The Rockford IceHogs are struggling down the stretch with three straight losses in Week 25, but a new addition at the end of the week is sure to turn things around.
Mandatory Credit: Greg Hamil
Friday, April 4th @ Abbotsford Heat
The IceHogs kicked off their final double-header with the Flames’ farm team, the first of two games in two nights in Abbotsford. After an early Mark McNeill goal that put the ‘Hogs up 1-0, the Heat rallied, scoring three unanswered goals to end the first period. Alex Broadhurst brought Rockford within one goal, but the Heat scored twice to put the game away, eventually winning 6-3. Jason LaBarbera made only 8 saves on his first 12 shots, and was pulled in favour of Kent Simpson, who stopped 4 of 5. The Heat’s 18 shots were blown away by the ‘Hogs total of 48, but Joni Ortio was up to the task.
Saturday, April 5th @ Abbotsford Heat
The two teams met the next night, with the IceHogs looking to capitalize on more scoring chances the second time around. Corban Knight scored a power-play goal early, starting a run of three straight goals for the Heat. Kent Simpson allowed three goals on his first four shots, and for the second straight game, the ‘Hogs starter was pulled. Despite goals from Garret Ross, Adam Clendening, and Stephen Johns’ first professional goal, the ‘Hogs couldn’t get back in the game, and the Heat sealed a 5-3 win with an empty-net goal. LaBarbera made 14 saves on 15 shots in relief.
Tuesday, April 8th @ Milwaukee Admirals
The IceHogs visited BMO Harris Bradley Center for the final time this regular season, taking on their division rival Admirals. The low-scoring affair had only two goals in the first two periods, and the ‘Hogs found themselves down 2-0 after 40 minutes. Mark McNeill scored early in the third period to bring the IceHogs within one goal, but that was as close as it would get, as the Admirals scored one more in a 3-1 victory. Jason LaBarbera lasted the entire game, with 17 saves on 20 shots. For the third straight game, the IceHogs did not have a player in the Three Stars.
The IceHogs gained one of the most dangerous forwards that will play in the AHL this season, as Teuvo Teravainen heads to Rockford from the Chicago Blackhawks. The top prospect has only played in three games in the three weeks since his arrival in America, and will play in Rockford to save a year on his entry-level contract.
The IceHogs also signed Brett Skinner to a Pro Tryout Offer on the weekend.
The IceHogs have fallen out of the playoff picture as of now, but are only two points behind the last playoff team, the Charlotte Checkers. The ‘Hogs and Checkers play each other in the final game of the season on April 19th.
Week 26 Schedule
Friday, April 11th vs. Milwaukee Admirals
Saturday, April 12th vs. Iowa Wild
Sunday, April 13th @ Chicago Wolves
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