IceHogs Drop Pair Against Admirals, Fall From Playoff Picture

  

Over the weekend, the Rockford IceHogs dropped a pair of games against the Milwaukee Admirals, 4-2 on Friday night in Milwaukee and 8-2 on Saturday night in Rockford. With the two losses, the Admirals moved within one point of the IceHogs in the Central Division standings and the IceHogs stalled into a tie for fourth-place with the Manitoba Moose. Rockford will get another chance at the Admirals on Wednesday night in Rockford.

IceHogs Fall Twice Against Admirals

It was an ugly weekend for the Rockford IceHogs. In both Friday night’s game in Milwaukee and Saturday night’s game in Rockford, the Admirals were able to put up 3 goals in the first period. Both times, just those three would have been enough to get the wins.

Milwaukee topped Rockford 4-2 on Friday, scoring three unanswered goals in the first period after Dennis Gilbert got the IceHogs on the board just 36 seconds into the game. Anton Forsberg made 18 saves on 22 shots faced, seeing his record fall to 14-12-2 with a 2.56 GAA and a 0.922 save-percentage on the season. Milwaukee capitalized on one of their two powerplay chances, while the IceHogs were able to score on one of their five powerplays. The powerplay goal coming from Victor Ejdsell in the third period, cut the Milwaukee lead to 3-2, but Anthony Richard scored just over a minute later to seal the Admirals’ two-goal cushion.

Rockford IceHogs Blake Hillman

Rockford IceHogs defenseman Blake Hillman. (Courtesy: Rockford IceHogs)

On Saturday, the IceHogs returned home to a near sell-out crowd at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Collin Delia got the start in net, but it was more of the same from Milwaukee as they put up three first period goals on the IceHogs. While the IceHogs again would mount a comeback with goals from Jordan Schroeder and Joni Tuulola in the early portion of the second period to cut the lead to 3-2, the Admirals would get the benefit of a number of bounces in front of Delia and knock in a pair of goals of their own to end the second period up 5-2. Rockford, seemingly tired from the back-to-back set of games, was out-worked and out-chanced in the final frame with the Admirals adding three MORE goals in the third period. With Forsberg having played the night before, Delia had all eight goals hung on him. His record falls to 10-7-4 after making 23 saves on 31 shots faced.

Rockford failed to convert on three powerplay chances, while the Admirals scored on their only powerplay opportunity of the game. Following the weekend’s action, the IceHogs rank dead-last in the AHL on the powerplay with a 14.6% conversion rate. On the other hand, the IceHogs penalty-kill ranks 11th in the AHL with an 82.0% kill-rate.

A few words from IceHogs Interim head coach Derek King:

Calder Cup Playoff Race

Following the losses to the Admirals, the IceHogs remain at 72 points this season while the Admirals improve their record to 71 points. The final race for fourth-place in the Central Division is now a four-team race with just one-point separating all four of them.

  1. Chicago Wolves (66 GP) – 39-19-8 – 86 pts
  2. Grand Rapids Griffins (66 GP) – 37-19-10 – 84 pts
  3. Iowa Wild (67 GP) – 34-21-12 – 80 pts
  4. Manitoba Moose (66 GP) – 33-27-8 – 72 pts
  5. Rockford IceHogs (67 GP) – 31-26-10 – 72 pts
  6. Milwaukee Admirals (67 GP) – 28-24-15 – 71 pts
  7. Texas Stars (68 GP) – 32-29-7 – 71 pts
  8. San Antonio Rampage (67 GP) – 27-33-7 – 61 pts

Rockford holds a game in hand on the Texas Stars and has an opportunity to put space between them and the Admirals on Wednesday. Currently, the Manitoba Moose hold the tiebreaker over the IceHogs based on percentage points, but the Central Division will not decide the tiebreaker by that metric at the end of the season.

Roster Update

On Monday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks signed 2016 draft pick Chad Krys to his entry-level deal. Krys was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft and played the last three seasons with Boston University. in 105 NCAA games with Boston University, Krys tallied 58 points and was a career plus-5.

Chad Krys

Blackhawks defensive prospect Chad Krys of Boston University. (Courtesy: Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

His entry-level deal will begin next season and Krys is expected to join the Rockford IceHogs on an amateur tryout contract. Krys will join other late-season NCAA signings Fredrik Olofsson and Dylan McLaughlin on the IceHogs roster with 9 games remaining this season.

What’s Next?

The Rockford IceHogs are back in action on Wednesday night as they host the Milwaukee Admirals to complete their three-game set. Puck drop is set for 7pm CT at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. Following the back to back losses this weekend, Rockford holds a 4-4-1 record against the Admirals this season.

Center Ice Forums IceHogs Drop Pair Against Admirals, Fall From Playoff Picture

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