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IceHogs knock off Stars again

( — Michael Leighton‘s 34 saves smothered the offense for the Texas Stars and led the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-0 series lead with a 4-1 win on Saturday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Cedar Park Center.

Brett Ritchie scored the only goal for Texas off a rebound at 11:58 of the third to close the Stars deficit to 2-1, but Peter Regin buried a power-play goal less than five minutes later to pull the IceHogs away for good.

The series shifts to Rockford, Ill., for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Garret Ross opened up the game’s scoring midway through the first, fighting through a scrum of players and chipping in a puck that slipped through Jack Campbell for his first of the playoffs.

With two minutes remaining in the first, Tanner Kero sprung free down the left side and ripped a goal from the circle to make it 2-0 IceHogs.

After a scoreless second period, Ritchie added his first of the postseason to cut into the Rockford lead, but that was the only offense the Stars could muster as Leighton settled in to make 30 of his 34 saves in the final two periods overall.

Regin’s power-play strike was from the left circle at 16:17, and Brandon Mashinter added an empty-net goal with just under two minutes to play for his first of the playoffs and third point of the game.

Campbell suffered the loss in net, stopping 24 of 27 shots.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
4-Rockford IceHogs vs. 5-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Rockford 4, TEXAS 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Rockford 4, TEXAS 1
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern