[Last Season Lookback hits the highlights of each month from the 2018-19 season. Below are the key storylines from the respective month, milestones hit by individual players or the full team, standout stats and a quotable takeaway. Check back each week as we delve into the full seven-month season]. October | November | December | January
LAST SEASON LOOKBACK: FEBRUARY, 2019
*Holland Debut/Raddysh Trade
Trade waves gave the IceHogs’ roster a new look in February, shipping steady defenseman Darren Raddysh to the Hartford Wolf Pack in exchange for one of the AHL’s leading scoring forwards Peter Holland. The transaction provided some much-needed punch for Rockford’s offensive attack, as Holland joined the IceHogs ranking sixth in the AHL points with 49 through his first 52 games. The standout forward immediately made his presence felt for the Hogs with a multi-point effort during his debut and six total points over his first seven appearances.
Overall, Holland led the Hogs in scoring following his team debut with 16 points (7g, 9a) in 21 games. He also served as another veteran presence in the locker room alongside defenseman and alternate captain Andrew Campbell.
*Playoffs or Bust
February was going to the set foundation for either a playoff run or an early bow out from postseason contention. The IceHogs proved resilient during the critical month, stringing together wins while limiting losses to climb from seventh place in the Central Division to playoff eligible through the majority of February. Rockford held onto fourth place from Feb. 8 through the conclusion of the month.
The exciting stretch was unfortunately capped with three consecutive losses – the longest skid of the month of February – to drop the IceHogs back into fifth entering March. However, the three-game slump was only half of the Hogs’ best winning streak that month, which also brings us to our next story line:
Rockford played fantastic hockey at the tail end of January and into the heart of February. The IceHogs strung together a season-best six-game winning streak with victories over Manitoba, Iowa, Chicago, at Milwaukee, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Tucson. Five of the six wins were against divisional foes, helping to launch the Hogs three spots up the Central rankings. The streak also finished as two wins better than the Hogs’ second-best stretch during all of last season.
*Campbell skates in 700th career AHL game
Rockford IceHogs defenseman Andrew Campbell became just the 74th player in the AHL’s 82-year history to skate in 700 career AHL games when he took the ice as a starter on Feb. 9 against the Tucson Roadrunners at the BMO Harris Bank Center. He was the first to accomplish the feat since four skaters hit the milestone during the 2017-18 season.
*King Notches 20th win
IceHogs interim head coach Derek King notched his 20th win behind the bench for Rockford during a 3-2 overtime victory on Feb. 20 at Grand Rapids. King capped the year with a record of 29-28-3-4 (.508) as interim head coach.
Former first-round pick Henri Jokiharju scored his first pro goal during his first AHL period of his IceHogs debut on Feb. 1 vs. CHI. Jokiharju, who was selected 29th overall by Chicago in 2017, is the 28th former first-round pick to skate with the IceHogs, and just the 10th first-rounder drafted by Chicago (third defenseman) to appear with Rockford.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH:
12 games: 11 points (5g, 6a) | +6 rating
Schroeder turned in a stellar month of February, posting 5+ goals and assists, leading the team in overall points and finishing just one point shy of the club’s best plus/minus rating. He posted two four-game point streaks and tallied at least one point in nine of his 12 appearances in February.
Forward Peter Holland (on joining the IceHogs)
“Well it's a lot of fun when you're playing meaningful hockey games. Coming from Hartford, we were in dead last in our conference, so you know it's nice to kind of jump into a spot where we can make a push for the playoffs. You know that's fun, it's exciting like you said it's getting to the end of February and into March, so it's a great time here to be playing hockey.”