Rockford IceHogs fall 4-2 to Texas Stars in Game 1 of Western Conference Final

Rockford forward Chris DiDomenico scores a goal and assists on another.

Remi Elie scored the eventual game-winning goal on the power play and Mike McKenna stopped 33 shots to help the Texas Stars hand the Rockford IceHogs a 4-2 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Friday at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas.

It’s the first loss of the playoffs for Rockford, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, who swept the Chicago Wolves and Mantioba Moose in the first two rounds.

Texas hosts Rockford for Game 2 of their series Sunday.

Curtis McKenzie hammered in a rebound to give Texas a 1-0 lead 4:22 into the first period. The IceHogs responded seven minutes later when Carl Dahlstrom’s power-play one-timer slipped through McKenna and into the net for his third playoff goal.

The Stars, however, regained the lead 78 seconds later on Roope Hintz’s breakaway goal against Collin Delia for a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Chris DiDomenico evened the score when he batted in a loose puck. With a goal and an assist, DiDomenico increased his scoring lead during the playoffs to 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in only eight games.

Elie put the Stars ahead for good with a goal on the man advantage at 8:47 and Sheldon Dries added another goal in the third for the win.

Delia stopped 20 of 24 shots in his first loss this postseason.