of an eye the IceHogs found themselves down in the series.
Forward John Hayden scored his second goal of the postseason to open the game, and Chris DiDomenico scored for the second time in the series, but it wasn’t enough for Rockford.
The scoring opened just six minutes into the contest, as a defensive breakdown cost the Stars dearly. Camped in front of the net with no one around him, Hayden received a pass from Andreas Martinsen and beat Mike McKenna to give the IceHogs an early 1-0 lead.
The lead held until the second period, when the Stars got goals from Jason Dickinson and Brent Regner to take a 2-1 lead about eight minutes into the frame.
Just under three minutes later, Rockford responded. Defenseman Cody Franson skated around the outside of the zone, and fired a pass directly onto DiDomenico’s stick, who one-timed a shot past McKenna to knot things up at 2-2.
Unfortunately for the IceHogs, they weren’t able to come out of Texas with the win. For the second time in the series, McKenzie put home a goal, scoring on the power play in overtime to give the Stars a 2-0 lead in the series.
Fortunately for Rockford, the next three games of the series will all take place at home, starting with Game 3 on Tuesday night.