ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The Rockford IceHogs roll into Grand Rapids for a key Central Division matchup with the Griffins at Van Andel Arena tonight. Rockford won the first six meetings between the rivals, but has since dropped three straight. The Hogs now rank just two points in back of Grand Rapids, who holds the final playoff spot in the division, and a win tonight would draw the teams even.
Puck drop is at 6 p.m. and fans can tune in to all the action on Cozi TV 23.3 or Dish Network Channel 252, beginning with IceHogs Warmup at 5:30 p.m. IceHogs fans can also listen to the game at sportsfanradio1330.com or watch live at AHLlive.com (subscription required).
Tonight’s contest also marks the final Road Watch Party at Savoy Lounge. Fans are invited to attend the party for the chance to win several great door prizes while watching live coverage of the IceHogs road game. Prizes at the event include an autographed jersey, autographed Dean Lowry bobblehead, four ticket vouchers to an upcoming IceHogs home game and several sets of autographed posters.
Matchup: The IceHogs (31-24-3-4, 5th Central) boast a four-game point streak entering tonight’s tilt, including two OT victories in their last two games.
Forward Anthony Louis leads Rockford’s active roster with 11g-24a-35pts, including 2g-8a-10pts in eight games against the Griffins this year. Defenseman Cody Franson notched four points across the last two contests, and has now tallied 3g-4a-7pts in his last six outings. Between the pipes, Collin Delia is unbeaten through his last six starts, going 5-0-0-1 and stopping 156 of 166 shots in that span.
Grand Rapids (32-23-1-6, 4th Central) hosts the Hogs having won just once in its last five affairs, most recently dropping a 4-2 decision to the Iowa Wild on Wednesday night.
Matt Puempel and Ben Street pace the Griffins’ attack, notching 21g-30a-51pts and 15g-36a-51pts, respectively. Each player has also posted eight points against the Hogs in 2017-18. Eric Tangradi has also starred for Grand Rapids with 25g-25a-50pts this year and a team-high 11 points against Rockford. Tom McCollum has taken over the lion’s share of starts in goal since Jared Coreau was recalled by the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 20, but has struggled as of late, winning just once in his last four starts and allowing nine goals in that timeframe.
Next Home Game: Friday, March 23 | Rockford vs. Milwaukee
The IceHogs host the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Friday’s contest is Country Night with a live musical performance from local country band, “StateLine,” who will perform both pre and postgame on Friday. The first 2,500 fans in attendance can also complete their “Our Town, Our Team” bobblehead series with a free bobblehead of current Green Bay Packers defensive end and Rockford native, Dean Lowry. Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.