Rolling Hogs Conclude Regular Season
Rockford, Ill - While the 2015 Calder Cup Playoff schedule is being finalized, one game remains on the Rockford IceHogs (46-22-5-2) regular season schedule as it concludes Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The IceHogs welcome the Toronto Marlies (38-27-9-0) to the Forest City for a 7 p.m. contest and will look to extend their nine-game winning streak on home ice.
As the IceHogs close out their regular season, they will honor fans in attendance on Fan Appreciation Night with prizes at each and every whistle throughout the night. In addition to prizes, random season ticket holders and two individual ticket buyers will be selected to receive a game-worn jersey off the back of an IceHogs player after the game. The winners will also have a photograph taken with the IceHogs player on the ice.
Tickets are limited to standing room only and can be purchased at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office or any Ticketmaster location, by phone (815-968-5222) or online at www.icehogs.com. Any unused season tickets and any remaining valid ticket vouchers for the regular season may be used for Game A or Game B of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
For those unable to attend the game, the contest will be broadcast live locally on 23.2 Antenna TV and online through AHLLive.com. For real-time in-game updates follow the IceHogs on Twitter (@goicehogs).
Fans can come to the BMO Harris Bank Center prior to the tilt for the first Pregame Block Party Presented by Swedish American Hospital beginning at 4 p.m. Parts of Elm and Main Street will be closed for the festivities. There will be inflatables for children to enjoy, live music and outside vendors with food and drinks for purchase.
The IceHogs enter tonight's contest with a record of 12-1-1-0 in their last 14 home games and winners of their last nine on home ice. The Hogs' last meeting with the Marlies came on Oct. 19, 2014 when they fell 1-0 in a shootout.
Rockford will look to continue to find the back of the opposing net as they have scored an average of 4.6 goals during their home winning streak. The Hogs are led by forward and former Marlie Spencer Abbott. The four-year skater brings a team-best 45 points (19g-26a) and has tallied 12 goals and nine helpers in 18 games with the IceHogs.
Ville Pokka paces all Rockford rookies and defensemen in goals (8), assists (22) and points (30) while fellow blueliner Stephen Johns enters with a team-leading plus/minus rating of plus-31 which ranks first in the AHL.
On the back end of the ice, Michael Leighton enters Saturday's matchup showing a record of 22-13-4 in 42 games between the pipes this season. Leighton has a 2.26 goals against average which is tied for 11th in the AHL.
Toronto clinched the eighth and final bid in the Western Conference for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs last night with a 4-3 overtime victory and a Hamilton loss. The Marlies, with a five game win streak and 7-3-0-0 in their last ten contests are led by forward Connor Brown. The 21-year leads the club with 40 assists and 60 points while defensemen T.J. Brennan paces all Marlies blueliners in goals (11) and points (49).
The Marlies goaltender duties have split this season between Christopher Gibson and Antoine Bibeau. Gibson brings a record of 23-17-3 in 44 games while Bibeau picked up his 14th victory of the season last night to improve his record to 14-10-5 record in 30 contests.
Next Game: Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1. The IceHogs have clinched a spot in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, which begin next week. A first round schedule will be announced as soon as it is available.
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