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 Rockford IceHogs

IceHogs Aim for Series Lead in Game 3

May 3, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rockford IceHogs News Release


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Rockford IceHogs collide with the Grand Rapids Griffins in Game 3 of the Central Division Semifinals tonight at Van Andel Arena. After falling in Game 1, the IceHogs responded with a 5-1 win over Grand Rapids in Game 2 to even the best-of-five series at one win a piece. With the win on Wednesday, Rockford guaranteed a Game 4 on Sunday at the BMO Center.

Winning in Grand Rapids has been no easy feat this season. The Griffins posted the third most home wins with 23, and they lost back-to-back home games on only six occasions. One of those occasions came when Rockford pulled out consecutive victories in Grand Rapids on Jan.12 and Jan. 13. When the Griffins have hosted opposing teams for two games in the same week, only twice has Grand Rapids lost both games: once in November against Toronto, and the aforementioned January meetings with Rockford.

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

Rockford and Grand Rapids have met once before in the postseason in 2015. The Griffins bested the Hogs four games to one in a best-of-seven series.

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

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

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

Five of the 12 encounters were 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% during the regular campaign.

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.

First Time for Everything

Game 2 in Grand Rapids provided several firsts for Rockford. It was the first time the Hogs had ever won a road playoff game against the Griffins, and it was the first time that Rockford scored five unanswered goals in a Calder Cup Playoff game. Drew Commesso picked up his first Calder Cup Playoff win, Mike Hardman scored his first two Calder Cup Playoff goals, Ethan Del Mastro tabbed his first Calder Cup Playoff goal, and Rem Pitlick picked up his first two Calder Cup Playoff assists. The game also marked the worst home playoff defeat for the Griffins in their team's history.

Like Mike

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).

Special Teams Special Players

Rockford's special teams played a key role in Game 2. The Hogs were 2-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Finding a way to convert on the power play will prove crucial for Rockford. During the regular season, the Griffins did not allow the Hogs to score a 5-on-4 power-play goal in the last 10 meetings of the campaign. Rockford's PK was excellent late in the season and did not allow a power-play goal in the seven games from Apr. 6 to Apr. 20 (24-for-24).

Goalie Cradle

The IceHogs relied on rookie goaltenders exclusively for the first time in the team's AHL history with Drew Commesso, Jaxson Stauber, and Mitchell Weeks. On Oct. 28, Commesso became the youngest IceHogs goaltender to ever record a shutout when he blanked Grand Rapids. Stauber set a new IceHogs franchise record with a 13-game win streak spanning from Feb. 10 against Chicago to Apr. 14 against Milwaukee. Stauber also set a new IceHogs record with five points (1G, 4A), and he made his Calder Cup Playoffs debut in Game 1 with 34 saves on 37 shots. Commesso won his first Calder Cup Playoff game with 27 saves on 28 shots in Game 2.

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 - W 5-1 | Recap, Highlights

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

69-56-6-5

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 IceHogs.com 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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