ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs make their AHL Western Conference Finals debut tonight as they take on the Texas Stars at H-E-B Center in Austin. The IceHogs went 3-1-0-0 against the Stars during the regular season, winning both home contests and splitting a pair of back-to-back matchups on the road in April.
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 remained perfect in the playoffs with their seventh consecutive win last Friday, sweeping the Manitoba Moose with a 6-3 victory at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The win marked the sixth game that Rockford has scored four or more goals in its seven 2018 postseason contests.
Forward Chris DiDomenico nabbed a goal and two assists in Friday’s win, taking over the league lead with 4g-7a-11pts in seven games this postseason. In the two games in which Rockford has had the opportunity to eliminate an opponent, DiDomenico has amassed six points (2g, 4a). Defenseman Cody Franson also netted a pair of goals in the contest, and now boasts a playoff career high-tying 4g-4a-8pts through the 2018 postseason.
Netminder Collin Delia has backstopped Rockford to each of its seven wins in the playoffs and now owns the IceHogs’ all-time postseason win streak record for a goaltender, snapping Frederic Cloutier’s previous mark of six straight victories in the Hogs’ 2007 UHL Championship run.
The Stars enter the series after dropping the top-seeded Tuscon Roadrunners in five games in the Pacific Division Finals. Texas has played disciplined hockey to go 7-2 during their postseason run so far, notching an AHL-best 8.11 penalty minutes in nine contests.
Netminder Mike McKenna has fueled Texas’ success, allowing two or fewer goals in six of his last seven games, including posting a pair of shutouts with a 47-save effort against Ontario and 27-save showing against Tucson. McKenna enters the Conference Finals ranked first in the league with 319 saves, second with a .952 save percentage and fourth with a 1.65 GAA.
Forward Brian Flynn paces the Stars’ attack and ranks second in the AHL behind only Rockford’s DiDomenico with 10 points (6g, 4a) in nine postseason contests. The winger has scored four goals over his last five games and leads all AHL skaters with six total markers.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, May 22 vs. Texas Stars (Western Conference Finals | Game 3/Ticket H)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 3 (Ticket H) of their third-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Texas Stars on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.