Rockford IceHogs now in a 3-0 hole

Updated 5/22/2018 11:28 PM

The Texas Stars took a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL's Western Conference final thanks to a 6-5 overtime victory in Rockford on Tuesday.

The Stars won with 14:48 left in OT when a pass by Curtis McKenzie deflected off Adam Clendening's stick and sailed past goalie Collin Delia.

Game 4 is in Rockford on Thursday.

"We were pretty good for a lot of the game," said Rockford coach Jeremy Colliton. "I wasn't happy with everything that happened. If we were perfect, we would have won. But we controlled large portions of the game. … Just couldn't find a way to close it out in the third (period) when we had the lead."

Rockford was up 4-3 after two periods, but Texas tied the game at 10:54 of the third period and went up 5-4 at 14:30.

The IceHogs got the game to extra time when Cody Franson's wrist shot from just inside the blue line sailed past four players and found its mark with 50.8 seconds left in regulation.

The IceHogs' other goals came from Tyler Sikura, John Hayden, Gustav Forsling and Luke Johnson. Chris DiDomenico, Rockford's leading scorer in the postseason, had 3 assists. Franson has 5 postseason goals and 14 in 46 games since being assigned to the IceHogs in January.

Coming back from down 0-3 won't be easy, but Hayden believes it's possible based on how Rockford played in the two series before this one.

"We started the playoffs and won seven in a row," Hayden said. "So this is really nothing new to us. We dropped two (regular-season) games going into the playoffs. We have the right guys in there and we have the right leaders."

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