Game Preview: IceHogs at Bears, 7 p.m.
Rockford IceHogs (26-23-3-3) at Hershey Bears (23-25-3-4)
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 7 p.m.
REFEREES: Sean MacFarlane (46), Troy Murray (32)
LINESMEN: Bob Goodman (90), Brent Tubbs (88)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 6:30 PM)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, WOYK 1350-AM, Listen at Giant Center on 88.9 FM--Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, and Freddy Cassivi on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
ICEHOGS HISTORY: Tonight’s contest marks the IceHogs first visit to Hershey in franchise history. The IceHogs are the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks and joined the AHL in the 2007-08 season. Before the AHL, Rockford housed a United Hockey League team with the same name and logo. The UHL club won the league’s Colonial Cup in their final season in 2006-07. Last season, the IceHogs went 29-35-8-3 and missed the playoffs. Rockford is skating under first year head coach Jeremy Colliton, who is just 32 years of age. He is a former forward for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears visited the XL Center last night to open a three in three versus the Hartford Wolf Pack. Hershey earned a fourth straight road victory as they bested Hartford, 4-2. The game was tied 1-1 until there was just 2:03 to play. Former Wolf Pack captain Joe Whitney gave Hershey the lead off a face-off play, but at 18:23 with goaltender Chris Nell pulled for an extra attacker, Scott Kosmachuk tied the game at 18:23. Only nine seconds later, Nathan Walker scored his second goal of the game to give Hershey the 3-2 lead. Jeremy Langlois added an empty net goal with 33 seconds to play to earn Hershey the victory. Pheonix Copley won his third straight game for Hershey, stopping 21 shots. The IceHogs also played yesterday, losing 6-3 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Baby Penguins blitzed Rockford goaltender Jeff Glass, as the Penguins scored six goals on just 25 shots. New addition Chris DiDomenico had a goal and an assist for the IceHogs.
LAST TIME VS. ICEHOGS: The IceHogs and Bears met for the first time ever on Oct. 22, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bank Center, with the IceHogs coming away with a 5-0 victory. Rockford scored twice in the first period, and twice in the third period, and goaltender J.F. Berube stopped all 23 shots Hershey sent his way. Graham Knott, Matheson Iacopelli, Vinnie Hinostroza, Erik Gustafsson, and Viktor Svedberg struck for the IceHogs, as Rockford fired five of their 33 shots past Hershey netminder Parker Milner.
FROM ROCKFORD TO HERSHEY: Hershey forward Jeremy Langlois skated with the IceHogs during the 2016-17 season. The forward had 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 66 games with Rockford. His best game as an IceHog came at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Feb. 17 of last season when he scored twice versus Cleveland. The Quinnipiac product has goals in two straight games for Hershey and has collected 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 33 games this season with the Bears. Last night was Langois’ first multi-point game (one goal, one assist) since a two assist game with the IceHogs on Mar. 3, 2017 vs. Manitoba.
WALK THIS WAY: Hershey forward Nathan Walker led the way last night, scoring three points, including a pair of goals in the victory at Hartford. He is in the midst of a three-game point streak (three goals, two assists) and has collected the game-winning goal in back-to-back contests. For Walker, last night was the third three-point game in his career, and the first since Mar. 23, 2016 at Lehigh Valley. Walker had a goal and two assists that evening in an 8-0 blowout. Since returning from the NHL after appearing in seven games with the Capitals and two with the Oilers, Walker has played a large role for Hershey. He has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 22 games with the Bears this season.
FIVE SPOT: Hershey has won five straight games entering tonight’s contest, giving the club its longest win streak of the year. This is Hershey’s first five game win streak since the club won the final five games on the 2016-17 regular season. Then, Hershey earned road wins at Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Toronto, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before beating Providence at home in the regular season finale. This time around, Hershey has also won four of the five games in the streak on the road. A win tonight would give Hershey six straight wins for the first time since Mar. 11-Mar. 22, 2017.
BEARS-ICEHOGS FAST FACTS: Hershey will be without Chris Bourque again this weekend. The forward is expected to fly back Monday after Team USA was eliminated from medal contention in South Korea….Hershey’s Anthony Peluso has seen Rockford plenty during his four seasons with the Peoria Rivermen. Peluso made his AHL debut on Oct. 4, 2009 versus Rockford, logging his first AHL fight vs. Ryan Flinn…. Rockford goaltender Jeff Glass was involved in a memorable fight in Hershey during his days with the Binghamton Senators. On Mar. 3, 2007, Glass scrapped with Hershey goalie Maxime Daigneault during a brawl at 13:59 of the third period. Glass was given 29 minutes in penalties, including two minutes for leaving the crease, two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, a 10 minute misconduct, and a second 10 minute misconduct for starting a secondary altercation. Hershey won that game, 7-1…Rockford goaltender Collin Delia participated in Washington’s Prospect Camp in June before signing with the Blackhawks.
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