ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs extended their postseason win streak to six straight games with a Game 3 victory on Wednesday, and now seek to advance to the Conference Finals with a series-clinching win over the Manitoba Moose on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
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 have tied a franchise record with their six-game playoff win streak and enter Friday with the opportunity to become the first AHL playoff team to begin the postseason at 7-0 since 2014. Of the 80 teams in the Calder Cup playoffs over the last five years, only the 2014 Toronto Marlies have begun the postseason with more than six consecutive victories.
Four different skaters scored a goal for Rockford in its Game 3 triumph over Manitoba, and nine total skaters have now scored at least one goal against the Moose this series. Forward Tyler Sikura has markers in each of the first three games of the series and shares the team lead with four total tallies thus far in the postseason. Sikura now has nine points (6g, 3a) in seven total games against the Moose between the regular and postseason.
Goaltender Collin Delia remained unbeaten for the IceHogs with his 36 saves in Game 3 on Wednesday. The netminder has turned away 204 of 214 total shots this postseason and begins action Friday ranked first in the AHL with six wins and a 1.44 GAA, and second with a .953 save percentage. He is currently tied with Frederic Cloutier for the franchise’s longest win streak by a goalie in the postseason, a mark which was originally set during Rockford’s 2007 UHL championship season.
The Moose return for a second straight game in Rockford having won just one of their last five postseason games. Manitoba is 3-5 thus far in the Calder Cup playoffs, and owns a .500 record in its four playoff road games. The team will look to rebound from being outscored 12-4 through the first three games of the Division Finals to force a Game 5 Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Forward Chase De Leo tallied an assist on Wednesday and leads the team in scoring with eight points (2g, 6a) in eight playoff games. Fellow Moose forward Mike Sgarbossa also picked up a helper on Wednesday for his first point of the series, and now enters Friday with two goals and three assists over his last six postseason contests since April 25.
In net, Eric Comrie is still seeking his first regulation win against opposing goaltender Delia in five appearances in 2017-18. Overall this postseason, Comrie is a combined 3-5 with a 2.92 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Next Home Game: Saturday, May 12 vs. Manitoba Moose (Calder Cup Playoffs | Game 5/Ticket F)
If necessary, the Rockford IceHogs will host Game 5 (Ticket F) of the Division Finals against the Manitoba Moose. Saturday will mark the IceHogs’ final home game of the Division Finals series.