When the IceHogs take to the ice tonight it will as Midwest Division leaders. The Milwaukee Admirals come to town tonight as the Hogs will try and stay in first place and win for the 7th time in the last 8 games. This is the first of 5 meetings between these two teams in the month of December. Milwaukee won the only meeting of the year so far, back on November 10, 4-2 in Milwaukee. Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri scored the 2 Rockford goals in that game.
Adam Clendening looks to keep his hot streak alive as he has been very impressive of late. He now leads the team in assists with 12. Captain Martin St Pierre is coming off a 3 goal weekend and has a team high 19 points (8 G, 11 A). Carter Hutton hopes to carry over his good play into this weekend's action. Hutton started both games against the Charlotte Checkers last weekend and gave up only 3 goals out of the 66 shots he faced.
The Admirals come into tonight's game with 21 points, which has them in 3rd place, 4 points behind the Hogs in the division standings. They are 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Texas Stars on Wednesday night. Chris Mueller leads the team with 9 goals while Austin Watson has a team high 15 points (8 G, 7 A). Goalie Jeremy Smith has played the majority of time for the Admirals and has been pretty solid. He only has 6 wins in 17 starts but his 2.53 goals against average and .901 save % shows that he has not been getting much goal support this season. The Admirals have only score 54 goals in their 20 games which comes out to a 2.7 goals a game average. Getting a lead on this team early is a key, considering they do not have much firepower to mount a significant comeback. In fact, they have been shutout 3 times already this year.
This weekend will go a long way in proving to the rest of the Midwest Division that the IceHogs belong on top. After tonight's game the Chicago Wolves come calling tomorrow night and the weekend concludes with a road game at the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday. Starting this big weekend off with a win tonight will be a great momentum builder for the Hogs.