Rockford, IL- Back on home ice and trying to snap a three-game losing streak, the Rockford IceHogs (22-19-3-1) came out hot from the start with 13 different guys racking up points in the Hogs 7-4 win over the Texas Stars (17-19-5-4) Saturday night at BMO Harris Bank Center.
After returning from Chicago earlier today, forward Lukas Reichel wasted no time capitalizing on the power play when he put the IceHogs on the board with his team-leading 15th goal of the season at 3:22 in the first period.
Less than two minutes later forward Brett Connolly picked up a loose puck on the half wall, worked his way to the net and sent a beautiful shot short side up high to extend the Hogs lead 2-0 at 5:08. Connolly would go on to finish the night with one goal and two assists.
Just 12 seconds later Texas responded when forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk scored on a one-timer from Fredrik Karlstrom at 5:22 to make it 2-1 IceHogs.
But Rockford picked up right where they left off when forward Evan Barrett scored on a pass from Carson Gicewicz for Barrett’s seventh goal of the season at 7:24 in the first period.
After Barrett’s goal the Stars replaced starting goaltender Matt Jurusik with Adam Scheel. Scheel finished the night with 15 saves and three goals allowed while Rockford’s Collin Delia picked up the win after turning away 28 shots.
Still in the first period, the Stars continued to chip away. At 18:02 forward Joel L’Esperance found the back of the net to cut the IceHogs lead in half.
But the IceHogs stayed hot in the second period with Mike Hardman leading the way. Less than two minutes apart, Hardman found the back of the net twice for his first multi-goal game this season to put Rockford up 6-2. Hardman went on to finish with two goals and an assist and earned himself First Star of the Game.
Texas continued to battle though, scoring two more times off the sticks of forward Anthony Louis at 19:49 in the second period and defenseman Jerad Rosburg at 5:35 in the third.
In a 6-4 game with just over three minutes left to play, the Stars pulled Scheel and forward DJ Busdeker sealed the 7-4 win with an empty netter.
The IceHogs and Stars will turn right around for the rematch tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. at BMO Harris Bank Center.
After that the IceHogs will start a five-game road trip beginning in Winnipeg, Manitoba when they take on the Manitoba Moose on Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m. From there the IceHogs will make stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland before returning to home ice for a matchup with on Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m.
Watch and listen to the action on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO Harris Bank! Tune in from your favorite device, at home or on the road at IceHogs.com and on the IceHogs app! Fans can also watch every IceHogs home game and select road games this season on 23.3 Circle TV and every game on AHLTV and listen in on all of Mid-West Family’s local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current.