The Admirals last game was a great step in the right direction. Tonight the team is gearing up for a really big test. The Ads start the first of a three-in-three that will see them go up against the Rockford IceHogs at home, then on the road, and then finishing up at home against the Charlotte Checkers. The games are here swift and fast. The time to get results are now.
The IceHogs remain the top team in the Midwest Division with a record of 21-11-3-1 (46 points) which is good for third place in the Western Conference. They enter with a two-game winning streak but a so-so 4-5-1-0 (9 points) in their last ten games. Which IceHogs team is going to show up? Which Admirals team is going to show up?
The IceHogs will be without Teuvo Teräväinen these next two games. The 20-year old Finn was recalled by the Chicago Blackhawks last Friday. He is second on the IceHogs in scoring with 23 points (6 goals, 17 assists). He also has a plus/minus rating of -3 with 6 penalty minutes.
~Stop Lucky No. 7~
T.J. Brennan continues to be one of the best scoring defensemen in the AHL. He leads the IceHogs in scoring with 28 points (7 goals, 21 assists). He has also been a thorn in the side of the Admirals in this season’s head-to-head. He has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) against the Ads this season. That ties him with Phillip Danault (1 goal, 4 assists) and Taylor Aronson (1 goal, 4 assists) for the top scorers in this match up.
~Fear the Beard~
Scott Darling is back with the IceHogs and could well factor into one or both of these two games. This season he has a record of 9-4-2-0 from fifteen games played, has a 2.17 goals against average, and 0.929 save percentage. In three games against the Admirals this season he has gone 1-2-0-0 with a 2.37 goals against average and 0.923 save percentage.
The news of Patrick Cehlin‘s call up yesterday now makes even more sense considering Miikka Salomäki has been recalled to the Nashville Predators once again. The call up for the Finn comes after the news that James Neal and Eric Nystrom have both been placed on injured reserve.
Expectations for tonight? Are these two games against the Rockford IceHogs already to be considered must win games? Which goaltender would you start tonight and how would you utilize both over this three game stretch?