It Was an IceHogs Kinda Weekend
What a great start to the IceHogs 1st round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. They have a commanding lead on the Chicago Wolves (Vegas Golden Knights farm team) 2-0 in the series that is a best-of-5.
In Game #1 on Friday, the ‘Hogs snuck away with a 2-1 win. The goal scorers with Tyler Sikura and Adam Clendening. The 3 stars were: 1) Clendening 2) Franson 3) Zac Leslie.
Colin Delia started and played well with 31 saves.
It was scheduled that Jeff Glass would be in for Game #2 but Colliton rode the hot hand and went right back to Delia. He rewarded his coach on Saturday evening with a 28 save performance in a 5-2 victory. He was also the 1st star of the game; Chris DiDomenico was the 2nd and Adam Clendening was the 3rd.
As the NHL trade deadline, this year approached, I gave you all a little tidbit that said to watch for additions at the AHL level that don't seem like much but could prove to be really important.
Look no further than the impact star #2 and #3 in DiDomenico and Clendening (oddly enough both are former Blackhawks).
This organization wanted to create a winning environment from the top down and that included the minor league affiliates. That's why getting Jeremy Colliton in there was so important after Ted Dent made a couple slip-ups and worked his way out of favour with management.
If the IceHogs take down the Chicago Wolves, this will be seen as a major victory with those on Madison St. They want these younger players to experience winning while building chemistry and learning from great teachers in Colliton, Sheldon Brookbank and Derek King.
I know not all of you have been able to watch these games, so just to give you an idea of who's playing during this pivotal time, here was the lineup that Colliton used in Game #2:
This lineup is courtesy of @chrisblock who is a fantastic follow for all things Rockford IceHogs.
Game #3 goes on Thursday night. Let's hope Rockford can close this series out.