ROCKFORD, Ill – The Rockford IceHogs face a must-win Game 4 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals against the Texas Stars on Thursday 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 followed a seven-game win streak with three consecutive losses to the Stars, and are on the brink of elimination from the postseason. Rockford seeks to become just the fourth team in AHL history to overcome an 0-3 deficit and win a best-of-seven series in the Calder Cup playoffs, joining Rochester (1960), Adirondack (1989) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2013).
Chris DiDomenico set the franchise’s AHL playoff scoring record by surpassing Martin St. Pierre’s previous mark of 14 points from the 2008 postseason. DiDomenico broke the record with his first of three points during Game 3, and now enters Thursday with an AHL-best 17 points (6g, 11a) in 10 contests during the playoffs. The forward has totaled three goals, six assists and nine points in six contests between the regular and postseason against the Stars in 2017-18.
IceHogs Rookie of the Year, Matthew Highmore, logged a pair of assists in Game 3 for his fifth and sixth points of the playoffs. Highmore led the Hogs with 25 points (15g, 10a) in 33 home games during the regular season and has tallied five of his playoff points at the BMO Harris Bank Center in the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs.
The Texas Stars look to complete their four-game sweep of the IceHogs, and begin action Thursday with a seven-game winning streak. The Stars have also won four straight contests against Rockford dating back to the finale of the regular-season series on April 7.
Team captain Curtis McKenzie scored the game-winning overtime goal for the second straight contest in Game 3 and is tied with DiDomenico for the AHL lead of six goals this postseason. McKenzie has six points in three games during the Western Conference Finals and boasts a six-game point streak (5g, 3a) beginning May 9.
Goaltender Mike McKenna earned the win on Tuesday for his 10th victory of the postseason in 12 total appearances. The veteran netminder has now combined for a career record of 30-25 with a 2.70 GAA, .913 save percentage and two shutouts in 57 AHL playoff games. McKenna has now posted double-digit win streaks in back-to-back playoff runs, and is three wins shy of tying his career-high mark of 13 victories from the 2017 postseason.
Next Home Game: Friday, May 25 vs. Texas Stars (Western Conference Finals | Game 5/Ticket K)
If necessary, the Rockford IceHogs will host Game 5 (Ticket K) of their third-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Texas Stars on Friday, May 25 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.