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Rockford Welcomes San Diego to Stateline for First Meeting Since 2017

December 8, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rockford IceHogs News Release


ROCKFORD, Ill. - After 2,477 days, the Rockford IceHogs and the San Diego Gulls finally meet again. Tonight is just the third ever encounter between the Hogs and the Gulls after the two sides last met in 2017.

Rockford is winless in four straight, and is looking to get back on track against a San Diego club that ranks last in the Pacific Division. Tonight is the first of a four-game homestand for the Hogs. Tonight is also another $2 Beer Friday presented by Bud Light.

2023-24 Season Records

Rockford: 9-8-2-0, 20 points (4th, Central)

San Diego: 5-11-4-0, 15 points (10th, Pacific)

Last Time vs. San Diego

Feb. 25, 2017 was the last time that Rockford and San Diego met on ice. The IceHogs fell to the Gulls out in California despite goals from Kyle Baun and Ville Pokka. Current NHLer Brandon Montour scored one of the Gull's three goals, and San Diego's Tyler Morley provided the game-winner five minutes into the third period. Rockford's Jeff Glass made 28 saves on 31 Gulls shots in the game.

Rockford-San Diego Express

The IceHogs and Gulls have shared seven players over the last two seasons. In a series of trades last season, Rockford acquired Rocco Grimaldi, Logan Nijhoff, and Hunter Drew from San Diego while sending Dylan Sikura and Josiah Slavin to the West Coast. This past offseason, the Hogs signed free agents Josh Healey and Bryce Kindopp after both were playing with the Gulls during the 2022-23 season.

Phillips Moving Up Leaderboard

By playing in tonight's game against San Diego, IceHogs defenseman Isaak Phillips will pass Dylan Olsen for ninth place in all-time IceHogs (AHL) games played by a defenseman. Tonight will be Phillips' 153rd game with Rockford in his fourth tour of duty with the club. The blueliner was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the Blackhawks and made his NHL debut with Chicago on Oct. 29, 2021. Phillips has appeared in NHL action in each of his last three seasons and has played in 29 total contests with Chicago. He also currently ranks eighth in all-time IceHogs points by a defenseman with 60 (19G, 41A), and he sits at ninth all-time with 41 assists by a defenseman.

Roll on Rolston

After scoring Rockford's only goal on Tuesday against Iowa, rookie forward Ryder Rolston now has six goals to open his pro career and leads Rockford rookies in goal scoring. He also found the back of the net on Sunday in Manitoba against the Moose and he struck twice on Nov. 22 against Manitoba at the BMO Center. Four of his markers have come within his last six games, and he has two strikes in his last three contests. Rolston is tied for 11th amongst AHL rookies with his five goals, and he has done so in only 14 games. Last season with the University of Notre Dame, Rolston published 20 points (7G, 13A) in 27 games before a collarbone injury ended his season.

Power Play Struggles

Rockford's power play leapt out of the gate to start the season and posted a 37.9% conversion rate through the first nine games of the season (11-for-29). In the last 10 contests, the IceHogs are operating at an 8.7% clip (4-for-46) and were 0-for-5 on the man-advantage on Tuesday against Iowa. In the last five games since Joey Anderson (nine power-play points) was called up to the Blackhawks, Rockford is just 1-for-18 on the power play. Thanks to the Hogs' outstanding start, Rockford still ranks 11th in the league with a season percentage of 20.0%.

Saturday's Teddy Bear Toss - Presented by Big Radio

Saturday, Dec. 9 is the IceHogs' annual Teddy Bear Toss night! Fans can bring plush toys to throw onto the ice once Rockford scores its first goal. The toys will then be donated to local non-profit organizations.

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 Circle TV! 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.

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

Fri., Dec. 8 vs San Diego, 7 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 9 vs San Diego, 7 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 20 at San Diego, 7 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 22 at San Diego, 7 p.m.

IceHogs vs Gulls, All-time

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