The game finished with a 4-2 Admirals win. Since, the Ads have played in ten games going 4-4-1-1. The IceHogs played nine games since their defeat in Milwaukee and have gone 3-6-0-0. So, both have been in a less than favorable stretch looking to snap out of it.
The IceHogs currently sit third behind the Ads in the Midwest division with a record of 10-10-1-0 good for 21 points. Their top scorer is defenseman Adam Clendening who has 4 goals, 14 assists, 18 points, and 20 PIM’s. As far as goals are concerned there really isn’t one player shouldering the load. There are three tied with six goals (Klas Dahlbeck, Mark McNeill, and Jeremy Morin) and another three tied behind them with five goals (Alex Broadhurst, Terry Broadhurst, and ex-Admiral Brad Winchester).
There is also a lot of sharing the spotlight as far as goaltending is concerned. The IceHogs have wheeled in three different goalies in their last four games: Kent Simpson, Mac Carruth, and Antti Raanta. Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Ads the top man in net for Rockford has been Raanta… but he is currently playing in the NHL with the Blackhawks. That leaves the starting role in the hands of the 21-year old Simpson who has gone 3-4-1-0 in seven starts and three relief appearances. Backing him up is another 21-year old in Carruth who made his AHL debut in a 5-2 loss in Charlotte where he allowed all five goals scored by the Checkers. My expectation is for a goaltending match up between Simpson and Magnus Hellberg tomorrow night. Simpson faced the Ads in the first meeting of the season stopping 34-37 shots on goal in a losing effort.
Penalty Minutes. The IceHogs have 101 more PIM’s than the Admirals. Alright, fair enough the IceHogs have played in four more games… but still. The first meeting between these two produced 26 combined PIM’s that gave the IceHogs six power-play chances (producing one goal) and the Ads with seven power-plays (where they scored twice). Top of the top in PIM’s in this contest is Rockford’s Jared Nightingale with 63 PIM’s. Those wondering who leads the way for the Ads: Anthony Bitetto with 34 PIM’s. Interestingly enough, as much as I love going back to the infamous bench clearing brawl between these two, there wasn’t a fight in the last game when these two met nor the pre-season game at the Kern Center. You have to go back to last season’s final meeting between the Ads/Hogs to find a scrap which involved Mike Liambas and Kyle Beach. Liambas is a possibility to return at some point in this road trip. Should he return tomorrow night I feel he would be a welcome element to stand toe-to-toe should push come to shove-facewash-punching.
Thoughts on tomorrow night’s game? How will the rested Ads come out to start this game? Will we see anyone drop the gloves?