After falling to Chicago Monday afternoon to begin the week, the IceHogs responded with a pair of shutout victories to send them into the AHL’s All-Star break on a high note, and in sole posession of second place in the Western Conference. Michael Leighton helped Rockford eke out a 1-0 win in Iowa on Thursday night before Scott Darling followed up with a shutout of his own as the IceHogs blanked Utica 3-0 Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Week 16 Results:
Monday, Jan. 19, Chicago 4 vs. Rockford 1
Thursday, Jan. 22, Rockford 1 at Iowa 0
Saturday, Jan. 24, Utica 0 vs. Rockford 3
- For just the second time in franchise history, the IceHogs recorded shutouts in back-to-back games
- The only previous time Rockford completed that feat was when Ronnie Vogel and Michel Robinson combined for two shutouts on Feb. 8-10, 2006
- In January, the goalie tandem of Michael Leighton (3-0-2, 2 SO, 0.89 GAA, .974 SPCT) and Scott Darling (2-2-0, 2 SO, 1.97 GAA, .938 SPCT) have combined to go 5-2-2-0 with four shutouts, 1.30 GAA and a .962 SPCT in nine games
- Leighton earned his fourth shutout of the season and the 40th of his AHL career Thursday in Iowa
- Leighton is now one shutout away from being tied with Gil Mayer (1949-63) for second place on the league’s all-time shutout list, and sits five behind record-holder Johnny Bower
- Leighton has been in goal for three 1-0 games this season and has a record of 1-0-1-1 in those three games
- Darling recorded his second shutout of the season on Saturday, Rockford’s seventh overall blanking in 2014-15, matching a franchise record set in 2004-05
- Rockford is currently riding a team shutout streak of 121:43
- Over Rockford’s last six games, the team has allowed just nine goals, three of them coming in the third period on 1/19/15 against Chicago
- Rockford is 6-2-1-1 over their past 10 games, but are averaging just 1.83 goals per game during that stretch
- After recording just one point in his last seven games, defenseman Adam Clendening registered his second multi-point game of the season on Saturday, marking two assists
- Forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie has goals in three of his last five games after potting three over his first 33 outings
- The IceHogs recorded their third sellout of the season on Saturday, drawing their second largest crowd of the campaign at 6,402
- Rockford begins a stretch on Friday of five straight games with Chicago and Milwaukee running through Feb. 13
Hot Hog: Week 16
Veteran forward and Alternate Captain Pierre-Cedric Labrie has hit his offensive stride as of late, putting up a pair of goals and finishing with a +2 rating in Week 16. Labrie has scored in each of his last three home games, after only scoring three in his first 33 contests. In addition to being a physical presence for the IceHogs, the Baie-Comeau, Quebec native has been a lynchpin of Rockford’s penalty kill. Labrie has found a shorthanded breakaway in three straight contests, grabbing a goal on Monday against Chicago. The 28-year-old leads the IceHogs with 83 penalty minutes in 38 games played.
Friday, Jan. 30 vs. Chicago Wolves: Puck drops at 7 p.m. The IceHogs kick off another Illinois Lottery Cup home-and-home series when they host the Wolves at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free IceHogs phone cover, courtesy of BMO Harris Bank. The Friday night showdown begins with another Blues Flame Lounge Pre-Game Party. Rockford only needs three standings points out of their last four games with Chicago to to clinch their second Lottery Cup title.
Saturday, Jan. 31, at Chicago Wolves: Face-off is set for 7 p.m. Rockford finishes their weekend back-to-back with their Illinois Lottery Cup rivals when they visit Allstate Arena for the fifth of six times this season. The IceHogs have a 3-1-0-0 record this season in Rosemont, including a 3-2 shootout win in their last trip on Jan. 17.