It’s not easy to find positives from the Fire’s 2015 season. Their back line hasn’t been consistent, big offseason signing Shaun Maloney flopped before returning to England, and coach Frank Yallop was dismissed with the team wallowing at the bottom of MLS.
Despite those negatives, one plus heading into 2016 could be the attacking trio of Gilberto, David Accam, and Harry Shipp. Each scored a goal in the Fire’s 3-1 win Saturday over New England, and all three figure to be prominent parts of the attack next season.
“Of course, we have a good team, if we keep doing the right things, we’ll get results,” Accam told the media Saturday. “Especially this season, we’ll try to build for next season. So we have good confidence going into next season.”
Help from above
When they open their season Saturday at Allstate Arena against Milwaukee, the Wolves should have four players who they might not have expected. On Monday, the parent-club St. Louis Blues assigned defensemen Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm and forwards Magnus Paajarvi and Ty Rattie to the Wolves, and pending further roster moves they’re all expected to be in the lineup.
Butler spent most of last season in St. Louis and Lindbohm appeared in 53 games with the Wolves, but couldn’t beat out Joel Edmundson andColton Parayko for spots on the Blues’ blue line. Paajarvi had 29 points last season with the Wolves and Rattie is one of the Blues’ top prospects and has collected 52 goals and 38 assists over the past two AHL seasons.
The Rockford IceHogs begin their season Friday in San Jose against the Barracuda, one of the five teams that relocated to California for this season. Rockford then plays Saturday at Stockton before opening its home schedule Oct. 17 against Texas.