Unable to complete a comeback, the Rockford IceHogs (4-5-0-1) fell 3-2 to the Texas Stars (6-4-2-1) at the H-E-B Center on Saturday night. Forward Cole Guttman notched his first professional goal, and the Stars staved off a late Rockford rally to earn the win.
Down 3-1 and with an empty net and extra attacker, forward Brett Seney tried to rally the Hogs by scoring at 17:29 in the final frame to put the game within one, but Rockford couldn’t catch the Stars after trailing by two goals and dropped the contest 3-2 despite striking first.
In his second game of the IceHogs’ campaign, Guttman snapped the puck past Stars’ goaltender Anton Khudobin off a pass from Jakub Galvas and Bobby Lynch at 9:14 to put the IceHogs on the board first. The game marked the first contest for the rookie since opening night in Manitoba, missing the prior eight contests due to injury. IceHogs goalie Dylan Wells held off all of Texas’ attempts in the initial period in his first contest back with the Hogs since his first career NHL recall and stint with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stars put pressure on Wells throughout the second stanza with an onslaught of shots including tallies from Fredrik Karlstrom at 10:44, Thomas Harley’s short-handed goal at 12:14, and Marian Studenic at 17:36 to take a 3-1 lead.
Unable to capitalize on the man advantage, the IceHogs went 0-2 on the power play but remained perfect on the penalty kill. Rockford was outshot 36-35 by the Stars; both Wells and Khudobin marked 33 saves on the night, but the Texas netminder earned the win.
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