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Week 26: Hogs punch ticket to Calder Cup Playoffs

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks
Zach Miskovic looks for the puck in Saturday's game against the Rochester Americans. (Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs)

Rockford picked up two victories from three games in Week 26, officially earning their spot in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, their first trip to the postseason since the 2009-10 season. After starting the week with a tough road loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday, the IceHogs offense came alive in a pair of home wins. Rockford took down the Griffins 6-2 in a Friday rematch, before routing the Rochester Americans 7-2 on Saturday night.

Week 26 Results:
Wednesday, April 1, Rockford 1 at Grand Rapids 6
Friday, April 3, Grand Rapids 2 vs. Rockford 6
Saturday, April 4, Rochester 2 vs. Rockford 7

Bacon Bits:

  • Rockford’s victory over Rochester on Saturday, when coupled with Utica’s win against Hamilton, clinched the IceHogs a berth in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs

  • The IceHogs return to the postseason for the ninth time in franchise history, and the fifth time in their eight years as a member of the AHL

  • Rockford ends a four-year playoff drought, dating back to the 2009-10 season

  • With a two-game split against Grand Rapids, the IceHogs remain only three points back from the Midwest Division lead, with a game in hand on the Griffins

  • Rockford, with 89 points, owns a five-point lead over Oklahoma City for possession of fourth place in the Western Conference and first-round home-ice advantage

  • With victories over Grand Rapids on Friday and Rochester on Saturday, the IceHogs extended a winning streak at the BMO Harris Bank Center to six games, spanning back to March 18

  • The streak ties the longest home winning stretch in Rockford’s AHL era, reached three different times. The 2006-07 IceHogs hold the all-time record for most-consecutive home victories, winning 11 from Jan. 10-March 3

  • The 13 goals in Friday and Saturday’s wins were the most scored in a two-game stretch since Rockford scored 14 from Feb. 4-8, 2014

  • Center Alex Broadhurst scored two goals and three assists on Saturday, becoming the first IceHogs player to tally over four points since Brandon Pirri logged a goal and five assists back on April 12, 2013

  • Broadhurst has now scored four goals and five assists in seven games back from an arm injury

  • In the 15 games prior to his injury, the Orland Park, Ill. native only put up two assists

  • On Friday and Saturday, the sophomore trio of Garret Ross, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault combined for 11 points (5g-6a) and a +13 rating

  • Rookie right wing Ryan Hartman logged a pair of multi-point performances, scoring two goals against Grand Rapids on Friday and a goal and two assists against the Americans Saturday

  • Spencer Abbott recorded four assists over the week, including three on Saturday against Rochester

  • In 13 games with the IceHogs, Abbott has 14 points (7g-7a)

  • The Rockford power play unit snapped a four-game scoring drought by going 3-for-5 on Saturday against Rochester

  • It was the second time this season where the IceHogs scored three times in one game on the power play (11/6/14, at Iowa)

Hot Hog: Week 26
With a dominant performance on Saturday against Rochester, second-year center Alex Broadhurst became the first Rockford player to score over four points in a game since the 2012-13 season. Broadhurst scored two goals and three assists in a 7-2 drubbing of the Americans, the first five-point outing of his professional career. The 22-year-old native of Orland Park, Ill. has found his scoring touch after being sidelined with a broken arm for most of the season. In his seven games back to the Rockford lineup, Broadhurst has notched four goals and five assists.

Upcoming Games:
Tuesday, April 7 vs. Milwaukee Admirals:
Face-off is at 7 p.m. Rockford begins their last road trip of the regular season with a stop in Des Moines to take on the Wild. The IceHogs head into the year’s final meeting with Iowa holding a 5-2-0-0 record in the season series, including a 2-1-0-0 mark at Wells Fargo Arena.

Thursday, April 9 at Iowa Wild: Face-off is at 7 p.m. Rockford begins their last road trip of the regular season with a stop in Des Moines to take on the Wild. The IceHogs head into the year’s final meeting with Iowa holding a 5-2-0-0 record in the season series, including a 2-1-0-0 mark at Wells Fargo Arena.

Saturday, April 11 at Charlotte Checkers: Game starts at 6 p.m. Rockford heads to North Carolina for a weekend doubleheader with the Checkers, beginning on Saturday at Time Warner Cable Arena. The showdown is first of three-straight games against Charlotte. The IceHogs fell in a shootout in their previous meeting with the Checkers, back on Jan. 13 in Rockford.

Sunday, April 12 at Charlotte Checkers: Puck drops at 12 p.m. The IceHogs wrap up the road portion of their regular season schedule with Sunday’s rematch against Charlotte. Heading into the weekend Rockford owns a 9-9-1-2 record all-time against the Checkers, including a 6-3-1-1 mark in North Carolina.

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