The Texas Stars are one loss away from playoff elimination after a 4-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs at the Cedar Park Center on Saturday evening.
The Stars started off slow in the first period and quickly fell behind as Garret Ross opened the scoring in the first 10 minutes just after a Rockford power play . Texas started to have a bit of a push back, including a post from Brett Ritchie, before the IceHogs doubled their lead with less than two minutes left in the first on a Tanner Kero shot.
It was Ritchie that finally got Texas on the board in the third with a cram play to finish off a Curtis McKenzie initial bid. But the IceHogs took advantage of a late power play followed by an empty net to turn the close game into a 4-1 affair.
Jack Campbell started as expected and, while his final 0.889 save percentage wasn't great, was the only reason the Stars weren't run over in the first period as Rockford dominated possession. The tide swung slowly to Texas' side for the rest of the game, but the Stars could not consistently solve IceHogs goalie Michael Leighton.
Jamie Oleksiak, Travis Morin and Greg Rallo all finished minus-2 in the game for Texas while Patrik Nemeth was the only Stars player on the positive side at plus-1. Texas finished with a 35-28 shot advantage.
The loss drops the defending Calder Cup champions to an 0-2 hole in the best-of-five series with all three remaining games in Rockford. Game 3, which would be the end of the season for Texas with a loss, is on Wednesday.