Rockford IceHogs (UHL)
|League||United Hockey League|
|Home arena||Rockford MetroCentre|
Red, Black, White
|Head coach||Steve Martinson|
|Affiliates||Nashville Predators (NHL)
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
|1991–1993||Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks|
|1993–1996||Thunder Bay Senators|
|1996–1999||Thunder Bay Thunder Cats|
|Division Championships||1 (2005–06)|
|Colonial Cups||1 (2006–07)|
The Rockford IceHogs were a professional ice hockey team in Rockford, Illinois USA. They were a member of the United Hockey League from 1999 to 2007. The IceHogs played their home games at the MetroCentre. In 2007, the name and logo were purchased and applied to the current American Hockey League franchise. After the transfer of the name and logo to the AHL franchise was complete, the UHL IceHogs then ceased operations.
The IceHogs began play in October 1999. The team name, IceHogs, was selected during a "name the team" contest. The IceHogs were owned by Tri Vision Sports, LLC prior to acquisition by the Rockford MetroCentre. The team came into existence when United Sports Ventures (USV) bought out the rights of the Thunder Bay Thunder Cats franchise. The team originally joined the Colonial Hockey League in 1991 as the Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks. On Oct. 23, 2002, Tri Vision Sports purchased the franchise from USV.
During the 2006–07 season, the IceHogs played in the UHL's Western Division with the Quad City Mallards, Chicago Hounds, Bloomington Prairie Thunder, and Fort Wayne Komets. The IceHogs were coached by Steve Martinson, who helped lead the IceHogs to their best season in franchise history in 2005–06, his first behind the bench for the IceHogs. The IceHogs have also been named the 2004–05 and 2005–06 UHL Member Franchise of the Year for the club's success on and off the ice. The IceHogs won their first division championship in the 2005–06 season. The Ice Hogs won their first (and last) Colonial Cup in a hard fought game 7 at home on Thursday, May 24, 2007, by a score of 3 to 1 against the Kalamazoo Wings.
The IceHogs and Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League signed an affiliation agreement on December 13, 2005. The IceHogs supplied players to Nashville's primary affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Every year the team held a "Jersey Night" during which the team wore a special, one-off alternate jersey and auctioned them off for charity. Many of the alternate jerseys were related to cultural icons such as Elvis Presley and St. Patrick's Day, or were autographed by Rockford-area celebrities such as Rick Nielsen.
The UHL IceHogs were replaced by an American Hockey League team of the same name for the 2007–08 season. The MetroCentre purchased the IceHogs name and logo from the prior ownership group and applied them to the new AHL franchise. The new team has also signed a 10-year player development contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
United Hockey League season-by-season results
United Hockey League (1999–2007)
|1999–00||74||32||34||8||72||238||268||1712||Lost in 1st Round|
|2000–01||74||30||38||6||66||207||256||1596||Did not qualify|
|2001–02||74||27||41||6||60||234||278||1631||Did not qualify|
|2002–03||76||35||34||7||77||233||271||1698||Lost in 1st Round|
|2003–04||76||28||43||5||61||215||294||1821||Did not qualify|
|2004–05||80||46||25||9||101||246||203||2243||Lost in 2nd round|
|2005–06||76||49||19||9||105||292||213||2592||Lost in 2nd round|
|2006–07||76||48||21||7||103||266||193||2132||Won the Colonial Cup 4 games to 3, beating the Kalamazoo Wings|