After waiting two years, the Rockford IceHogs are back in the Great White North to take on the Manitoba Moose. They’ve got a two-game mini series in Manitoba to kick off a five-game road trip.
The last five games for the IceHogs have been near disastrous. They picked up one win in a 7-4 goal-happy match against the Texas Stars last Saturday. Subtracting that outburst, they’ve been outscored 17-9 during that stretch. Ouch.
It’s imperative that the IceHogs return from this road trip with some points in the bank. They may not go 5-0, but having a winning record would be ideal.
So we don’t dwell on the misery too long; let’s see where these two teams sit in the Central Division.
ROCKFORD VS. MANITOBA
Through 47 games, the Manitoba Moose have a record of 27-17–2-1. That’s good for 57 points and second of seven teams in the Central. After having a tough weekend against the last two teams in the division, Manitoba looks to be a tough opponent for Rockford. But, they are 4-6 in their last ten games. So, maybe the IceHogs are meeting them at the right time. Maybe. The Moose did win their last game 4-3 in the shootout over the Chicago Wolves after losing to the same club 5-1 the night before. Let’s just hope they didn’t regain their confidence with that shootout victory. Cross your fingers, toes, and anything else you wish – we won’t judge.
Through 46 games, the IceHogs have a record of 22-20-3-1. That’s good for 48 points and fourth in the Central. They’re still holding onto that fourth spot, but the three teams behind them are way too close for comfort. With the IceHogs being 5-5 in their last ten games, their hold on that spot has gotten a bit slippery. They need to tighten it up and right the ship before everything goes off the rails.
Goal differential? Goal differential!
Through 47 games, the Manitoba Moose have allowed 131 goals while scoring 138 goals for a DIFF of +7.
Through 46 games, the Rockford IceHogs have allowed 141 goals while scoring 132 for a DIFF of -9. That slightly improved over the weekend, but a 7-4 win will do that.
Now, your players to watch!
Lukas Reichel picked up a goal and an assist in the two games against the Stars. He was also in the Blackhawks lineup that Friday when they beat the Devils, but he didn’t register a point. He’s had a few days now to get some rest. Multiple points from the kid would do the team wonders tonight.
Speaking of offense, Mike Hardman had three goals and two assists over the weekend. Two of those goals came in the offensive explosion on Saturday night. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t get that third goal for the hat trick. He’s got the hot stick right now. Lately, it seems that the IceHogs need to score their way out of trouble. Let’s hope he can reproduce those numbers tonight. Maybe actually get the hatty this time…but I won’t get greedy.
We don’t know who will be in net for the IceHogs yet. Collin Delia picked up the one win over the weekend, but Arvid Söderblom isn’t fully to blame for his two losses. No matter who is in net, they need to be on their game. I can’t say the IceHogs defense has been totally abysmal, but the team absolutely cannot stay out of the penalty box and it’s slowly killing them.
Over the course of their three weekend games, they took 15 penalties. The penalty kill was exceptionally solid, only allowing 1 goal. But if you’re constantly killing penalties, you don’t have much time to attack. They’re just playing with fire at this point. If you keep taking a high number of penalties, the dam is going to break and they’re going to start giving up more power play goals. The goaltenders have been good, but that hasn’t gotten them wins as of late. They need to be GREAT.
Heading into tonight’s game, here are the scoring leaders for both teams!
- Lukas Reichel: 35 Games Played, 15 Goals, 20 Assists, 35 Points
- Dylan McLaughlin: 37 Games Played, 6 Goals, 19 Assists, 25 Points
- Ian Mitchell: 39 Games Played, 8 Goals, 16 Assists, 24 Points
- D.J. Busdeker: 41 Games Played, 4 Goals, 14 Assists, 18 Points
- Mike Hardman: 19 Games Played, 11 Goals, 6 Assists, 17 Points
- Brett Connolly: 10 Games Played, 7 Goals, 10 Assists, 17 Points
- Alec Regula: 25 Games Played, 2 Goal, 15 Assists, 17 Points
- Evan Barratt: 40 Games Played, 7 Goals, 9 Assists, 16 Points
- Andrei Altybarmakian: 41 Games Played, 4 Goals, 12 Assists, 16 Points
- Michal Teplý: 37 Games Played, 8 Goals, 7 Assists, 15 Points
- Collin Delia: 19 Games Played, 10-7-2, 2.88 GAA, .909 SV%
- Arvid Söderblom: 19 Games Played, 9-9-1, 2.68 GAA, .921 SV%
- Leon Gawanke: 42 Games Played, 8 Goals, 18 Assists, 26 Points
- Greg Meireles: 42 Games Played, 4 Goals, 19 Assists, 23 Points
- Jeff Malott: 39 Games Played, 14 Goals, 8 Assists, 22 Points
- Cole Maier: 44 Games Played, 11 Goals, 11 Assists, 22 Points
- Austin Poganski: 31 Games Played, 7 Goals, 14 Assists, 21 Points
- Mikey Eyssimont: 35 Games Played, 8 Goals, 12 Assists, 20 Points
- Declan Chisholm: 38 Games Played, 6 Goals, 13 Assists, 19 Points
- David Gustafsson: 28 Games Played, 8 Goals, 9 Assists, 17 Points
- Ville Heinola: 29 Games Played, 2 Goals, 15 Assists, 17 Points
- Nicholas Jones: 36 Games Played, 5 Goals, 11 Assists, 16 Points
- Mikhail Berdin: 21 Games played, 12-9-0, 2.44 GAA, .903 SV%
- Arvid Holm: 16 Games Played, 9-6-1, 2.94 GAA, .878 SV%
The puck drops Thursday night at 7:00 pm CST!
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