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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Josh Rasmussen

Rockford battles back from 4-1 deficit to end losing streak

Cedar Park, Tex.-
Three games this season between the Rockford IceHogs and Texas Stars so far and in all three, the home team has lost a three-goal lead. On Tuesday it was Rockford's turn to dash the Stars as they fought back from a 4-1 deficit to top them 5-4 in a shootout at Cedar Park Center.

The win ended Rockford's franchise long six-game losing streak.

Down 4-1 after the first frame, period two started off better for Rockford as they cut the three-goal hole back down to two with a power play marker. Jeremy Morin picked Christopher Nilstorp's pocket behind the Texas goal and found Jimmy Hayes in front where he knocked in his 14th goal of the season at 4:12.

Another power play goal pulled Rockford within one later in the frame. This time it was Morin doing the lamp lighting as he ripped his 15th tally of the season off the inside of the far post and in at 9:30.

Rockford tied the contest early in the third period. Joe Lavin picked up a Mathieu Beaudoin pass at the point and fired his first goal of the season over Nilstorp at 1:01 to make it 4-4. The goal chased Nilstorp from the game.

The Lavin strike would eventually force an overtime that would go scoreless. The shootout was stingy as well as Henrik Karlsson and Jack Campbell were sharp. Texas scored their lone shootout goal in the third round from Justin Dowling. Down to their last chance in the fifth round, Jimmy Hayes tied it for Rockford forcing a sudden death shootout.

The shootout stretch all the way to the 11th round and that's when Kenndal McArdle broke the 1-1 stalemate, sliding a marker five hole under Campbell. Karlsson denied Patrick Nemeth to end the losing streak.

Karlsson recovered from a shaky start, making 26 saves to earn his first win of the season.

Tuesday's game featured a lot of offense early, including two Texas goals in the first 3:15. Toby Peterson started the scoring when his wrist shot from the left face-off circle knocked off of Karlsson's arm and in at 1:11 for the 1-0 lead.

Moments later the Stars went on the power play and capitalized. Matt Fraser was set up in front by Travis Morin and he fired his team best 22nd goal of the season over the shoulder of Karlsson at 3:15.

Rockford got the goal back just over a minute later. Terry Broadhurst tipped in his first career AHL goal past Nilstorp at 4:33 off of a feed from David Gilbert to make it 2-1.

Texas tacked on two more before the intermission to make it 4-1. Francis Wathier beat Karlsson five-hole at 11:30 before a power play goal from Colton Sceviour stretched Rockford's deficit to three at 17:56.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Feb. 9 vs. Houston Aeros. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. The first 2,000 fans to the game will pick up a Colin Fraser Bobblehands figurine courtesy of Gatorade, recognizing the first former IceHogs skater to win two Stanley Cups.

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