Photo via Texas Stars Facebook
-After a mediocre start to the season, which could be chalked up to the Calder Cup hangover feeling, the Texas Stars have gotten their act together and put themselves in a playoff position with six games remaining in their season. They are currently on a three-game win streak; which includes the two wins in the Midwest this weekend beating the Milwaukee Admirals and Chicago Wolves. Jack Campbell got both wins on the weekend, stopping 70 of 74 shots thrown at him. Justin Dowling had two goals and an assist, with Greg Rallo putting up a goal and two assists on the weekend. Since coming back from Idaho, Campbell has gone 8-4-1 and seems to be playing with more confidence, something the Stars will need down the stretch.
-It was a heck of a time for the Rockford IceHogs offense to come alive with 13 goals in two games, which also allowed for them to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Ryan Hartman had three goals and two assists, Garret Ross had three goals and an assists, while Alex Broadhurst had two goals and four assists. Antti Raanta and Michael Leighton split the weekend set, while the IceHogs outshot the Rochester Americans and Grand Rapids Griffins 76-43.
Photo from Utah Grizzlies Facebook
-In a huge pair of games against the Alaska Aces, Igor Bobkov was the story for the Utah Grizzlies– stopping all but one of the 77 shots that the Aces threw at him on the weekend. The wins put the Grizzlies over the Aces for the last playoff spot in the Pacific Division. Mathieu Aubin had a goal and two assists this weekend, with Howard Lenz posting two assists and Alex Krushelnyski putting up a goal and assist. Conversely, the Aces are on a three-game losing skid, which has seen them put up one goal in that losing streak.
-Thanks to two wins and two Wheeling Nailers’ losses, the Cincinnati Cyclones pushed themselves into the last playoff spot in the North Division. Both Geoff Irwin and David Pacan put up two goals and two assists on the weekend, with Jack Downing having two goals and an assist. Rob Madore is coming through for the Cyclones again with a shutout and stopping 35 of 37 shots on the weekend. Though the Nailers have a game in hand, the Cyclones are up by three points going into the last week.
Photo by John Coffin via Mississippi RiverKings Facebook
-With their series win, the Mississippi RiverKings are now in the President’s Cup Finals and have gotten the scoring in the series from unlikely sources. Matt Harrington lead the way (and the SPHL playoffs) with a goal and four assists, while Bryon Paulazzo— who recently returned from a stint in Stockton in the ECHL and hasn’t played for Mississippi since the end of January– put up three goals to lead the RiverKings in goals for the series. Coupled with Peter Di Salvo getting the call in net over Adam Courchaine and leading the way for goalies after the first round– the RiverKings will be fresh and ready for the winner of Knoxville and Louisiana; which starts later this week.