Chicago Blackhawks farm system: Rockford IceHogs Weekend Preview

The IceHogs take on Grand Rapids tonight and will proceed with Milwaukee Saturday and Sunday
Rockford Ice Hogs v Laval Rocket
Rockford Ice Hogs v Laval Rocket / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

IceHogs fans, Rockford starts the first game of a three-in-three tonight.

Last Tuesday, the Hogs scored two goals in two minutes to secure a comeback win against Iowa. Looking to gain momentum heading into the playoffs, Rockford will face off against Grand Rapids at 6:00 PM CDT tonight. 

The weekend lineup will look like this. Tonight, Rockford travels to Grand Rapids to face off at 6:00 PM CDT. Following the game, a bus ride back to the state line for Saturday night, where the Icehogs will face off against the Milwaukee Admirals at 7:00 PM CDT. Then Sunday is the final game of the weekend, where the IceHogs will play Milwaukee yet again, with puck drop at 4:00 PM CDT. 

With the additions of Paul Ludwinski and Nick Lardis, it will be a storyline to watch throughout the weekend to see if they make their pro debuts. Both are on ATO (Amateur Tryout Contracts), 14-day stints which in a way lets you bypass the NHL-CHL agreement temporally.

Guttman is also still out, leaning more towards 3 weeks now until a return. If the Icehogs don't make a deep enough postseason run, there could be no more Guttman until next season. Another impact on the lineup is that Ethan Del Mastro was recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks. Suddenly, the IceHogs are without him this weekend.

Slated to be in goal tonight and Sunday night is the 24-year-old Waytza Minnesota nativeJaxson Stauber. Winning now 11 straight, Stauber has not lost for a ridiculous two and a half months, with his last regulation loss coming on January 26th. Stauber has a .916 save percentage in that span. Looking to make his 11 straight wins a possible 13 this weekend, he's Rockford's starter tonight along with Sunday. Drew Commesso is expected to be in goal tomorrow night vs Milwaukee. Coming off a 4-3 win against the Wild Tuesday, he is looking to get his 17th win of the season. 

This is what the lines and pairings should look like tonight...




*=Ludwinski/Lardis Projected spots if played

The Griffins look to push the IceHogs hopes of getting home ice advantage in the Second round of the playoffs, if they eliminate Rockford from contending for the 2nd place spot in the Central. Their lines will look a little like this tonight...

Hanas-Kasper-Berggeren//Hirose-Lombardi-Luff//Soderblom- L'esperance-Shine//Johannes-Sawchuk-Hanas



Saturday and Sunday's lines for Milwaukee are expected to remain relatively the same, except seeing Askarov likely on Saturday and Gronsenick on Sunday. The Admirals lines will look like this for the weekend...


Gravel-McKeown//Del Gaizo-Ufko//Wilsby-Livingstone

Grosenick (Saturday)//Askarov (Sunday)