ROCKFORD, Ill – The Rockford IceHogs seek a split in their two-game set at the Texas Stars with a Sunday-matinee matchup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
Puck drop is at 5 p.m. and fans can tune in to all the action on WIFR’s 23.2 Antenna TV, beginning with IceHogs Warmup at 4:30 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 loss of the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs in Game 1 against the Texas Stars on Friday. Rockford boasts an impressive 7-1 record thus far in the postseason, but is now just 3-5 all-time against Texas in the AHL playoffs.
Carl Dahlstrom scored a power-play goal on Friday to give the IceHogs at least one power-play goal in each of their first eight games this postseason. Rockford’s 16 power-play goals in the playoffs are more than the total goals of eight different postseason teams, and the IceHogs have now combined to net 29 power-play goals over the last 21 games.
Chris DiDomenico also starred against Texas in Game 1, potting a goal and chipping in an assist for his fourth multi-point effort of the Calder Cup playoffs. The forward has logged a league-high 13 points (5g, 8a) in eight games in the postseason, and is now just one point shy of tying the IceHogs’ all-time playoff points record set by Martin St. Pierre in 2008 (14 points in 12 games). DiDomenico enters Game 2 with points in seven of the IceHogs’ eight postseason contests, and as the only skater in the Calder Cup playoffs with four multi-point efforts.
Rockford netminder Collin Delia allowed four goals in Game 1 en route to his first career postseason loss. Despite the setback, Delia has remained dialed in over the last three months of hockey to post a combined record of 17-2-1-1 with a 2.17 GAA and .924 save percentage in 21 appearances. The rookie goaltender has held opponents to three or fewer goals in 18 of those 21 contests during that stretch.
The Texas Stars return to action Sunday after downing the IceHogs and extending their winning streak to five straight games. Including Game 1, the Stars have now held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of the last seven contests since April 24. That dominant stretch includes shutouts of both Ontario and Tucson during the opening rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Goaltender Mike McKenna has backstopped Texas through the majority of the postseason and now boasts a record of 8-2 with a 1.69 GAA and .951 save percentage in 10 appearances. He returns to the pipes for Game 2 ranked first in the AHL in wins, minutes (640:47) and saves (350), and second in GAA, save percentage and shutouts (2).
Forward Remi Elie tallied a game high-tying two points with a goal and helper on Friday, and has now collected five points (1g, 4a) over his last five games for the Stars. Fellow Stars Forward, Roope Hintz, who shared third on Texas in scoring against the IceHogs during the regular season, matched Elie’s effort in Game 1 with two points of his own in the victory. Hintz logged a marker and an assist in Game 1 to push his scoring total to four points (3g, 1a) in five contests against Rockford in 2017-18.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, May 22 vs. Texas Stars (Western Conference Finals | Game 3/Ticket H)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 3 (Ticket H) of their third-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Texas Stars on Tuesday, May 22 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.