There will be playoff hockey in the minor league ranks of the Chicago Blackhawks organization this year for the first time since 2018.
The Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate, defeated the Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets) 5-3 on Saturday to clinch a Calder Cup Playoffs spot.
Arvid Soderblom made 43 saves, and Jakub Galvas had two assists for Rockford, which will play in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
The IceHogs made the 2018 Western Conference Final, where they dropped the series 4-2 to the Texas Stars. Rockford missed the playoffs in 2019, then the 2020 postseason was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eleven IceHogs players scored a point against Manitoba, including Lukas Reichel, who had an assist. His assist tied Vinnie Hinostroza (2015-16) for the most points by an IceHogs rookie at 51. Reichel leads the IceHogs in goals (21) and assists (30) and points (51) in 52 games.
What's On Tap Next?
The IceHogs have four regular season games remaining, starting Sunday at home against the Iowa Wild. Rockford could play a three-game, first-round series or earn a first-round bye to advance to a best-of-five second round.