IceHogs keep season alive with 3-2 OT win

Updated 5/24/2018 11:37 PM

ROCKFORD -- With the Rockford IceHogs' season on the line Thursday, coach Jeremy Colliton made a gutsy move by benching goalie Collin Delia in favor of Jeff Glass.

And boy did it pay off.

Glass stopped 28 shots -- allowing just 2 power-play goals -- and the IceHogs kept their season alive with a 3-2 overtime victory in front of 3,291 at BMO Harris Bank Center. Luke Johnson deflected a Cody Franson shot to tie the game with 6:58 left in regulation, and Victor Ejdsell scored the game-winner 2:32 into OT.

Texas still leads the best-of-seven Western Conference final 3-1. Game 5 is in Rockford on Friday.

Blackhawks fans know Glass' story well. The 32-year-old journeyman, who played in Russia in the KHL for six different teams from 2009-16, stopped a whopping 42 shots in his NHL debut in a 4-3 overtime win over Edmonton on Dec. 27.

He went on to appear in 14 more NHL games, going 3-7-3 with an .898 save percentage.

"A guy as experienced as he is -- he's been around, he's been in a lot of places -- that's a guy you feel pretty good about putting in that spot," Colliton said. "I know he really wanted the opportunity and he's been a good teammate through all this. It speaks a lot to what kind of guy he is."

Glass, who hadn't played in 41 days, wasn't shocked by Colliton's decision and was more than ready to answer the bell.

"They're relying on me, they're counting on me -- if it means off the ice, on the ice, in practice," Glass said. "Whatever it had to be. I'm just trying to pull my end of the deal."

Delia, who began this season in the ECHL, went 7-0 while posting a sparkling .948 save percentage and 1.64 goals-against average against the Wolves and Moose in the first two rounds of the playoffs. His numbers against the Stars, though, were .852 and 4.09.

"There's a lot of pressure," Colliton said. "We're in the conference finals against an excellent team, and the margin of error is so small. It's nothing against him. He's done a great job for us (and) is a huge reason why we are where we are."

Rockford was awarded a power play just 37 seconds into overtime.

Ejdsell buried his seventh goal of the postseason -- and fourth game-winner -- after taking a perfect pass from Matthew Highmore and burying it into the back of the net.

"We didn't quit," Colliton said. "Some teams maybe would just pack it in. But we believe we can come back.

"So we found a way to extend the series and we'll go at it again tomorrow."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.