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PROSPECTS: Playoffs week five report

by Rockford IceHogs Media Relations / icehogs.com

The Rockford IceHogs snapped a seven-game win streak and four-game road win streak with back-to-back losses at the Texas Stars. The Hogs have yet to win in regulation at Texas this season, posting a shootout victory and three losses in four trips to the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Rockford is now 7-2 this postseason and 3-6 all-time in the playoffs against the Texas Stars.

The IceHogs converted on the power play in both Game 1 and Game 2 against Texas. Rockford has now scored at least one power-play goal in each of its first eight playoff games, and enters the week ranked first in both power-play goals (17) and power-play efficiency (34.7 percent). Overall, the IceHogs have scored on the man-advantage in 10 straight games, and boast 30 power-play goals over the last 22 games since March 17.

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PROSPECTS: Rockford downed by Stars in Game 2

by Rockford IceHogs Media Relations / icehogs.com

Curtis McKenzie scored at 10:46 of overtime to lift the Texas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Sunday night. The Stars now take a 2-0 series lead on the road as the series shifts to Rockford for Tuesday's Game 3, where the IceHogs are 3-0 in the postseason.

McKenzie pounced on a loose puck in front of the Rockford net, knocking it out of midair and past Collin Delia to seal Texas' win on its seventh power-play opportunity. The goal was McKenzie's fourth overall of the playoffs, and third game-winner.

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BLOG: Rockford falls in overtime

by Nick Merlina / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Rockford IceHogs are now down 2-0 in the Western Conference Final of the Calder Cup Playoffs following a 3-2 loss in overtime to the Texas Stars on Sunday evening.

John Hayden opened the game's scoring in the first period to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead.

After the Stars went ahead with back-to-back goals, Chris DiDomenico scored on the power play in the second frame to tie the game at two and eventually send it to overtime.

Collin Delia made 34 saves in the loss.

The best-of-seven series will resume in Rockford on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT.

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PROSPECTS: Rockford drops Game 1

by Rockford IceHogs Media Relations / icehogs.com

Sheldon Dries scored at 7:18 of the third period to give the Texas Stars a two-goal cushion and Mike McKenna stopped 31 of 33 pucks to ultimately push the Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs at H-E-B Center in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Friday night. The loss was just Rockford's first of the playoffs, and the IceHogs head into Game 2 with an overall record of 7-2.

Texas started fast out of the gates, netting the game's opening tally just 4:22 after the puck was dropped as Curtis McKenzie hammered home a rebound. The Hogs responded seven minutes later as Carl Dahlstrom's power-play one-timer squeaked through McKenna for his third strike of the postseason, but the Stars regained their lead 1:18 later behind Roope Hintz's breakaway effort to head to intermission ahead 2-1.

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BLOG: IceHogs fall to Stars in Game 1

by Nick Merlina / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Rockford IceHogs suffered their first loss of the Calder Cup Playoffs to the Texas Stars 4-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

Carl Dahlstrom and Chris DiDomenico both found the back of the net as Rockford outshot Texas 33-24. Collin Delia stopped 20 shots in the loss.

The best-of-seven series will resume on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT.

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PROSPECTS: Conference Final Preview

by Nick Merlina / chicagoblackhawks.com

OVERVIEW

The Rockford IceHogs will take an undefeated playoff run into the Calder Cup Western Conference Final against the Texas Stars.

The IceHogs are a perfect 7-0-0 heading into the third round of postseason play, while the Stars sit at 7-2-0. The clubs faced each other four times in the 2017-18 American Hockey League season. Rockford walked away with two wins in regulation and one in a shootout, while Texas won one of the matchups.

The conference final will be a best-of-seven series that begins on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. CT, in Cedar Park, Texas at the H-E-B Center.

Video: Lear's Look: Rockford's Rolling

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PROSPECTS: Q&A with Matthew Highmore

Matthew Highmore sat down with chicagoblackhawks.com to talk about his breakout rookie season and more.

by Nick Merlina / chicagoblackhawks.com

Rockford IceHogs forward Matthew Highmore has enjoyed a breakout rookie season. He led the led the team in goals, played in the American Hockey League All-Star Game and got his first taste of the NHL.

Highmore and the IceHogs are sitting undefeated through the first two-rounds of the Calder Cup Playoffs and are making their trip to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Before the team leaves for Game 1 in Texas on Friday, Highmore sat down with chicagoblackhawks.com to discuss his feelings ahead of the series with the Stars, what makes this team special and his experience through his rookie campaign.

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PROSPECTS: Playoffs week four report

by Rockford IceHogs Media Relations / icehogs.com

The Rockford IceHogs completed a four-game sweep of Manitoba with back-to-back home wins against the Moose last week. The IceHogs are 7-0 this season and have set franchise records for consecutive road wins (4) and overall playoff win streak (7). In addition and of the 80 teams in the AHL playoffs since 2014, Rockford is one of just two franchises (also Toronto, 8-0 in 2014) to begin the playoffs with a 7-0 record.

The IceHogs take on Texas in the Western Conference Finals after notching points in three of four games against the Stars during the regular season (3-1-0-0). Rockford is 3-4 all-time against the Stars in the postseason with a four-game sweep by Texas in 2010 and three-game sweep of the Stars in 2015 (both in the first round).

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PROSPECTS: IceHogs win sixth straight, tie franchise records

by Rockford IceHogs Media Relations / icehogs.com

Tyler Sikura and Victor Ejdsell scored in a span of 1:07 to erase a 1-0 deficit in the second period, and Collin Delia stopped 36 of 37 shots to power the Rockford IceHogs to a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Moose in Game 3 of the Central Division Finals at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday night.

With their win, the IceHogs have won each of their six playoff outings this season, and are just one win shy of advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Their current six-game win streak ties a franchise record set during their 2007 UHL Championship run, while Delia, who has started each of those six consecutive victories, leads the AHL with a .953 save percentage and ranks second with a 1.52 GAA in that span. The IceHogs star netminder tied Frederic Cloutier's franchise record for most consecutive playoff wins by a goalie, also set in 2007.

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FEATURE: Connection, execution leads to IceHogs success on special teams

by Nick Merlina / chicagoblackhawks.com

In the Calder Cup Playoffs, any number of small actions can help a team win or lose a game.

The Rockford IceHogs have an edge that has them sitting at 6-0-0 through the postseason: special teams.

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