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Weekend Preview: Rockford Prepares to Host Texas

The Rockford IceHogs continue their January homestand tonight and tomorrow night against the Texas Stars.

Photo by Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars

ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs continue their January homestand tonight and tomorrow night against the Texas Stars. Rockford has lost two straight heading into Friday’s game.

The Hogs (14-13-1-1) sit in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division, while Texas currently lounges in the division basement, having won just two of its past ten. The Stars were in Milwaukee Wednesday, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Admirals.

Roster News

The IceHogs received several players from the Blackhawks this week. Forwards Mike Hardman and Josiah Slavin were assigned to Rockford Monday, along with defenseman Jakub Galvas. Goalie Cale Morris was recalled to Chicago on Wednesday.

Rockford released forward Brandon Pirri from his professional tryout agreement (PTO) Wednesday. Pirri played three games in this stint with Rockford, scoring three goals and adding an assist. The IceHogs also assigned forward Chad Yetman and defenseman Jacob LeGuerrier to the ECHL’s Indy Fuel.

Texas In A Nutshell

The Stars are led in scoring by captain Curtis McKenzie (9 G, 11 A) and former IceHogs forward Anthony Louis (9 G, 10 A). McKenzie paces Texas with two goals and three assists in the four games against Rockford. Defenseman Ben Gleason (4 G, 13 A) has a goal and three helpers in three games against the IceHogs this season.

Texas is giving up nearly four goals a contest. This is in part to a very inexperienced goalie tandem heading into the weekend. Due to callups, the Stars have two rookie goalies in net. Matt Jurusik (3.34 goals against average, .894 save percentage) has three games with Texas after starting the season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Adam Scheel (4.13, .868) has struggled; in his last start on January 15, he gave up five goals in 15:10 against Charlotte.

IceHogs vs Stars: Notes

  • Rockford and Texas have split four games so far in the 2021-22 campaign. All four of those games were in Cedar Park. The last four games of the season series will be at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
  • The IceHogs have scored the game’s first goal just nine times this season. They are 8-1 in those games.
  • The Stars are in the middle of a six-game road trip. Currently, they are 1-2 on the trip. Overall, Texas is 4-7-2 on the road this season.
  • The Texas power play is seventh in the AHL at 21.7 percent. That efficiency jumps to 27.3 percent on the road.
  • Hogs forward Dylan McLaughlin (6 G, 12 A) is currently on a five-game point streak, during which he has three goals and five helpers.
  • Rookie Lukas Reichel (12 G, 10 A), the IceHogs leading scorer, is working on a three-game goal streak. He has four goals and four assists in that span.
  • Rockford defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk (4 G, 5 A) has a four-game point streak of his own heading into Friday.

The action on Friday gets underway at 7 p.m. CDT. The puck drop for Saturday is set for 6 p.m.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2021 season!

    John Fromi covers the Rockford IceHogs for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHIceHogs.

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