IceHogs season comes to an end with loss to Grand Rapids


The Rockford IceHogs season came to an end on Sunday when the Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated them in the Western Conference Semifinals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Rockford's first postseason appearance in five years — and third since relocating to Rockford in 2007 — was off to a pretty dominating start.

The IceHogs cruised past the Texas Stars in Round 1 with a three-game sweep, gaining revenge on the Stars who had swept the IceHogs in 2010 — the team's last postseason appearance.

But the IceHogs found themselves in an early hole in the second round as Grand Rapids quickly jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, taking full advantage of home ice. The IceHogs responded in Game 3 with a 4-1 win to cut the series to 2-1.

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In Game 4, 60 minutes wasn't enough time to declare a winner, but the 2013 AHL Champions only needed 13 seconds into overtime to take a 3-1 series lead.

With their backs against the wall, the IceHogs came up short in Game 5, falling to the Griffins, 5-3, at BMO Harris Bank Center on Sunday, effectively ending one of the team's most successful seasons.

Defenseman Stephen Johns led the IceHogs with seven points (3 G, 4 A) during the playoffs while netminder Michael Leighton posted a 2.59 goals against average and .919 save percentage in eight games.

The IceHogs finished the regular season with a 46-25-5-2 record and 99 points, which ranked fourth-best in the conference. Their 99 points was also the most Rockford has registered since its first AHL season when they compiled 98 points.

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