By Chris Block
Rockford IceHogs (8-10-1-0) drop the puck on a three-game weekend tonight when the Lake Erie Monsters (9-10-1-1) visit the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7:05. This will be the first time this season Rockford has had to play three games on consecutive days. They’ll do so again next weekend. In both cases, the first two games are at home, followed by a game day bus trip on Sunday.
Tonight’s game also marks the return of former Hogs Evan Brophey, Hugh Jessiman and defenseman Mike Brennan.
Brophey comes in on a 4-game point streak (2g, 2a). He registered his first career hat trick on 11/11/11 against San Antonio. Brophey turns 25 on Saturday. His IceHogs/Blackhawks tenure ended in suspension last March when he stepped out of the penalty box and destroyed Hamilton Bulldogs forward Hunter Bishop with an open ice blind side hit. Brophey received a season-ending 7-game suspension after playing in two subsequent games that weekend before the AHL got around to holding a hearing following the March 25th hit.
Hugh Jessiman had posted a goal in four consecutive games prior to Lake Erie’s 2-1 loss to Houston on Wednesday night. In 17 games this season, Jessiman has 7 goals and 9 points. Last season, prior to being sent to the Panthers in the Jack Skille-Michael Frolik/Alexander Salak swap, Jessiman had just 3 goals and 5 points in 25 games with Rockford. Jessiman was struggling with groin issues while with the IceHogs.