The IceHogs only had two games on their slate for week 24 and they were back-to-back games north of the border in beautiful British Columbia.
For the second straight weekend, the IceHogs faced a three-games-in-three-nights situation. This time in week 23, they faced the Chicago Wolves twice and the Peoria Rivermen. With these big Midwest Division games, the Hogs needed to take, at the bare minimum, 4 out of the 6 points to be right on the cusp of making it into the playoffs; with 6 out of 6 points, they could be in the top 8.
Am I writing about another brawl featuring the Chicago Blackhawks‘ AHL team, the Rockford IceHogs?
Of course I am!
Last time, the IceHogs mixed it up with the Detroit Red Wings‘ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. This time, the IceHogs would take on the Vancouver Canucks‘ affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. It’s as if the IceHogs are more than willing to take on their parent club’s most deep-seated rivalries and make them their own.
Let’s go on to the video, shall we?
The IceHogs faced their first 3-games-in-3-nights set since December 7th – 9th. In that set of 3 games, the Hogs went 1-2-0-0 against the Milwaukee Admirals, Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins. The playoff-pushing Hogs looked to do better in week 22′s 3-in-3 set as they took on the Oklahoma City Barons and the Wolves.
Don’t look now, folks, but the IceHogs have strung some wins together and are smack-dab in the middle of a legitimate push for the playoffs. *Knocks on wood* Week 21 brought two more gargantuan Midwest Division games to the BMO Harris Bank Center in which the Hogs needed all of the points that they could get.
Week 20 brought three games for the IceHogs. All three were against Midwest Division rivals. In order to catch up in the playoff race, they needed to take all six points at stake–and they did.
Today is Brandon Bollig‘s birthday. He turns 26 today.
I guess that, since it’s his birthday, I should be nice and not mention that I wish he was back in Rockford, terrorizing the AHL with his limited skills.
I guess I shouldn’t say something like “Whatever you did to Coach Q, Jamal Mayers, please apologize for it so he can put you back in the lineup so we don’t have to suffer through another one of Bollig’s staged fights ever again.”
And I definitely shouldn’t wish Ben Smith a speedy recovery so he can eventually take Bollig’s place in the lineup if Coach Q is determined to keep Mayers in the doghouse for whatever petty, Coach Q-like reasons.
I should just be nice.
So… happy birthday, Bollig. I hope you get to celebrate by watching the game tomorrow from the comfort of Vancouver’s press box. I hear they have good popcorn in there.
(Oh, dammit, that was still mean, wasn’t it? Oh well. I don’t care enough to edit it.)
Week 14 brought on three games in four nights for the IceHogs. If that wasn’t tough enough, all of the games were against Midwest Division opponents, two of them being the division leading Griffins.
The end of week 13 brought the IceHogs’ only trip into Ontario for the 2012-13 season. In theory, the games should have been on total opposite sides of the spectrum considering the Hamilton Bulldogs sat near the bottom of the Western Conference and the Toronto Marlies sat atop the Western Conference. But, both games had similar outcomes, which weren’t in the Hogs’ favor.
After the Christmas break, week 12 held two home games for the IceHogs against divisional opponents. The beginning of week 13 also held an important divisional game as the Hogs battled for sole possession of first place.