By The Numbers: Rockford IceHogs After Ten Games

  

The Hockey calendar has turned a new page and we are into the month of November. For the Rockford IceHogs, a ten-game stretch of play to begin the year has wielded a 5-3-2 record, good for 12 points in the standings and tied for fourth place in the AHL Central Division. So where do the IceHogs stand after ten games and what can be expected next?

Rockford IceHogs By The Numbers

The IceHogs this season have been on a bit of a roller coaster. Starting off the year by scoring three goals in their first two games, then hitting a stretch of the schedule where they scored five goals in four of five straight games. Following that, another scoring slump with back-to-back one-goal performances and then an overtime win to finish game ten on the year.

While goal-scoring has been hot and cold to begin the year, there are a few constants for Rockford this season. Special Teams, solid goaltending, and Dylan Sikura have been major driving factors behind the success the IceHogs have enjoyed this year.

Forward Thinking

Through the first ten games of the season, the Rockford IceHogs have been paced in scoring by another hot start from a smaller-forward. Much like the start to last season for Vince Hinostroza, Rockford is enjoying a nine points (3 G, 6 A) in ten games stretch from rookie forward Dylan Sikura. Over the Summer, Sikura was penciled into a spot with the Chicago Blackhawks but found himself as one of the final cuts in training camp. Since then, Sikura has led the IceHogs offensively in his first full professional season and figures to push for NHL playing time in the near future if his current pace holds.

Here are the points leaders for Forwards for the Rockford IceHogs:

  1. Dylan Sikura – 3 G, 6 A, 9 Pts
  2. Tyler Sikura – 4 G, 3 A, 7 Pts
  3. Matthew Highmore – 3 G, 4 A, 7 Pts
  4. Victor Ejdsell – 3 G, 3 A, 6 Pts
  5. Jordan Schroeder – 3 G, 2 A, 5 Pts
  6. Anthony Louis – 3 G, 2 A, 5 Pts
  7. Terry Broadhurst – 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts
  8. Jacob Nilsson – 4 A, 4 Pts
  9. Henrik Samuelsson – 2 G, A, 3 Pts
  10. Matheson Iacopelli – G, A, 2 Pts

Getting Defensive

The Rockford IceHogs defensive group may be one of the deepest in the AHL. Three rookies including Blake Hillman, Dennis Gilbert, and Lucas Carlsson all joined an already talented group in Rockford and have been pushing for significant ice-time. The Chicago Blackhawks also added veteran Andrew Campbell to the organization this offseason and he has provided steady work on the blue-line and has already played a leadership role in Rockford. With Darren Raddysh, Carl Dahlstrom and Joni Tuulola returning from breakout seasons last year, and the return to health of Gustav Forsling, the internal competition for ice-time has pushed the IceHogs defensemen into some standout play early in the year.

Here are the defensive leaders for the Rockford IceHogs:

  1. Darren Raddysh – 3 G, 5 A, 8 Pts (+2)
  2. Carl Dahlstrom – 5 A, 5 Pts (+1)
  3. Lucas Carlsson – G, A, 2 Pts (-2)
  4. Andrew Campbell – G, 1 Pt (+1)
  5. Luc Snuggerud – A, 1 Pt (-4)
  6. Dennis Gilbert – A, 1 Pt (-3)
  7. Joni Tuulola – A, 1 Pt (-2)
  8. Blake Hillman – A, 1 Pt (+4)
  9. Gustav Forsling – 3 GP, 7 SOG (+2)

Holy Goalies!

Much like the defensive group for the IceHogs, competition for time in net is high for the Rockford tandem of Collin Delia and Anton Forsberg. When Chicago Blackhawks’ starter Corey Crawford returned to health, the organization were put into a tricky situation with Crawford, Cam Ward, and Anton Forsberg all on the NHL roster and all worthy of NHL ice-time. Forsberg was the odd-man out and came to Rockford, where Delia started the year as the defacto starter. Forsberg’s AHL resume out-weighs that of Delia’s but their play so far this season has been neck-and-neck, which is the best case scenario for the IceHogs. Head Coach Jeremy Colliton is a big believer in the notion that the players who deserve to play are the ones who will get to play, there are no favors to be had. The competition has brought the best out of both net-minders.

Here are the stats for Collin Delia and Anton Forsberg through the first ten games of the season:

  1. Anton Forsberg – 2 GP, 1-1-0, 1.98 GAA, 0.922 Save-Percentage
  2. Collin Delia – 6 GP, 4-1-1, 2.64 GAA, 0.925 Save-Percentage

Well Isn’t That Special?

In their most recent outing, the Rockford IceHogs came away with a 3-2 overtime win over the Milwaukee Admirals in Milwaukee on Nov. 2. In that win, the IceHogs were forced to kill-off seven penalties and to their fortune were able to survive without giving up a powerplay goal against. One of the strengths early on for the IceHogs has been their special teams work. Unlike last season where the IceHogs ranked in the bottom-third of the AHL in both the powerplay and penalty-kill for a majority of the season, the start to this year has made the special teams units actually special.

Here are the special teams ranks for the Rockford IceHogs:

  • #15 Powerplay in the AHL (9-for-47, 19.1-Percent)
  • #4 Penalty-Kill in the AHL (40-for-45, 88.9-Percent)

What’s Next?

After Friday night’s overtime win against the Admirals, the IceHogs return home to begin a home-and-home series with the Iowa Wild. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 6:00pm CT puck drop at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

Finally on Sunday, the IceHogs and Wild play the back-end of their home-and-home series and close a three games in three night’s stretch of play. Sunday’s puck drop is scheduled for a 5:00pm CT start at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

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