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The Rockford IceHogs face a familiar opponent in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. After completing a sweep of Texas at the BMO this past Wednesday, the IceHogs will be facing off in Grand Rapids this Wednesday and Friday in the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinal.

The Griffins battled back from an 0-2 deficit against Toronto, winning three straight home games to advance to the second round. The best-of-seven series will feature a 2-3-2 format, meaning that Rockford plays host in Games 3, 4 and 5 should it go that far.

The way things have gone between the two teams this season, it should go at least that far. This really shapes up to be a high-octane series.

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The Rockford IceHogs have been at or near the top of the AHL’s Western Conference throughout the season due in a large part to their play between the pipes. Just how good have the Hogs been in net this season? It has been a season for the ages in terms of proficiency in the crease.

Through 73 games this season, Rockford has surrendered 173 goals. That total is good for a tie for third in the AHL. Along with Utica and Grand Rapids, the IceHogs are tops in the Western Conference.

So who is manning the net for Rockford in the playoffs? Head coach Ted Dent doesn’t know. At least, he didn’t…

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If the Rockford IceHogs want to claim the AHL’s Midwest Division in 2014-15, the next two games on their schedule are vital. The IceHogs will have two shots at the team in front of them this week.

 

Rockford trails the Grand Rapids Griffins, who currently have 88 points, in the division race. The Hogs have 85 points, a game in hand on the Griffins and consecutive games against the division leaders.

 

The IceHogs are in Grand Rapids Wednesday and host the Griffins Friday night. Wins in both games would vault Rockford into first and could also pave the way for a run at the top seed in the AHL’s Western Conference.

 

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Recently, I noted that veteran center Peter Regin, drawing an NHL salary down with the Rockford IceHogs this season, could stand to raise his game in response to several offensive threats being called up to the Blackhawks. Regin has indeed increased his production in what has been a big run by the Hogs of late.

Regin’s seven-game point streak came to an end Sunday. Still, he has points in 11 of his last 13 games. He has three goals and eight assists in that span as Rockford went 9-3-1. This includes a four-game winning streak that has closed the gap on Grand Rapids in the AHL’s Midwest Division.

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The Rockford IceHogs were on the road this weekend, splitting a pair of Midwest Division contests. Grand Rapids defeated the Hogs Friday night to widen their advantage at the top of the division. Rockford got a win in Chicago over the Wolves Sunday afternoon.

The IceHogs trail Grand Rapids, who have won 14 of its last 17 games, by seven points in the standings. Rockford does have a pair of games in hand and haven’t been playing bad hockey, having won eight of its last twelve. If the Griffins ever cool off, a division title may yet be in the cards.

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This is a mite busy time at work for me, so I’m keeping it pretty brief this week. The Rockford IceHogs managed three points over the weekend and had sellout audiences at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday and Saturday.

Those fans got to watch them split a pair of games with two of the highest point earners in the Western Conference.

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The Rockford IceHogs went down to Texas and swept a pair of games from the Stars last weekend. To have done so in the face of the shake-up to the roster was impressive, indeed.

Recent call-ups and trades by the organization have really changed the landscape for the Hogs, who currently fourth seed in the AHL’s Western Conference. Rockford, just two points behind Grand Rapids in the Midwest Division, has responded well initially to this shuffling of the deck.

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The Rockford IceHogs are locked in a tight battle for the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division. Currently, the IceHogs are even with the Milwaukee Admirals and the Grand Rapids Griffins with 66 points.

Grand Rapids has gone 7-1-2 in their last ten games to join Milwaukee and Rockford in the pursuit of a Midwest Division title. Milwaukee and Grand Rapids have a game in hand on the Hogs, who dropped two of three games this week.

 

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The Rockford IceHogs broke a three-game losing streak with three wins in three weekend games. Some returning players played a big hand in a big win in Milwaukee Friday along with home triumphs Saturday and Sunday over two of the stronger teams in the AHL’s Western Conference.

The defense was outstanding for the weekend sweep. Rockford allowed just a single goal in each of the three games. The effort was enough to pull to within a point of Milwaukee for the Midwest Division lead.

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Embedded image permalinkThe Rockford IceHogs were stripped of the lead in the AHL’s Midwest Division by the Milwaukee Admirals this past weekend. Rockford dropped both ends of a home-and-home with the Admirals and stirred up some bad blood to boot.

The IceHogs played both games without Brandon Mashinter, who was serving a two-game suspension by the AHL for an elbow to the head of Chicago’s Jani Hakanpaa January 31. The infraction was not penalized on the ice but was later drew the ire of the league. Mashinter returns to action as IceHogs forward Cody Bass begins serving a two-game suspension for leaving the bench to try and engage Milwaukee forward Michael Liambas Friday night.

The IceHogs and Ads nearly started a pre-game brawl of Slap Shot-proportions Saturday at the BMO center, with three bouts taking place during the game itself.