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Rockford IceHogs announce 2019-20 regular-season schedule

Rockford will face the Belleville Senators and Laval Rocket for the first time.

Brad Repplinger/Second City Hockey

For the fifth consecutive season, the Rockford IceHogs — the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate — will open the season on the road when they visit the Iowa Wild on Oct. 4 in Des Moines.

After their season opener, the IceHogs will have their home opener Oct. 12 against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Red Wings) at BMO Harris Bank Center. Rockford was 7-3, including 4-1 at home, last season against Grand Rapids.

The IceHogs’ 76-game schedule includes 66 Central Division matchups, with their final 23 games against divisional opponents. They’ll have 12 games each against the Chicago Wolves (Golden Knights) and Milwaukee Admirals (Predators). Rockford will face off against the Griffins 10 times, and have eight meetings each against the Manitoba Moose (Jets), San Antonio Rampage (Blues) and Texas Stars.

The IceHogs will have 38 home games, including a season-long six-game homestand from Jan. 25-31. Rockford’s longest road swing will be five games from Feb. 22 to March 1.

Rockford will face the Belleville Senators and Laval Rocket (Canadiens) for the first time in franchise history. The IceHogs visit the Senators on Dec. 13 and host them Jan. 20. Rockford hosts the Rocket on Oct. 14 and heads to Laval, Quebec, on Dec. 17.

The IceHogs will face two other Eastern Conference foes with the Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs) and Cleveland Monsters (Blue Jackets). Rockford hosts the Marlies on Nov. 6 and visits Toronto on Dec. 15. The IceHogs have a back-to-back Oct. 25-26 in Cleveland then host the Monsters on Dec. 21 and Feb. 15.

The IceHogs went 35-31-4-6 last season and finished seven points out of a Calder Cup playoff spot after advancing to the Western Conference Final in 2018.