ROCKFORD, Ill – The Rockford IceHogs host their regular-season home finale and an Illinois Lottery Cup Series matchup against the Chicago Wolves 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 Cozi TV 23.3 or Dish Network Channel 252, 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 (40-26-4-4, 4th Central) clinched a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs with a win on Tuesday against the Iowa Wild. Rockford has now notched points in 16 of the last 19 games with a 14-3-1-1 record dating back to Feb. 24.
The Hogs also enter Friday night’s contest with a 6-4-0-0 clip against the Wolves this season. With just two contests remaining against Chicago, Rockford can officially win the 2017-18 Illinois Lottery Cup series with a win in tonight’s meeting with the Wolves.
Forward Henrik Samuelsson scored a goal on Tuesday at Iowa and now leads the team in goals since making his IceHogs debut on Feb. 13. Samuelsson, who recently signed a two-year AHL deal with Rockford, has logged a team-high nine markers in 23 games since joining the Hogs. The forward also takes the ice Friday with nine points (6g, 3a) in his last 13 appearances.
IceHogs defenseman Cody Franson helped the IceHogs clinch Tuesday with a pair of tallies against the Wild. Franson has collected points in three straight games with a pair of multi-point efforts, and has amassed 14 points (4g, 10a) over his last 14 contests since March 11.
Chicago (40-22-7-4, 1st Central) enters Friday with wins in two straight games and points in eight of its last 10 contests. The Wolves can clinch the Central Division title with a win over Rockford tonight and a Manitoba loss at Cleveland.
Four forwards have eclipsed 50 points for Chicago thus far this season in Teemu Pulkkinen, T.J. Tynan, Beau Bennett and Brando Pirri. Pulkkinen leads the team and ranks 12th in the league with 59 total points (25g, 34a) this season, and enters Friday’s tilt with points in each of his last eight contests. Fellow Wolves winger Brandon Pirri leads all Chicago skaters in goals against the IceHogs, combining for six tallies in nine contests during the 2017-18 series.
In net, Oscar Dansk boasts a 12-2-4 record with a 2.38 GAA and .919 save percentage in 18 AHL appearances this season. However, the netminder is winless against the Hogs this year with an 0-1-1 record and 2.48 GAA in two games.
Next Home Game: TBA (Calder Cup playoffs)
The IceHogs will announce the schedule for the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs once opponents and seeding are finalized. For playoff information and tickets, call the IceHogs front office at (815) 986-6465.