High On The Hog: Turn Out The Lights

The Rockford IceHogs concluded the 2020-21 season this weekend. The piglets split a back-to-back with the Chicago Wolves to put an end to extended prospect camp.

Rockford beat the Wolves 4-1 Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center to wrap up the home slate with a 8-9 mark. Chicago bested the IceHogs by that same margin in Hoffman Estates on Saturday.

The Hogs finish the shortened season with an unremarkable 12-19-1 record. Their .391 point percentage put them solidly in the basement of the Central Division. Rockford was near the bottom of the league in goals, goals allowed, shots, shots allowed…you get the idea.

While this was a frustrating season to watch, it’s difficult to call it a disappointing one. The Blackhawks (who bought the IceHogs franchise earlier this season) were pretty up front in terms of what we were to expect from this year’s model in Rockford.

The bar was set incredibly low. Practically on the ground.

The IceHogs consisted of a slew of rookies and AHL contracts that would likely been in the team’s ECHL affiliate in normal circumstances. When the 30-game schedule was announced before play began, I figured that Rockford would be lucky to win ten.

Three games were added during the season; one postponed game with Cleveland was never rescheduled. Twelve wins in 32 games isn’t anything to write home about. However, there were some positives to be had.

The piglets got off the deck after a 1-7-1 start and went 11-12 the rest of the way. Head coach Derek King had the young Hogs playing hard and competing with teams that were vastly more experienced and talented. Several players got key experience they would not otherwise have had if not for a depleted roster.

There is much to digest following the last four months. I’ll get started later this week with a look at some of the players I thought made and impact for the IceHogs.

Follow me @JonFromi on twitter for thoughts on the IceHogs as I take a closer look at the past season.