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Week 32 Recap: IceHogs fall to Grand Rapids in five games

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks
The most successful season in Rockford’s AHL history comes to an end in the Western Conference Semifinals. 

The most illustrious campaign in the Rockford IceHogs AHL era came to a close Sunday night as the Grand Rapids Griffins won Game 5 at the BMO Harris Bank Center, and with it the Western Conference Semifinal series. Upon returning to the Forest City the IceHogs cut the Griffins’ series lead to a 2-1 margin with a 4-1 Game 3 victory on Wednesday, before falling twice to round out the week. Grand Rapids used a quick overtime goal to grab Game 4 by a 2-1 score on Thursday night and held on to a 5-3 clinching victory in Sunday’s Game 5. The second-seeded Griffins now advance to the Western Conference Finals to take on the winner of the Utica Comets and Oklahoma City Barons.

Week 32 Results:
(Game 3) Wednesday, May 13: Grand Rapids 1 vs. Rockford 4
(Game 4) Thursday, May 14: Grand Rapids 2 vs. Rockford 1 (OT)
(Game 5) Sunday, May 17: Grand Rapids 5 vs. Rockford 3

Bacon Bits:

  • In their first postseason appearance since 2010, the IceHogs fell in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Grand Rapids Griffins 4 games to 1

  • Rockford finished the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 4-4 record, bringing their all-time AHL playoff mark to 11-17

  • Their berth in the second round of the playoffs matches the highest finish in IceHogs AHL playoff history (2008 West Division Finals vs. Chicago Wolves)

  • Stephen Johns finished as Rockford’s leading scorer in the postseason, scoring three goals and four assists in eight games played

  • With his seven points Johns broke team single playoff-season AHL records in both defenseman points and rookie points

  • Johns, Spencer Abbott, Brandon Mashinter and Phillip Danault all finished tied for the IceHogs playoff goal-scoring lead with three markers

  • Danault finished fourth in team scoring with five points (3g-2a), while posting a team-leading +8 rating

  • 16 out of the 21 different Rockford skaters who saw playoff action finished with at least a point

  • Finishing the second round with a pair of losses at the BMO, the IceHogs finished the 2015 playoffs 2-2 on home ice, giving them an all-time AHL playoff record of 5-8 in Rockford

  • In their Game 4 overtime loss to Grand Rapids, Rockford surrendered the game-winning goal to Tyler Bertuzzi at the :13 mark of the extra period, the fourth-fastest overtime goal in AHL history

  • The goal was the fastest goal allowed to start a period in IceHogs AHL playoff history

  • Rockford played in two overtime games at home in the playoffs; two games that lasted a cumulative 36 seconds

Hot Hog: Week 32
One of Rockford’s most experienced players finished the playoffs as one of the club’s best, as Brandon Mashinter played solid up front in what was the final week of the IceHogs season. Mashinter posted a +1 in Wednesday’s Game 3 while scoring a late goal and an assist in the decisive Game 5 loss on Sunday. Skating on Rockford’s top offensive unit for much of the playoffs alongside Spencer Abbott and Peter Regin, the Bradford, Ontario native finished tied for second in team playoff scoring with six points (3g-3a). The 26-year old winger is under contract for the 2015-16 season, signing a two-year extension with the Blackhawks last spring.

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