ROCKFORD, Ill – The Rockford IceHogs look to bounce back on home ice as they take on the Texas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at the BMO Harris Bank Center Tuesday night. Rockford dropped Game 1 and 2 at Texas, but returns home unbeaten in three playoff games at the BMO Harris Bank Center thus far in the postseason.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. and fans can tune in to all the action on WIFR’s 23.3 Cozi 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 suffered their first two losses of the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs in Game 1 and 2 against the Texas Stars last weekend, falling to just 3-6 all-time against Texas in the AHL playoffs.
Chris DiDomenico netted two goals and an assist over the weekend, stretching his league-high points total to 6g-8a-14pts. DiDomenico now boasts six points across his last three games, and has nabbed four multi-point efforts in nine postseason appearances in 2018. He enters Tuesday tied with Martin St. Pierre for the IceHogs’ all-time playoff points record, originally set during the 2008 postseason.
Defenseman Adam Clendening also starred for Rockford in Texas, adding helpers on three of the Hogs’ goals. Clendening leads the AHL with 11 assists this postseason, including a league-best 10 power-play helpers, and also boasts an AHL-best 11 power-play points through his nine appearances in the Calder Cup playoffs.
In net, Collin Delia seeks to bounce back from his first set of back-to-back losses since Jan. 2-5. Delia has played in 29 games since suffering those consecutive defeats, and including his current skid, has only twice taken defeats in back-to-back AHL appearances twice in 2017-18. The goaltender enters Tuesday ranked third in the league in saves (293), fourth in minutes (604:02) and fifth in both save percentage (.936) and GAA (1.99).
The Texas Stars arrive in Rockford with a six-game winning streak and having defeated the IceHogs in each of the last three meetings. Including Game 1 and 2, the Stars have now held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of the last eight contests Since April 24.
Goaltender Mike McKenna has backstopped Texas through the majority of the postseason and boasts a record of 9-2 with a 1.69 GAA and .949 save percentage in 11 appearances. He returns to the pipes for Game 3 ranked first in the AHL in wins and minutes (711:33), and second in saves (374), GAA and save percentage. McKenna is now unbeaten in the playoffs against the IceHogs and is 2-1-0-0 in three total outings against Rockford in 2017-18.
Curtis McKenzie notched a goal and an assist in Game 3 to extend his point streak to four straight games. McKenzie has three goals and two assists over that span, and has totaled 10 points (4g, 6a) over his 11 playoff games with Texas in the Calder Cup playoffs. Fellow Stars forward Roope Hintz has tallied three points (1g, 2a) over the first two games of the series with the IceHogs to push his scoring total to five points (3g, 2a) in six contests against the Hogs this year.
Next Home Game: Thursday, May 24 vs. Texas Stars (Western Conference Finals | Game 4/Ticket J)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 4 (Ticket J) of their third-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Texas Stars on Thursday, May 24 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.