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Soderblom and IceHogs Get Back on Track

#AHL | Currently on a three-game win streak, @goicehogs seem to be back on track following a recent seven-game skid. In his latest, @FPHIceHogs provides some insight on the turnaround.

Arvid Soderblom robs Iowa's Marco Rossi of a game-winning goal Saturday, allowing the IceHogs to defeat the Wild later in overtime. (Photo by Todd Reicher/Rockford IceHogs)

Soderblom and IceHogs Get Back on Track

ROCKFORD, Ill. – One week ago, the Rockford IceHogs were spiraling down the Central Division standings. A seven-game losing streak weighed heavily on the team as they opened a three-game homestand. As the smoke cleared on Saturday’s action, the IceHogs have to be pleased with the way the team is entering the All-Star break.

It took a lot of extra effort, but Rockford rolls into this short pause on a three-game win streak. After defeating the Manitoba Moose 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night at the BMO Center, the Hogs beat the Iowa Wild 3-2 in a shootout Friday before scoring a 3-2 triumph over the same team the following night. Saturday’s win came with just 15 seconds of overtime remaining, when Bobby Lynch sent the game-winner to the back of the net.

Rockford (23-16-4-2) currently sits in fourth place in the Central Division with 52 points. That’s just one point behind Iowa and five behind the division-leading Texas Stars. Despite a dismal January, the IceHogs are still in the thick of a close divisional race.

What did we learn about the Hogs this week? Here are some talking points:

Rockford Shows Resiliency

The IceHogs had to rally to win each game this week. Against the Wild, Rockford came back twice in the third period to tie Iowa and force overtime.

“We talked about it,” Rockford coach Anders Sorensen explained to Hogs broadcaster Mike Folta following Saturday’s victory. “It’s the same message we had last night. We basically were like, ‘Hey, we were here last night, so we just need to get one and then we’ll get another one.’ The guys did and they stuck with it, so (I’m) really happy for them.”

Last season, Sorensen took a scrappy young team to the playoffs. The IceHogs have been able to outscore teams for a good chunk of the season. Despite finding goals harder to come by the last month, Rockford has shown that they can overcome some adversity.

Soderblom Returning To Form

Between a groin injury and time on the organization’s NHL roster, goalie Arvid Soderblom has struggled in Rockford.  The team has given him the opportunity to find his game; Saturday was Soderblom’s sixth consecutive start. Based on his performance this past week, it’s paying off.

Soderblom, 1-5-2 entering play Tuesday, had a monster week in net for the IceHogs. He picked up three wins, posting a 1.86 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. Soderblom kept his team in contention and became impenetrable in overtime. After denying seven shootout attempts on Tuesday and Friday, he brought Saturday’s packed house at the BMO Center to its feet with a game-saving stop on Iowa’s Marco Rossi early in the extra session.

Upon returning from a groin injury suffered on December 28, Soderblom has been given much-needed time in the Rockford crease to work his way back into shape. Credit Sorensen and the organization with sticking with Soderblom.

“He’s really finding his groove again,” Sorensen said, “which is nice to see.”

Time To Recharge

While David Gust, Brett Seney, and Lukas Reichel head to Laval for the AHL’s All Star Classic, their teammates have a couple of days off before getting back to action this Friday. A home-and-home with the Milwaukee Admirals awaits; for now, Sorensen prescribes a little rest and relaxation.

“The guys are going to go get some sun,” he explained to Folta Saturday. “Some guys in Florida or California. Enjoy it.”

Is Sorensen taking his own advice?

“I’m going to Ottawa, Canada,” he chuckled. “I don’t think it’s very sunny there right now.”

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    Jon Fromi covers the Rockford IceHogs for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHIceHogs.

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