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IceHogs split Week 21 contests

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks
Photo courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs.

Entering Week 21, the Rockford IceHogs were riding a season-long five-game winning streak. Friday night they extended that streak to six games by defeating the Peoria Rivermen, which tied the team’s AHL-era record for most consecutive games without losing. However, the Hogs had their streak snapped by the Milwaukee Admirals the following night in front of a soldout BMO Harris Bank Center. Rockford will look to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race during Week 22, when they travel to Oklahoma City and then return to Illinois with a stop at the Allstate Arena.

Week 21 Results
Friday, March 1: Peoria 1 vs. Rockford 4
Saturday, March 2: Milwaukee 3 vs. Rockford 2

Bacon Bits:

> Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Milwaukee ended Rockford’s six game winning streak, tying an AHL era team record

> The six game stretch marks the third time the Hogs have won six in a row since joining the AHL in 2007-08, including 1/11/08-1/19/08 and 10/12/08-10/26/08

> Goaltender Carter Hutton turned away 23 of Peoria’s 24 attempts to win his season-best fifth straight game

> During his hot stretch, Hutton has a 1.38 goals against average, .953 save percentage and one shutout

> Forwards Jeremy Morin and Ben Smith each netted two goals to carry Rockford to a 4-1 win over Peoria on Friday

> Both Morin and Smith have now tallied three multi-goal games on the season

> The IceHogs have five skaters closing in on 20 goals on the campaign, and six with 14 or more

> Forwards Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin and Martin St. Pierre are each one goal away from 20, while Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith need three more each to reach the mark

> Hayes chipped in his 19th goal of the season on Saturday against Milwaukee and has now accumulated 13 goals and six assists in his last 20 contests

> With four assists in Rockford’s two tilts over the weekend, Brandon Pirri extended his point streak to eight games

> Pirri shows four goals and seven assists in his last eight contests, dating back to 2/13/13

> Jeremy Morin saw his point streak end at seven games as he was held scoreless in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Milwaukee

> Morin chipped in 10 points (3g-7a) during his seven game point streak

> Rockford’s penalty kill unit completed a perfect weekend, denying the opponent on 12 power play chances

> Over their last five tilts, the Hogs PK has squandered just one goal in 27 shorthanded situations (96%)

> Before Saturday, the IceHogs recorded a power-play strike in seven straight tilts, converting on 11 of their 36 attempts (30.5%) and now rank 2nd in AHL (21.9%).

> A crowd of 6,170 packed into the BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday, marking the fourth sellout of the season

Hot Hog: Week 21

Center Brandon Pirri extended his point streak to eight games by dishing out four assists in Rockford’s two games during Week 21. Pirri opened the week assisting on three of the IceHogs four goals against Peoria on Friday. It marked his eighth multi-point game of the season and second three-point output. The forward followed it up with another helper in Rockford’s 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. Pirri now shows four goals and seven assists over his last eight games, dating back to 2/13/13.

Upcoming Games:

Friday, March 8 at Oklahoma City Barons: Puck drops at 7 p.m. as the IceHogs travel to Oklahoma City for the first time this season, and for the first of a pair of weekend matchups. The two squads met once this season in Rockford, with the Barons edging out the Hogs 4-3 on Jan. 26.

Saturday, March 9 at Oklahoma City Barons: Game time is set for 7 p.m. as Rockford and Oklahoma City rematch at the Cox Convention Center. It marks the third of four contests between the two teams this season with the final matchup set for March 30 in Rockford.

Sunday, March 10 at Chicago Wolves: A 4 p.m. start, the IceHogs return to Illinois with a stop at the Allstate Arena for a matinee affair with the Wolves. The Illinois Lottery Cup matchup will be the ninth meeting this season between the in-state rivals.

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