IceHogs, Admirals Meet for Regular Season Finale
Rockford, Ill. - Already assured of a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs, the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs (41-21-5-2) continue to jockey for postseason positioning as they close out their season series against the Milwaukee Admirals (33-25-7-6) Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Face-off between the neighboring rivals is set for 7 p.m.
Tuesday is additionally a WXRX Dollar Day at the BMO. Fans can enjoy Vienna Beef hot dogs, sodas, beers and companion tickets all for $1 each.
For tickets, visit the BMO Harris Bank Center box office or any Ticketmaster location, call 815-968-5222 or visit IceHogs.com. Those who cannot make it to the game can watch live locally on 23.2 Antenna TV or online at AHLLive.com. Television coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the IceHogs Warm Up Pre-Game Show with hosts Mike Peck and TJ Hogan. For live updates throughout the game, follow the IceHogs on Twitter (@goicehogs).
With a victory over the Rochester Americans on Saturday - and a Utica win against Hamilton - the IceHogs were able clinch a spot in the postseason for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign. Rockford became the seventh team in the AHL to punch their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs, and the fourth from the Western Conference.
Even though half of the field is set in the West, playoff positioning is still up in the air. The IceHogs are three points behind Grand Rapids for the Midwest Division lead, but hold a comfortable five-point cushion over Oklahoma City for possession of fourth place and the accompanying home-ice advantage in the Conference Quarterfinals. Only four points separate Rockford and the conference-leading Comets, with both teams having seven games left to play.
Rockford was able to take care of their half of Saturday's clinching scenario by manhandling the Americans to the tune of 7-2 at the BMO. The win extended a home winning streak to six games, which ties the longest home unbeaten streak in IceHogs AHL history.
In what was their highest offensive output to date this season, Rockford found the net at least twice in each period, as 10 different IceHogs factored in the scoresheet. Leading the scoring charge was center Alex Broadhurst, who recorded a career-high five points (2g-3a). Broadhurst has now compiled nine points (4g-5a) in seven games since returning to the lineup from a broken arm.
The suddenly-sharpshooting IceHogs have outscored their opponents 13-4 in their last two games. Contributing to the offensive uptick has been the sophomore trio of Garret Ross, Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill, who all combined for 11 points (5g-6a) in Rockford's wins over Grand Rapids and Rochester.
While the IceHogs are rolling - winners of eight of their last ten, their opponents on Tuesday are heading in the opposite direction. The Admirals find themselves in a late-season slide that has dropped them to the precipice of the playoff picture.
Since their last meeting with Rockford on Feb. 13, Milwaukee has won only five of 22 games, a stretch that started with them in second in the West and holding a five point lead in the Midwest. Now, the struggling Admirals have fell to fourth in the division and eighth in the conference, with only five games left to play and three points between them and ninth-place Hamilton.
With their playoff chances slipping away, Milwaukee comes to Rockford desperate for two points against a team they have fared well against this season. Heading into the 12th and final game scheduled between the border rivals, the Admirals lead the series with six wins, which includes four of the last five overall and four of the five games at the BMO.
Milwaukee's forward contingent took a hit with the departure of rookie Brendan Leipsic, who was a piece in the Feb. 15 move that brought Cody Franson to the Nashville Predators. The Admirals did receive a needed offensive boost last week when leading scorer Viktor Arvidsson (19g-32a) was reassigned after a brief stint with the Predators.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, April 15 vs. Charlotte Checkers. 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.
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American Hockey League Stories from April 7, 2015
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