PREVIEW: PENGUINS vs ICEHOGS – FEBRUARY 23, 2018

For the first time in franchise history, the puck will drop between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night. It’s another EYEWITNESS NEWS FAN FRIDAY, with lower bowl seats available for just $14, plus select draft beers for just $2 from 6-7:30pm.

The Penguins (30-15-4-1, 65 pts, .650%) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, while the IceHogs (26-22-3-3, 58 pts, .537%) are in sixth place in a very tough Central Division.

Friday’s game is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season.

TIME: 7:05 p.m.
PLACE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
WATCHAHLLive.com
LISTENWILK News Radio
TICKETS: 570-208-7367 or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office

SEASON SERIES

DATE HOME ROAD TIME/RESULT 
Friday, February 23 WBS Rockford 7:05pm
Saturday, March 3 Rockford WBS  6:00pm

RECENT ACTION

The Penguins dropped a 4-1 decision to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center on Sunday evening. Lehigh Valley’s netminder, John Muse, held the Penguins at bay on seven power plays. The Phantoms got goals from Oskar Lindblom, Phil Varone, and Mike Vecchione make it 3-0 through two periods, before Jean-Sébastien Dea tipped in a shot from Jarred Tinordi while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was skating shorthanded. Lehigh Valley’s Matt Read iced the victory with a shorthanded, empty net goal with 1:54 remaining in regulation. Casey DeSmith finished the game with 28 saves for the Penguins.

The IceHogs scored four unanswered goals in 8:13 and held off a comeback from the San Antonio Rampage for a 4-3 victory at the BMO Harris Bank Center Sunday night. Nathan Noel notched the game-winning goal – his first goal in the AHL – to cap Rockford’s hot stretch just over two minutes into the second period. Luke Johnson, Henrik Samuelsson and Tanner Kero each found twine as well for the IceHogs earlier in the game. The Rampage struck three times, but netminder Collin Delia withstood a late onslaught, turning aside 25 of 28 pucks.

PENGUINS NOTES
Joseph Cramarossa has accumulated three points (1G-2A) in as many games since becoming a member of the Penguins following a trade with the Stockton Heat on Feb. 14.

Prior to Sunday’s shorty by J.S. Dea, the Penguins’ last shorthanded goal on the road was scored on Nov. 3, 2017 at Lehigh Valley by Dea.

Dea has reached 30 points for the third season in a row with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and achieved a career high in assists (19).

The Penguins signed defenseman Kevin Schulze to a PTO on Feb. 17. Schulze tops Wheeling defensemen in goals (8), assists (20) and points (28).

The Penguins rewarded Anthony Peters’ stellar play with an AHL contract on Wednesday.

ICEHOGS NOTES
The IceHogs have allowed three or more goals in seven of the last nine games since Jan. 27. Opponents have scored five or more goals three times in that span and combined for 34 total goals over the last nine contests. Rockford is allowing an average of 3.8 goals per game over that stretch.

Nathan Noel made his AHL debut last week agains Cleveland and scored his first AHL goal in his third appearance with the IceHogs on Sunday (Feb. 18) against the Rampage. The forward originally made his pro debut with the Indy Fuel this season and collected nine points (4g, 5a) in 17 games prior to his promotion to the IceHogs.

Ten different rookies have scored a goal for the Hogs in 2017-18. Of those 10 rookies, eight have produced double-digit points on the year, and four have amassed 20-plus points (Matthew Highmore, Anthony Louis, Tyler Sikura and William Pelletier).

Adam Clendening picked up an assist on Sunday to move within one point of Rockford’s all-time scoring and assists records for a team defenseman. Clendening trails only Brian Connelly’s 134 points and 110 assists for the team record.

Henrik Samuelsson signed a PTO with the IceHogs on Feb. 11 and has scored a goal in each of his first three games with the Hogs. He led the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads in scoring through 49 games this season prior to joining Rockford.

Matthew Highmore has notched assists in a season-high three straight games. The rookie leads the IceHogs in scoring with 34 points (20g, 14a) in 54 games.

CONNECTIONS
Adam Clendening spent six games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2015-16 notching three assists and a plus-4 rating.

Michael Leighton spent two seasons with Rockford appearing in 88 games posting a 50-21-12-10 record.

Ryan Haggerty played 36 games for the IceHogs in 2015-16, scoring 13 points (9+4)

Compiled by Jonathan Kliment

FAN FRIDAY INFO

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