Hogberg Backstopping Belleville on Playoff Push
The Belleville Senators are still flying high on a 13-game point streak ahead of tonight's visit to Binghamton and while the scoring of Drake Batherson and Logan Brown has been the forefront of the push, Marcus Hogberg has been the wall behind the success.
The Swedish goalie has started 11 of those games where he's posted an outstanding 8-0-0-3 record over that time. Hogberg hasn't lost in regulation since Jan. 18 to Syracuse.
"It's a lot of fun to play a lot of games and I think I've found my game and I've been able to trust myself more," Hogberg said. "I'm feeling more confident and that's helped."
It certainly has. After spending a brief period in Ottawa, where he made his NHL debut and played in four games with the Sens, Hogberg was sent back to Belleville before the game in Syracuse. Since then, he's been on a tear.
"The four games in Ottawa meant a lot and then when I came back to Belleville I was hoping to play consistently," Hogberg said.
The 24-year-old, who is 11-4-4-1 this season in 20 games with a 2.34 GAA and a .916 save percentage, gives a lot of credit to Belleville goaltending coach Kory Cooper who he insists has helped him make big strides in his third full year in North America.
"Coop and I have a great relationship and he's helped me and we talk a lot about how I can improve," Hogberg said. "He and Pierre Groulx think the same kind of things I do and they've helped me a lot of to improve my game. It's good we're on the same page."
For Cooper, he's noticed a shift in Hogberg all season long to how his game has improved. It dates even further to last season where Hogberg split time between both Belleville and the ECHL's Brampton Beast.
"He's learned to play a little more compact, a little more in control of his crease," Cooper said. "He's a big, strong, powerful guy who had a tendency to maybe scramble a little bit and I think that's fallen to the way side now.
"He's playing with a lot more control, he's behind the puck and gives himself a chance on every particular play and making those proper reads."
For Hogberg, he also attributes the recent successes on getting a little older. With experience now in the Swedish Elite League, as well as the NHL, AHL and ECHL, the Orebro native has seen his fair share of hockey.
"I've grown a lot as a person on the ice but also off," Hogberg said. "My angles weren't good enough last year and my consistency wasn't there either and I think I've found my game now and want to keep it rolling with what I'm doing right now and thinking one save at a time."
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