Saturday night, the Rockford IceHogs lost to the Iowa Wild 5-2 to end their 2016-17 season. It was a frustrating season for all, but it ended with a big fan lovefest between the players and the fans on the ice. My full recap is on PuckPlanet.com at Rockford IceHogs End Season With a Loss.
In the post-game media session,.Coach Ted Dent gave a fair assessment of the season. While overall it was disappointing, there were some pleasant surprises and there is reason to be optimistic about next season. Dent was his usual self. He doesn't sugarcoat the negatives, but he doesn't focus on them either. Truthfully, it is about learning and preparing the future Chicago Balckhawks, as much as it is actually winning in Rockford.
After the game, many lucky fans got sweaters right off the back of the players in a big warm ceremony on the ice. The IceHogs created a cool video of the season, which was greeted by thunderous applause from the sellout crowd.
Having access most people don't get to have, I also saw the IceHogs as they made their way to the lockerroom. They had their head held high and were openly talking about the appreciation the fans showed them. I'm not a Hockey homer when I say that there really is something special in Rockford and I am so glad to be right in the mix.
This doesn't end my coverage of the IceHogs for this season. There will be sporadic pieces right here all through the offseason. You can also go to IceHogs.com for the latest news, including the first look at the 2017-18 schedule once it is released.
(Post-game media session video courtesy of IceHogs.com.)