With the Rockford IceHogs currently on a four-game winning streak, it’s a great start for the Chicago Blackhawks prospects who have factored into the hot start. IceHogs head coach Anders Sorensen credited a strong team effort that has the IceHogs tied for the top of the Central Division with the Texas Stars, who they face tomorrow.
Turns out the the combination of efforts has the IceHogs off and running.
“Our habits as individuals and as a team has been really good,” Sorensen said. “I think our goaltending has been good. I think the special teams have been really good. So it’s the combination of those three things that really kind of meshed well.”
But its the first-year players who have already stood out.
Del Mastro, and Allan Have Been Strong for the IceHogs
Both Nolan Allan and Ethan Del Mastro have been terrific for Rockford early on, and have also been paired together on the ice. Not bad for a couple of players Blackhawks fans hope are in Chicago sooner rather than later.
“They’ve been handling other teams top lines,” Sorensen said. “They’ve had powerplay and PK time and they’ve been handling themselves really well.”
Allan has been very good out of the gates for the IceHogs, registering his first point in Rockford’s first of two wins over Manitoba on Saturday. He’s also logged big boy minutes as well as with Del Mastro, his pairing partner.
An absolute beauty🤩 pic.twitter.com/me9yE4TEta
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) November 4, 2023
But it’s been Del Mastro who has continued on his trajectory from junior hockey. Four points in seven games, with a goal. Suddenly the kid who Chicago Hockey Now has as the tenth best prospect in the system is making his case in Rockford.
Drew Commesso Calm and Clutch as Ever
All Commesso has done since arriving in Rockford is win and get better with every game. It’s also being noticed by his coaches.
“He’s been good,” Sorensen said. “Timely saves kept us in game early on Sunday there when we got pushed a little bit there and he had a response there and help the team kind of get back on track.”
Oh, and the cool and calm Commesso in the crease? Still not breaking a sweat.
“Really calm demeanor in net,” Sorensen said. “Handles the puck well, just looks really dialed in. [He’s] reading pucks off of sticks and tips and yeah, looks good.”
At 3-1 with a goals against below two (1.76) and a save percentage at .936, the netminder has not only been consistent–but dominant.
For sure, there will be some challenging games. But Blackhawks fans wondering if the kids are on the right track, the early showing shines a bright ray of hope.
The IceHogs take on Texas this morning, Iowa on Friday, and Chicago on Sunday.