The IceHogs have 12 games left in their regular season to try to make the playoffs. That includes their game at Iowa Monday night. This playoff race could go down to the wire. The IceHogs began Monday only one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division.
The IceHogs 3-2 win at Chicago Sunday was another step in the right direction for the boys. It was a win over one of the hottest teams in the AHL and on Chicago’s home ice. The Hogs need more of that type of clutch play over these final few weeks. So how much added tension is there these days when they step on the ice?
“I don’t think any added tension at all,” says goaltender Collin Delia. “I think it’s preparation to get to this point. I think it’s just action now. When we get to those games there’s no thinking there’s just acting and sticking to our game plan.”
Going into Monday the IceHogs had picked up points in six straight games, and their 17 wins in one-goal games this season were only two shy of the AHL lead.
“I think as a group we’re really grinding and really competing hard,” says IceHogs’ coach Jeremy Colliton.
Not only are the IceHogs in position to climb into the fourth playoff spot in the division, they could reach as high as second place. They began Monday only five points behind second place Chicago. The guys say they don’t spend much time focusing on the standings.
“We aware that everything is tight. It’s not something that I focus on too much,” said defenseman Cody Franson. “We’re trying to put ourselves in a situation where we control our own destiny.”
Fortunately the IceHogs have been playing well on the road lately. Of their 12 remaining games eight are on the road.
“I don’t think it’s a factor,” says Delia of all the road games. “I think it’s a good test for us. It’s a challenge especially coming into the playoff push. We might have to play on the road.”
(Chris DiDomenico, IceHogs forward) “I think we’ve got a good feeling in there,” says forward Chris DiDomenico. “It’s (the playoffs) what we play for. We’re right there right in the mix.”