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Week 19 recap: Hogs get back on track with points in weekend pair

by Alec Lessner / Chicago Blackhawks
The IceHogs maintained their top spot in the Central Divsion after week 19. (Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs)

The Rockford IceHogs took their second consecutive overtime defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday by a 4-3 score before ending a four-game winless streak in a home victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Valentine’s Day. By picking up an extra point in Milwaukee, the IceHogs maintained their top spot in the Central Division. Mark McNeill scored in both games to earn a three-game goal scoring streak, and the centerman has points in 12 of his last 13 contests.

Week 19 Results:
Friday, February 12: Rockford 3 at Milwaukee 4(OT)
Sunday, February 14: Grand Rapids 2 vs. Rockford 4

Bacon Bits:

  • The IceHogs tied a season-long four-game winless streak by going 0-1-3-0 coming out of the All-Star break, but snapped it with a 4-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday

  • Goaltender Michael Leighton has been the goaltender of record in 14 of the team’s last 15 games, and is 9-1-3-1 over that span

  • The IceHogs have gone 16-0-0-0 when scoring at least four goals this season

  • Rockford has not lost in regulation when scoring at least three goals (25-0-3-1)

  • Rockford had gone 0-3-1-0 against Grand Rapids after winning the season series opener

  • Grand Rapids remains the only AHL team that Rockford owns a losing record against this season (2-3-1-0)

  • With goals against Milwaukee and Grand Rapids, Mark McNeill picked up a three-game goal scoring streak

  • McNeill has also earned a point in 12 of his last 13 games (7g-7a)

  • With an overtime loss in Milwaukee, goaltender Leighton extended his road unbeaten streak to nine games (5-0-4-0)

  • Leighton snapped a four-game winless streak (0-1-3-0) versus Grand Rapids on Saturday

  • Rockford scored three power-play goals in 10 opportunities over the weekend

  • The IceHogs have picked up a power-play goal in five of the last six contests (7-of-27)

  • Bryan Bickell scored two goals on Sunday to become the sixth Hog to reach the 10-goal mark this season

  • Bickell became the eighth player to record a multi-goal game for the IceHogs this season

  • Kyle Baun got his first professional point with an assist on the second goal by Bickell

  • The tally proved to be the game-winner, and marked the third time Bickell has scored the deciding goal for the IceHogs this season

  • Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Bickell are tied for the team-lead in game-winning goals (3)

  • Marko Dano added an assist in each game in Week 19 and has points in five of his last six games (2g-4a)

  • In each weekend game, Rockford didn’t take a penalty in the second or third period

  • The IceHogs advanced to 18-9-1-3 when outshooting their opponent in the win over the Griffins

  • Rockford allowed the fourth hat trick of the season by an opponent to Milwaukee forward Frederick Gaudreau on Friday

  • The IceHogs have had difficulty solving Marek Mazanec, who owns a 6-1-1-0 record against the team this season

  • The team has allowed two shootout winners and one overtime game-winning goal to Kevin Fiala of the Milwaukee Admirals this season

  • Rockford has gone 3-5 in overtime this season, and 1-4 on the road

  • With nine post-regulation losses, the team trails Hershey, Providence, St. Johns, and Syracuse by one for the league lead

Hot Hog: Week 19
Mark McNeill had a solid weekend for the IceHogs, scoring twice to start a goal-scoring streak of three games. McNeill also provided the primary assist on the game-tying goal by Ryan Hartman in the second period of the 4-2 win over Grand Rapids on Sunday, and has points in 12 of his last 13 contests (7g-7a). McNeill is just one point short of Hartman’s team-leading 27, and needs one goal to tie Pierre-Cedric Labrie for the team lead at 13.

Upcoming Games:
Wednesday, February 17 vs. Manitoba Moose: Game starts at 10:30 a.m. The IceHogs welcome the Moose to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the annual “School Day Game” in the first of four meetings on the season. Rockford is 7-8-1-0 all-time versus Manitoba.

Friday, February 19 vs. Manitoba Moose: Contest begins at 7 p.m. Rockford takes on Manitoba in the final game of a quick three-game homestand. BMO Harris Bank will be giving away a free pair of socks to the first 2,500 fans in attendance, and the IceHogs encourage fans to bring new pairs of socks to donate to Project Undershare. Fans who donate socks will receive a ticket voucher to a pre-selected game.

Saturday, February 20 at Chicago Wolves: Puck drop at 7 p.m. The IceHogs visit Rosemont for the fourth time this season to take on the Chicago Wolves. Overall, Rockford is 5-1-2-0 in the Illinois Lottery Cup series and has a chance to clinch the title with a regulation victory.

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