WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Rockford IceHogs extended their playoff winning streak with a win in Game 1 of the Division Finals last night and seek back-to-back victories against the Manitoba Moose this afternoon at Bell MTS Place.
Puck drop is at 4 p.m. and fans can tune in to all the action on WIFR’s 23.2 Antenna TV, beginning with IceHogs Warmup at 3:30 p.m. IceHogs fans can also listen to the game at sportsfanradio1330.com or watch live at AHLlive.com (subscription required).
Matchup: The IceHogs set a franchise record with a fourth consecutive victory in the AHL playoffs on Friday and remain as the AHL’s lone unbeaten team thus far in the postseason. Rockford has scored four or more goals in each of its last three contests and ranks second overall in the playoffs with an average of 3.75 goals per game.
The Hogs’ special-teams units have helped pace their 4-0 start to the playoffs, with both the team’s power play and penalty kill ranked first among all teams currently remaining in the playoffs. The IceHogs have converted on 37.5 percent of their power-play opportunities, while their penalty kill has combined to kill off 14 of 16 opposing power plays (87.5%).
Defenseman Adam Clendening has served as a key cog in Rockford’s special-teams success, and along with tallying at least one point in each of the IceHogs’ four playoff games, has notched each of his five assists while on the man-advantage. The blueliner’s five helpers on the power play currently rank first among all AHL skaters in the playoffs.
In net, goaltender Collin Delia remained perfect following Friday’s Game 1 win. Delia has turned away 135 of 143 opposing shots through four contests, and begins play Saturday ranked second among goaltenders with more than one postseason appearance with his .944 save percentage.
Manitoba fell to just .500 in the Calder Cup playoffs with last night’s loss to the IceHogs. The Moose are 3-3 through their first six games and have won just one of their last three contests. Overall, the team leads the AHL in penalty minutes, and following 12 PIMs on six infractions in Game 1 against Rockford, has totaled 148 PIMs through just six postseason games. That total is 59 more penalty minutes than any other team in the league.
Defenseman Sam Niku picked up an assist in Game 1 for Manitoba and has now logged six points (6a) in five tilts against Rockford through the regular and postseason. Niku has collected at least one assist in each of those five games and posted a multi-assist effort (2a) on Feb. 2 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The blueliner finished the regular season ranked second among AHL defenseman with 38 total helpers in his 76 games.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, May 9 vs. Manitoba Moose (Calder Cup Playoffs | Round 2, Game 3/Ticket D)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 3 (Ticket D) of their second-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday, May 9 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.