Chicago Blackhawks affiliate Rockford making playoff push

ROCKFORD – The Rockford IceHogs lost their leading scorer and star rookie winger Lukas Reichel to a call-up to the Chicago Blackhawks last week, just as they head down the backstretch of the regular season, scratching and clawing for their first AHL playoff berth in four years.

But the Hogs are on a hot streak, and they will just have to lean on their veteran leadership to keep that going as they race through the last nine games of the regular season, with that playoff spot within reach. A lot of that leadership will come from a pair of right-wing Canadians Brett Connolly, 29, and Garrett Mitchell, 30.

“Now it’s time to have these young guys lean on me a little bit,” Connolly said after practice Wednesday. “We’re all a part of a historic franchise, so winning is everything, whether that’s in the NHL or the American Hockey League … And now’s the time.”

More Hogs:Meet 3 players who have Rockford IceHogs in the hunt for an AHL playoff spot

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