Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hutton Comes Up Large in ‘Hogs 3-2 Shootout Win

By Jon Fromi

The Rockford IceHogs were looking to get a win streak started against the visiting Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Thanks to a big game by Carter Hutton in net, Rockford goes up to Milwaukee with a chance for a weekend trifecta.

Hutton stopped 41 of 43 shots fired his way in 65 minutes, then turned away the Griffins when it counted in the shootout as the IceHogs outlasted Grand Rapids 3-2 for their second straight victory.

As was the case Friday in the win over Chicago, the Hogs would go down 1-0 in the first period.  With Brandon Bollig in the box for interference, Gustav Nyquist was the recipient of a nice rebound off a shot from Brendan Smith. Nyquist knocked the puck past Hutton as Grand Rapids converted on their second power play of the night.

There would be no explosion of goals to follow. The IceHogs were outshot 14-5 in the first 20 minutes and failed to convert on any of their five power play attempts on the night. Read more »

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IceHogs offense sparks early, Rockford earns impressive 6-3 victory over rival Chicago Wolves

                           

By Chris Block

A combination of Rockford’s offense gaining new life and Carter Hutton’s 32 saves ended the IceHogs’ four-game losing streak and lifted the baby-Hawks to a 6-3 win over rival Chicago Wolves.

“It was huge,” alternate captain Brett McLean said of the swoon-snapping victory.  “We felt lately that maybe we had not gotten the results that we’ve deserved.”

After scoring just five goals total in their previous four games, the IceHogs’ offense exploded for a four-goal first period and six goals in all before a crowd of 4,272 at BMO Harris Bank Center.

“It was a good, hard-paced fast game,” said IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent.  “I thought we played as close to a 60-minute game as we could.  There were a couple breakdowns in the second period, but other than that, I thought we played a solid game.”

Carter Hutton made his third-consecutive start since being recalled from Toledo last weekend after the Alexander Salak injury.

“I thought he was good, especially on the power play in the third (period),” Dent said of Hutton’s performance after his team defeated the Wolves for the first time this season in three matchups.  “I thought he was solid.  He gave us a real good chance to win tonight.” Read more »

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IceHogs news and notes: Olesz and power play tied to recent slide, Froese back, McLean to leave team, Richards struggles, Bollig fight

By Chris Block

It’s another 3-in-3 this weekend for the Rockford IceHogs, beginning tonight when the Chicago Wolves drive up Interstate 90 to the BMO Harris Bank Center for a 7:05 puck drop.

The Wolves have won each of two meetings two far, a back-to-back, home and home affair on October 21-22.  Rockford and Chicago will see each other 12 times this season.  The final meeting coming on Sunday February 26th in Rockford.  After tonight, the two teams will next face off on December 29th at Allstate Arena.  So, the other eight meetings will come in January and February.

Chicago (9-8-1-3) is 4th in the West Division, sitting 5 points (and with a game in hand) above 5th and last-place Rockford.  It’s already becoming a broken record, but the IceHogs really need these two points tonight to keep from falling too far behind the pack.

Saturday night, Grand Rapids visits the BMO.  It will be the final time this season to see Detroit Red Wings prospects at the BMO.  Rockford has defeated the Griffins in two meetings already this season, including a 3-2 opening night victory in front of a crowd of 5,434.  The two teams will wrap their 4-game season series this coming Wednesday night in Grand Rapids.

On Sunday, the IceHogs travel to Milwaukee (13-6-0-1) for their first visit to the Bradley Center this season.  These two teams have yet to face off in 2011-12 and will do so 12 times before its all said and done.  The Admirals are a modest 6-4 at home this year.  By Sunday, Milwaukee will also be playing their 3rd game in as many days as they host Grand Rapids tonight, and visit the Chicago Wolves tomorrow evening.

Watch the IceHogs: Tonight’s Rockford IceHogs – Chicago Wolves game will be televised locally in Chicago by the Wolves at 7pm on My50-Chicago, WPWR channel 50. Read more »

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Hossa Reaches Milestone, Sparks Blackhawks to Overtime Win Over Islanders

Sharp & Hossa – photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got three-point nights each from Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp Thursday night while visiting the New York Islanders.

Hossa notched his 400th career NHL goal in a 3-2 overtime victory. Despite letting a 2-0 advantage melt away, the ‘Hawks came up with a big road effort to claim another two points.

The Islanders nearly drew first blood five minutes in when Kyle Okposo picked off Sharps attempt to pass to Duncan Keith in the Islanders zone. Okposo hit John Tavares with the puck, but Ray Emery stopped the shot attempt with help from some back pressure from Keith.

Instead, it was Chicago who opened the scoring at the 11:42 mark when Hossa went to the bank off of New York goalie Al Montoya. The fortunate bounce resulted in Hossa reaching goal number 400, and the ‘Hawks led 1-0.

