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Rockford IceHogs clinch spot in Calder Cup Playoffs

Chicago’s AHL affiliate is heading to the postseason

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

There’s going to be some postseason hockey in the Chicago Blackhawks organization after all.

Thanks to a red-hot finish to the regular season, the Rockford IceHogs have clinched a playoff berth, officially locking up that spot with a 5-3 win over the Iowa Wild on Tuesday night.

Rockford has been on fire in the closing weeks of the season, winning 15 of its last 21 games and earning at least one point in 17 of those outings as it rocketed up the AHL standings and into a playoff spot.

The IceHogs have been led on offense by forward Matthew Highmore (23 goals, 19 assists), Anthony Louis (13 goals, 29 assists) and Tyler Sikura (22 goals, 16 assists). On the blue line, Adam Clendening leads with 34 points (5 goals, 29 assists) while veteran Cody Franson has provided solid veteran experience to his younger Rockford teammates since being assigned to the IceHogs after clearing waivers in January.

And with the parent organization’s season coming to an end last Saturday, Rockford’s roster was bolstered by six players who were sent down from the NHL: Victor Ejdsell, John Hayden, David Kampf, Andreas Martinsen, Jean-Francois Berube and Jeff Glass. All six players will be eligible to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs that start next week.

The IceHogs regular season has two games remaining: a home-and-home series with the Chicago Wolves (another playoff-bound team) this weekend, starting off with a Friday night game in Rockford before the regular season finale at the Allstate Arena on Saturday. Rockford’s first-round opponent won’t be determined until the end of the regular season, as the rest of the AHL playoff picture sorts itself out.