ROCKFORD, Ill – The Rockford IceHogs face another must-win contest as they look to continue to battle back into their best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series against the Texas Stars on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The IceHogs faced elimination in last night’s Game 4, but won 3-2 in overtime to stay alive in the series.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. and fans can tune in to all the action on WIFR’s 23.2 Antenna TV, beginning with IceHogs Warmup at 6:30 p.m. IceHogs fans can also listen to the game at sportsfanradio1330.com or watch live at AHLlive.com (subscription required).
Matchup: The IceHogs snapped a three-game losing streak with Thursday’s OT win, defeating the Stars for the first time in the series. Rockford seeks to become just the fourth team in AHL history to overcome a 0-3 deficit and win a best-of-seven series in the Calder Cup playoffs, joining Rochester (1960), Adirondack (1989) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2013).
Victor Ejdsell factored in on each of Rockford’s three tallies Thursday night, posting two goals and an assist, including the game-winner in overtime. Ejdsell now boasts four game-winning goals during the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs, which sets a new all-time franchise playoff record. Forward Luke Johnson found twine for the second consecutive outing with a late tying tally on Thursday, and has recorded three points (2g, 1a) in his last two games after being held to just four points in his first nine contests.
Between the pipes, netminder Jeff Glass made his AHL playoff debut last night, stopping 28 of 30 shots to earn the win in his first start since April 13.
The Texas Stars look to bounce back after having their seven-game win streak snapped on Thursday. Texas needs just a single win over Rockford to advance to the Calder Cup Finals.
Team captain Curtis McKenzie nabbed an assist in Game 4, and has found the scoresheet in six straight tilts, recording 5g-4a-9pts in that span. Meanwhile, forward Justin Dowling has now earned an assist in each of the four Western Conference Finals matchups following his helper on Travis Morin’s first-period strike last night.
Goaltender Mike McKenna stopped 33 pucks in Game 4, but lost for the first time in eight starts in. The netminder has won 10 of his 12 playoff appearances this season, and is three wins shy of his career-high mark of 13 victories from the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs.
Next Home Game: TBD (Calder Cup Finals)
If the IceHogs beat the Texas Stars in their best-of-7 series, scheduling for the Calder Cup Finals will be announced at a later date. Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.