Chicago doubled the advantage early in the second. Niklas Hjalmarsson stripped Okposo of the puck and found Hossa near the red line with a long pass. Hossa came up the boards and into the Islander zone before finding Sharp, who one-timed a lazer over Montoya high on the stick side. Read more »

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CarBomb Defuses Bluesy Bully, David Backes

Dan Carcillo vs Skut Farkus

By Rich Lindbloom

In the movie A Christmas Story the only thing that saves the town bully, Scut Farkus, from total annihilation, was Ralphie’s mom. The refs may have saved Backes on Saturday when Danny Carcillo finally had enough of the Blues attempt at intimidation. In a reversal of their game plan when they shut the Hawks out on Nov 8th, 3-0, the Blues regressed to malfeasance and thuggery as an ill advised strategy. Truly, you’d think they’d finally get it by now. It was a statement game for the Blues, a game where they once and for all hoped to dispel the aura of Blackhawk supremacy. Next time, maybe they should stick to playing hockey. To the Blues credit, they didn’t resort to the obligatory tomfoolery their fans have grown accustomed to at the end of the game. The term ‘sore losers’ has been equated with St Louis Blues hockey for quite some time now. Read more »

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Toews can’t do it all; Coyotes 4-3 in shootout

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks tried to go for their third straight win Monday night, as they were host to the Phoenix Coyotes.  No more then six days ago those same Coyotes out played the Hawks to a 4-1 victory.  This was the third game in 4 nights for the Hawks.

This game was carried nationally on TV through Versus and TSN2 with US Hall of Fame inductee Mike “Doc” Emrick and Eddie O on the call, with Pierre McGuire between the benches.  Corey Crawford and Mike Smith started in their respected nets, which turned out to be the same goalie match up as 6 nights ago.

The lines mimicked what coach Q put together in St Louis on Saturday night.  Dan Carcillo was on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Marcus Kruger was still centering the second line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on the wings.  Dave Bolland centered the third line with Ben Smith and Michael Frolik and finally Viktor Stalberg was on the fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette.  Bryan Bickell, Sami Lepisto and the mighty John Scott were the scratches. Read more »

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Podcast: HockeeNight & Chris Block Thing-A-Thong

Last night, I joined the Hockeenight triumvirate for their weekly PuckCast~!

The PuckCast is one of my favorite ways to waste time during the week, and so it should be yours too.

We mostly discussed the state of the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs, but also sexual orientation and cereal (yes, they are tied), Olive Garden and Slaky’s issues with the St. Louis Blues.

Enjoy.

You can also download the MP3 file here.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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Positive news on injury to Alexander Salak

By Chris Block

The best news to come out of the weekend from an IceHogs’ perspective is that the injury Alexander Salak suffered in Friday night’s loss to Lake Erie is not nearly as bad as first appeared.

Salak was making an innocent looking stop twenty seconds into the second period when he flattened out on the ice favoring his left leg.  It did not appear that any other player made significant contact with Salak.

After a couple minutes, teammates helped Salak across the ice to an awaiting stretcher and he was rolled to the trainer’s room.  Upon getting up, Salak could put no weight at all on the leg.

Asked for a status on Salak 24 hours later, coach Ted Dent had a positive update.

“He’s just day-to-day.  I don’t think it’s too serious.”

A source confirms Salak does not have a knee injury.  It is a sprain to another part of the leg. Read more »

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IceHogs best effort can’t take the Heat

By Chris Block

Not even the IceHogs best collective effort of the season was enough to earn points before a crowd of 3,734 at BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday night.

Twenty-four hours after getting recalled from ECHL Toledo, goaltender Carter Hutton was a minute and twenty seconds away from securing at least a point for his team when Abbotsford’s Ben Walter jabbed a rebound past Hutton to hand Rockford a heart-wrenching 2-1 defeat.

For the IceHogs, the loss ended a five-game home stand with a sour taste and 2-3-0-0 record to show for it.  The team managed just one goal in each of its last three games, all losses.  After starting the home stand with two wins – a 6-3 victory over San Antonio and another 7-3 clubbering of Peoria, Rockford’s home record now stands at a dismal 3-9-0-0.

Overall, Rockford is now four games below.500 at 8-12-1-0.

Losses on back-to-back nights at home certainly stings, but head coach Ted Dent wasn’t disappointed overall with his team’s performance against the Heat.

“Last night was a different game than tonight,” Dent explained.  “Tonight was a playoff-type atmosphere.  It was a fast game… hard-hitting.  The only area of improvement I think we could have had there was scoring on the power play.” Read more »

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Hossa strikes twice; Hawks hit right notes in St. Lou

Hossa Face – photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks brought a better effort in the second half of the back-to-back, downing the division rival St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-2.

Ray Emery earned his fourth win of the season over the Blues’ Brian Elliott, who has been one of the league’s top goalies so far this season. The see-saw opening 30 minutes included the Blues relinquishing a pair of one-goal advantages to the ‘Hawks before Chicago’s special teams took over in the middle frame to capture and secure the lead for the visiting Blackhawks.

Blues forward David Perron returned to the line-up for his first game since November 4th, 2010, having missed 97 games while he was out with a concussion. In his second shift of the game, Perron continued his torment of the Blackhawks with the game’s opening goal.

Patrik Berglund’s centering pass deflected off a Chicago skate and rolled directly onto Perron’s stick in front of the Chicago goal. The winger had time and patiently played the puck to his forehand before roofing his shot over a downed Emery. Steve Montador was the closest ‘Hawk, but was unable to make the play with his stick as it was tangled up in Blues forward Matt D’Agostini. Read more »

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