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The Rockford IceHogs have hit a postseason roadbump in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Rockford dropped the first two games of their Western Conference Semifinal in Grand Rapids last week.

Red Wings forward prospect Teemu Pulkkinen was the harvester of sorrow in Games 1 and 2, torching the Hogs for five goals and six points in the two Griffins victories. A strong Grand Rapids showing at home was not unexpected. However, the IceHogs have their work cut out for them as the series shifts to Winnebago County.

Here’s my take on the way the postseason is developing for the IceHogs as they look to hold serve at the BMO, starting with Game 3 Wednesday night.

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Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, like a lot of other NHL executives, has delved into college hockey to bolster his organizational depth. Free agent players from the ranks of the NCAA have found some leverage at the high end of the talent pool in recent seasons. So much so that Bowman has found the need to sweeten the pot to get at some of that talent.
Has it paid off? Well, you got to see Kyle Baun Tusday and Thursday nights. I certainly don’t see him in an Indian head sweater come fall, but the former Colgate standout was able to parlay interest from a host of NHL teams into a cup of coffee in the show and a year burned off his two-year entry deal.

Time’s gonna tell on guys like Baun and Tanner Kero (formerly of Michigan Tech) as to whether or not they can someday break into an NHL lineup. However, the ship has likely sailed on a much-heralded player who, at the time of his signing, was seen by some as a potential top-six center.

I’m talking, of course, about Drew LeBlanc. Just so you know…he’s not.

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The kids down Rockford way have been red-hot in their last week of action. The IceHogs return to the BMO Harris Bank Center Tuesday with a five-game winning streak in tow.

Rockford won in Grand Rapids Wednesday and followed that up with back-to-back pastings of the San Antonio Rampage this weekend. The IceHogs are 7-2-0-1 through their first ten games and sit atop the AHL’s Midwest Division as of Monday.

With 15 points on the 2014-15 campaign, Rockford is currently in second place in the AHL’s Western Conference. The Hogs also have a new captain in place and an offense that has scored 18 times in the last four games. Here are some notes on a very successful road trip.

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The Rockford IceHogs got the 2014-15 season underway this past Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Milwaukee Admirals cast a pall on the festivities for the 5,228 fans in attendance, besting Rockford by a score of 3-2.

With just one contest in the books, I’m putting this opening game under a bit of a microscope. Here’s how the puck bounced for the IceHogs as they threw open the doors on the new campaign.