With four games in five days coming up, IceHogs look to make playoff push
The IceHogs have an Easter weekend doubleheader against Manitoba this Saturday and Sunday
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - With nine games remaining in the regular season, the Icehogs are ten points away from clinching a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The team is using a balance of their young team with veteran leadership to wind down their magic number.
“We’re a young team that I think that as we get going here and like you’ve said we’ve put together some pretty good hockey as of late and I still think there’s more there and that’s kind of a little bit of a scary thing is we’re so young that we don’t realize how good we are yet,” IceHogs Captain Garrett Mitchell said.
The team has a tough stretch ahead, due to a storm hitting Manitoba, the IceHogs’ new schedule will have four games in a five-day span, and the team is taking it one shift at a time.
“No time to feel sorry for yourself, I think when teams handle adversity and stuff like this that comes out of left field and handle it correctly, it makes you better,” Assistant Coach Jared Nightingale said.
The team has been playing well as of late, picking up points in 11 of their last 13 games and winning their past three games. Mitchell credits a portion of the team’s success to the relationships formed outside the BMO.
“This being my eleventh year and I’ve played on numerous teams and teams that you have success with are the teams that kind of hang out together outside of the rink, there are a lot of teams that punch in at 8:30, 9 o’clock and you punch out at noon and that’s all you see, we’ve got a team that, you know, guys are hanging out outside the rink,” Mitchell said.
Rockford, with the player’s average age being 24-years-old, is also leaning on its veterans for guidance.
“In our dressing room, we got guys that- we’ve got a Stanley Cup Champion in our dressing room (Brett Connolly), Stants (Ryan Stanton) was with me in Hershey when we went to the (AHL) Finals so there’s a lot of experience and a lot of guys to lean on,” Mitchell said.
“You just try and like I said and help the team win and have these young guys lean on me a little bit if they want to and just be a positive influence on them,” Forward Brett Connolly said, “Just got to keep bringing it every night and we’ll see what happens but I enjoy being around these guys and I want to do the best for them and it’s all I can really do.”
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