The Rockford IceHogs have started December on a winning note. Actually, make that two winning notes.
The Hogs beat the Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars to raise their record to 13-9-1 with 27 points and a .587 winning percentage. They stand in 2nd place in the Central Division of the Western Conference and 5th place in the Western Conference as a whole.
Jeff Glass has started in goal for the last three games, including an 8-1 drubbing prior to the last two wins. In the two wins, Glass made 61 saves, while allowing five goals. That’s good for a 92.4% save percentage (in that small sample size). Overall on the season, he has a 90.1% save percentage. He also has won seven of hi last nine starts.
Jean-Francois Berube has a save percentage of 91.3% as the main goalie for Rockford. Berube is currently with the Blackhawks, during Corey Crawford’s stint on the Disabled List.
On offense, Vinnie Hinostroza is their leading scorer with 22 points, which is good for a tie in 9th place in the Western Conference. He is the only skater in the Top 20. The next closest IceHog is Matthew Highmore with 17 points.
As a team, the IceHogs have had 30+ shots on goal in 8 straight games and 16 of their last 17. Their 809 shots for the season puts them 57 ahead of second place Laval. The Hogs are averaging 35.17 shots per game, to lead the AHL.
That all translates to a 9.02% scoring success rate on shots. The quantity of shots is great and the success rate is solid. Ideally, I’d like to see the success rate edge up into double digits.
A local sports reporter stated that the IceHogs have been playing slightly above average. I can’t disagree with that assessment, but I also can’t be down on the team. They are still in 2nd place in their division, behind the Manitoba Moose who are 2nd in the AHL with a winning percentage of 75.0%.
In the next two weeks, the IceHogs have an away and home game against Grand Rapids, followed by a home game against the Wolves, followed by two away games against the San Antonio Rampage. All five games are winnable, with the IceHogs being slightly favored in four games and fairly heavy favorites against the Wolves. A five game sweep would be tough though. Winning three would be a positive step.