In what was their busiest week of the AHL season, the IceHogs picked up six of a possible eight points while clinching home ice advantage in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Rockford began Week 27 by extending a winning streak to five games with wins against Milwaukee on Tuesday, Iowa on Thursday and Charlotte on Saturday. In their fourth game in six days, the IceHogs fell to the Checkers in Sunday’s rematch to wrap up the road portion of their regular season schedule.
Week 27 Results:
Tuesday, April 7, Milwaukee 3 vs. Rockford 5
Thursday, April 9, Rockford 5 at Iowa 3
Saturday, April 11, Rockford 2 at Charlotte 0
Sunday, April 12, Rockford 3 at Charlotte 4
- Week 27 was the busiest of the season for the IceHogs, who had to play four games in six days including three on the road
- With three wins, Rockford guaranteed themselves a top-four finish in the Western Conference standings, ensuring them home-ice advantage in the Conference Quarterfinals
- Three home games remain on the regular season schedule for the IceHogs, who sit one point behind Grand Rapids for the Midwest Division lead and three points back of Utica for the top spot in the Western Conference
- Saturday’s victory in Charlotte was the 22nd road victory of the season, setting a high mark in IceHogs AHL history
- The 22 wins away from home also ties Rockford’s franchise record, set in the 2006-07 season
- The IceHogs have also matched their AHL-high mark in overall wins, after picking up their 44th victory of the campaign against the Checkers on Saturday
- Rockford’s all-time franchise record for wins in a season stands at 48, set twice in 2006-07 and 2005-06
- Defeating Milwaukee and Iowa to start the week in identical 5-3 fashion, the IceHogs finished a four game stretch where they scored 23 goals - an average of 5.75 goals a game
- Right wing Spencer Abbott factored in all three games he played in over the week, potting four goals and two assists
- With the six-point week, Abbott assumes the team scoring lead with 44 points (18g-26a) in 62 games played this season
- In his 16 games with the IceHogs, Abbott has piled up 20 points (11g-9a)
- Goaltender Antti Raanta picked up a 25-save shutout on Saturday in Charlotte, Rockford’s 10th team shutout of the year
- Rookie center Tanner Kero picked up a goal in his professional debut on Thursday in Iowa
- Kero scored again on Sunday in Charlotte, giving him two goals in his first three games in the AHL after signing an ATO out of Michigan Tech on April 6
- Fellow ATO-signee Calle Dahlstrom made his AHL debut on Sunday against the Checkers, picking up an assist on Kero’s first-period goal
- Brandon Mashinter scored on a penalty shot to tie the game at three in the third period on Sunday; the first penalty shot awarded to the IceHogs this season
- Rockford hadn’t scored on a penalty shot since Jan. 4, 2014, when Joakim Nordstrom beat Grand Rapids’ Jared Coreau
Hot Hog: Week 27
Rockford trade deadline acquisition Spencer Abbott continues to rattle off points as the regular season heads down the final home stretch. Abbott tallied four points (2g-2a) in Tuesday’s 5-3 win against Milwaukee, and added goals on Thursday in Iowa and Saturday in Charlotte before getting a rest on Sunday. The Hamilton, Ontario native now has 20 points (11g-9a) in 16 appearances with the IceHogs, and has taken over the team scoring lead with 44 points (18g-26a) in 62 games played.
Upcoming Games:Friday, April 17 vs. Chicago Wolves:
Wednesday, April 15 vs. Charlotte Checkers: Puck drop is at 7 p.m. The IceHogs begin a three-game homestand to close out their regular season schedule when they host Charlotte at the BMO. It is the final WXRX Dollar Day of the season, so fans have one last chance to enjoy hot dogs, sodas, beers and companion tickets all for just $1 each.
Face-off is at 7 p.m. The IceHogs finish the season series against their crosstown rivals as the Chicago Wolves visit the BMO. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will pick up an IceHogs beach towel, courtesy of Peak Fitness. Rockford heads into the final meeting with Chicago already having clinched the 2014-15 Illinois Lottery Cup, via their previous victory in Rosemont back on March 15. The IceHogs have a 7-3-1-0 record against the Wolves this season.Saturday, April 18 vs. Toronto Marlies:
Game starts at 7 p.m. Rockford wraps up the regular season schedule against the Toronto Marlies on Fan Appreciation Night at the BMO. Plenty of prizes and giveaways are in store as the IceHogs give thanks for the great hometown support they have received all year long. The first 2,500 people through the gates will leave with a free team photograph.