The IceHogs had three games in Texas as week 17 stretched into the beginning of week 18. The first two games finished brutally as the Hogs set a franchise record for six consecutive losses, but finished on a high note with a big win in Cedar Park against the Stars.
The IceHogs were in action on Friday, February 1st against the San Antonio Rampage as Rockford began its road trip in the Lone Star State. The IceHogs were shutout 1-0 by Jacob Markstrom. Henrik Karlsson was in net for the Hogs and he stopped 18 of 19 shots; Rockford outshot San Antonio 30-19.
Sunday, February 3rd brought a matinee game for Rockford as they took on the Houston Aeros. Rockford hopped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, courtesy of tallies from Jimmy Hayes and Kyle Beach, but gave up three unanswered goals throughout the rest of the contest and dropped the game 3-2. This loss was their sixth consecutive one, which is a franchise record. Carter Hutton was strong early on in net for Rockford as he made some spectacular saves, especially in the second period, but he lost that magic during the latter part of the third period when he gave up the game tying and game winning goals.
On Tuesday, February 5th, the Hogs found themselves in an all too familiar position as of late: in a hole that seemed impossible to climb out of. After the first period, they were trailing the Texas Stars 4-1; the lone goal came off of the stick of Terry Broadhurst, who scored his first career AHL goal.
This game wouldn’t finish like the others though. Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin, and Joe Lavin tallied for Rockford to tie the game up at four and the tilt went into a shootout. Kenndal McArdle scored the game winner in the 11th round of the skills competition for the Hogs to give them their first win since January 18th against the Peoria Rivermen.
-From what it sounded like on the radio, goaltender Henrik Karlsson made many good saves in the shootout on Tuesday and seemed to be very active with his stick as he made a couple of good poke checks.
-Brandon Pirri wasn’t seen much in Tuesday’s game. Play-by-play man Mike Peck said during the radio broadcast that he was seemingly benched after the third year pro took two penalties at the 8:22 mark of the first period (2 for slashing, 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct).
-On Thursday, January 31st, the Blackhawks traded IceHogs forward Peter LeBlanc to the Washington Capitals for future considerations. In addition, the IceHogs traded for forward Mathieu Beaudoin from the Hershey Bears. Here’s the press release.
-The IceHogs are tied for fourth place in the Midwest Division with the Milwaukee Admirals. The Ads have 3 games in-hand though, so the Hogs are essentially in last place. In the Western Conference standings, the Hogs sit in the 14th spot (tied for 12th with Milwaukee and San Antonio) and are 7 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Hogs’ record is 21-23-1-1 (44 points). **Before Wednesday’s games had ended.
-On February 9th, IceHogs forward David Gilbert turns 22. Happy birthday, David!
What’s Next For Rockford?
-Friday, February 8th at Peoria at 7:05 p.m.
-Saturday, February 9th vs. Houston at 7:05 p.m.