Usually at this point in the season the IceHogs are prepping for a postseason run, but that’s not the case this year. Rockford has stumbled throughout the entire season, and are at very bottom of the central division.
“The whole season’s been frustrating,” says IceHogs forward Brandon Mashinter. “We go on stretches where we win five, six games and seeing some hope, and then the same thing the opposite way five, six, seven, eight games losing. So it’s just been a frustrating year.”
The Hogs are currently in one of those bad stretches. They’ve lost 10 of their last 11 games, and in the last two games alone the IceHogs scored a total of 0 goals.
“It’s always a tough pill to swallow,” says IceHogs captain Jake Dowell. “It’s not just one specific thing we can point our finger at, and say this is the issue right now.”
The defense hasn’t been any better. Since late February opponents are averaging over four goals a game against Rockford.
“We need to do things by committee, and everyone needs to step up, and try to put some offense together, and try to play sound defense,” says Dowell.
“We’ve been getting chances to score just haven’t been able to do that,” says Mashinter. “If you’re not scoring you need to play sound defensively.”
That’s the message coach Ted Dent has been preaching all season long. He says the teams problems offensively are actually pretty simple.
“It comes down the skill level for me,” says Dent. “You’re either a goal score or you’re not. You can get a little better at it. It’s you either have hockey sense or you don’t. I think our skill level at this point with our forwards is limited.”
“There’s still some games that we can make something out of, and maybe spoil someone else’s fun and a have a reason to feel good about ourselves playing good hockey at the end of the year here,” says Dowell.
Rockford will host the Texas Stars on Friday.