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 Rockford IceHogs

Hogs Seek to Even Series Tonight in Grand Rapids

May 1, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rockford IceHogs News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-The three-seed Rockford IceHogs and the two-seed Grand Rapids Griffins play Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals tonight at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The Griffins have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series after snagging a 3-2 overtime win against the IceHogs on Saturday night at the BMO Center.

Now the IceHogs must win three of the next four games to advance. Game 2 tonight and Game 3 on Friday will be played in Grand Rapids, and if necessary, Game 4 will be played back in Rockford. The Hogs finished the regular season with the eighth most wins on the road in the league with a 20-13-2-1 record away from the BMO Center.

Rockford hasn't lost two consecutive games since a 3-2 loss to Grand Rapids on Feb. 17 and a 3-1 loss to the Iowa Wild on Feb. 19, and the home-ice advantage wasn't a major factor against the Griffins as the Hogs went 4-2-0-0 at Van Andel Arena in the regular season.

3. Rockford: 39-26-5-2, 85 points (3rd, Central Division)

2. Grand Rapids: 37-23-8-4, 86 points (2nd, Central Division)

Series Notes vs. Grand Rapids

Through 12 matchups, each side has six wins (RFD: 6-5-0-1).

Rockford has outscored Grand Rapids by just one goal (25-24, RFD: 2.08 GF/GM...GR: 2.00 GF/GM).

There have been four shutouts so far in the season series- the Hogs have shut out the Griffins three times and been shut out once.

Five of the 12 encounters have been separated by one goal, and nine have been decided by two or less.

In 24 opportunities (12 for both sides), only four times has a team scored four or more goals.

Drew Commesso was 2-5-1-0 against Grand Rapids with a 2.38 GAA and a .910 SV%.

Sebastian Cossa had a .920 SV% against the Hogs in the regular season.

Brett Seney led all scorers in the series with 13 points (5G, 8A) in 12 games during the regular season.

No skater for Grand Rapids had more than seven points against Rockford this season.

Down But Not Out

The IceHogs have only come back and won one playoff series after losing Game 1 in franchise history. In Rockford's last season in the UHL, the Hogs dropped Game 1 of the 2007 Colonial Cup Semifinals 3-0 to the Fort Wayne Komets. Rockford won the next four games of the series and went on to win the Colonial Cup Finals before moving to the AHL the next season.

Feels Like The First Time

Including four rookies, six different IceHogs made their Calder Cup Playoffs debuts on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Central Division Semifinals: Brandon Baddock, Rem Pitlick, Colton Dach, Ethan Del Mastro, Wyatt Kaiser, and Jaxson Stauber. After playing 386 career AHL games in seven seasons, Baddock finally skated in his first postseason game. Similarly, Pitlick made his first playoff appearance in his fifth professional season.

Timely Teply

Michal Teply has skated in three consecutive Calder Cup Playoffs appearances with Rockford and recorded points in every run. Through five games in 2022, Teply marked an assist. Last season in five games in the 2023 postseason, Teply tallied two goals and an apple, including his late third period game-tying goal that sent the IceHogs to overtime against the Iowa Wild and resulted in a 4-3 overtime win on April 21. Teply notched a goal in Game 1 of the Central Division Semifinals in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs on Saturday night and totals five career points in the postseason (3G, 2A).

Sanford Back In Action

After sustaining an upper body injury against the Milwaukee Admirals on April 13, Zach Sanford returned to the lineup for Game 1 of the Central Division Semifinals. In his first game back since the injury, Sanford found the back of the net against Sebastian Cossa. The Salem, Massachusetts native ranks second for Rockford in terms of Calder Cup Playoffs experience with 19 games and eight points (4G, 4A). David Gust is the only IceHog that tops Sanford as a Calder Cup Champion with 18 points (7G, 11A) in 34 postseason games.

Second Playoff Meeting with Grand Rapids

The IceHogs and Griffins are meeting for just the second time in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Their previous rendezvous came in 2015 in the West Division Semifinals. Grand Rapids won the series four games to one, with Rockford's only win in the series coming in Game 3 at home in a 4-1 decision. The Hogs entered the series as the higher seed and surrendered three home losses to the Griffins. The division rivals played an overtime contest the last time they clashed in the Calder Cup Playoffs at the BMO Center, and the Griffs won 2-1 in Game 4 in the extra frame on Current Toronto Maple Leaf and former Detroit Red Wing Tyler Bertuzzi's game-winning goal.

2023-24 Head-to-Head Schedule (All Times Central)

Oct. 28 vs. Grand Rapids - W 3-0 | Recap, Highlights

Dec. 27 vs. Grand Rapids - L 4-2 | Recap, Highlights

Jan. 12 @ Grand Rapids - W 2-0 | Recap, Highlights

Jan. 13 @ Grand Rapids - OTW 3-2 | Recap, Highlights

Jan. 24 @ Grand Rapids - L 3-1 | Recap, Highlights

Feb. 2 vs. Grand Rapids - SOL 3-2 | Recap, Highlights

Feb. 17 vs. Grand Rapids - L 3-2 | Recap, Highlights

Mar. 2 @ Grand Rapids - OTW 5-4 | Recap, Highlights

Mar. 23 vs. Grand Rapids - L 4-3 | Recap, Highlights

Apr. 5 @ Grand Rapids - L 3-0 | Recap, Highlights

Apr. 6 vs. Grand Rapids - W 3-1 | Recap, Highlights

Apr. 12 @ Grand Rapids - W 2-0 | Recap, Highlights

2023-24 Calder Cup Playoffs Central Division Semifinals Schedule

Apr. 27 vs. Grand Rapids - OTL 3-2 | Recap, Highlights

May 1 @ Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. CT

May 3 @ Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. CT

May 5 vs Grand Rapids, 4 p.m. CT (if necessary)

May 10 @ Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. CT (if necessary)

IceHogs vs Griffins, All-time


Tune In LIVE on the IceHogs Broadcast Network Presented by BMO

Watch and listen to every game this season on the IceHogs Broadcast Network presented by BMO! Listen from your favorite device, at home, or on the road at and on the IceHogs app and watch LIVE on AHLTV and selected games in High Definition on 19.2 The365! Fans can also tune in on all of Mid-West Family's local stations including 104.9 The X, B103, 95.3 The Bull, and Rockford Greatest Hits 100.5 and featured on Rock River Current, the Stateline's premiere source for local events, news and culture.

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