In the middle of a six-game road trip, the Rockford IceHogs come off a weekend in which they took wins over both the Milwaukee Admirals and Chicago Wolves away from home. With four more games remaining on the trip, all against AHL Central Division opponents, the IceHogs have a chance to put space between them and the rest of the division early this season.
Rockford IceHogs Continue Road Trip In Grand Rapids
The Rockford IceHogs get back in action on Wednesday morning as they travel to Grand Rapids to take on the Griffins in another “School Day” game this month. Starting bright and early at 10:00am CT, the IceHogs will look to improve their record before noon this season after dropping a 3-0 loss to the Iowa Wild when Rockford hosted its own “School Day” game just a week ago.
Rockford comes off back-to-back road wins over the Milwaukee Admirals and Chicago Wolves, both one-goal wins. The IceHogs are 4-1-1 in the month of November, and 6-2-2 over their last ten games. Sitting at 8-4-3 on the season, Rockford is in second-place in the Central Division on overall points (19), and third in the division based on points-percentage (0.633).
Boasting one of the AHL’s best penalty-killing unit (4th, 87.9%), the IceHogs will hope to continue their up-swing in special teams play over the last handful of games against a Griffins team that ranks in the bottom-third of the AHL in both powerplay (30th, 10.5%) and penalty-killing (22nd, 77.4%).
Behind solid goaltending, the IceHogs have been able to gain points in difficult games this season thanks to Collin Delia and Anton Forsberg. While Forsberg looks to be unavailable for the foreseeable future, Delia will be the main-man in net for Rockford over the next stretch of road games. Delia is 5-2-2 on the season with a 2.41 GAA and a 0.931 save-percentage and will get the majority of time in net with newly recalled goalie Kevin Lankinen providing backup.
Anton Forsberg Out With Non-Injury Issue
After leading the IceHogs to a win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night, Anton Forsberg sat behind Collin Delia for the game against the Chicago Wolves before Rockford called up Kevin Lankinen from the Indy Fuel. In his media day availability on Monday, interim head coach Derek King said that Forsberg would be out with a non-injury issue. Calling it a “bug” going around the team lately, Forsberg and Tyler Sikura were mentioned by King as having non-injury issues with no timetable for return. King also sounded hopeful that Jordan Schroeder would return to the lineup for Wednesday.
Part of the stellar tandem in net for Rockford this season, Forsberg holds a 3-1-0 record in four games played with a 1.75 GAA and a 0.933 save-percentage. Forsberg ranks second in the AHL in GAA and his save-percentage ranks second among qualified goalies as well.
While Kevin Lankinen has improved his play with the Indy Fuel in the ECHL (2.33 GAA and a 0.910 save-percentage), it will be Collin Delia’s net for the IceHogs moving forward.
Gustav Forsling Recalled by Chicago Blackhawks
Announced on Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks recalled defenseman Gustav Forsling from the IceHogs. Forsling, who recently returned from a lower-body injury, has played in five games with the IceHogs this season, tallying two assists (both coming against the Wolves on Saturday) and a plus-one rating. The Blackhawks noted that defenseman Brandon Davidson was not practicing on Tuesday and that Marcus Kruger was being placed on injured-reserve.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) November 13, 2018
With the current state of the defensive grouping in Chicago, it is not too far-fetched to believe that new head coach Jeremy Colliton will give Forsling a shot at ice-time while with the NHL club. Forsling has played over 30 games under Colliton in the last two seasons, including playoffs, and has proved to be trustworthy in all facets of the game at the AHL level.
The Rockford IceHogs take on the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday morning in Grand Rapids. Puck drop is scheduled for 10:00am CT at the Van Andel Arena for the first meeting between the teams this season.
After taking on the Griffins, the IceHogs will take a trip to Texas over the weekend, facing the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage on Friday and Saturday. Both puck drops over the weekend are set for 7:00pm CT.