By Chris Block
Behind another stellar week of goaltending from Carter Hutton, the Rockford IceHogs picked up five of a possible six points last week to improve their record to 26-26-2-5.
This marks the first time the IceHogs have sat at the .500 mark since way back on October 28th when the team was 4-4-0-0 after a win at Peoria, the same night Kyle Beach went down with a dislocated right shoulder.
The week began on Wednesday night as a flu bug hit the Rockford dressing room. The IceHogs, weakened also by the Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig call ups to Chicago earlier in the week, and without Jeremy Morin, put forth an amazing effort against the visiting Abbotsford Heat, one of the AHL’s best road teams.
Ben Smith was credited with his team-leading 8th power play goal to get the ‘Hogs on the board first. The goal was originally given to Ben Youds but the official scoring was flipped the next day. That goal also ended a 0 for 30 slump for the IceHogs power play units. And they needed just 3 seconds on their first power play of the night to end that nightmarish streak. The newest IceHog, Matt Fornataro knocked in his second goal in his fourth game since joining the team. The game went to seven rounds in the shootout with Abbotsford scoring four times on Hutton while Heat goalie Danny Taylor allowed three from the IceHogs. Rockford lost 3-2 but picked up a point.
Carter Hutton was the only reason the IceHogs were even in the game in Milwaukee after forty minutes on Friday night. Since signing an NHL contract with the Blackhawks on Feb 24, Hutton has been incredible for Rockford. The game was a rematch of the goalie-duel from six days earlier at the BMO between Hutton and Atte Engren. Hutton prevailed in that game winning 2-1 in a shootout. Engren stopped 35 shots in that game. In Friday’s contest, Rockford was outshot 33-13 after two periods but the game was tied 1-1 heading into the third period. In the final frame, the IceHogs got goals from Brandon Pirri (his team-leading 22nd) and Jeremy Morin (13th) to take the game 3-1. Rockford is now 5-1-0-1 against Milwaukee this season and have five game left with the Admirals beginning with a home-and-home this coming Saturday and Sunday. Read more
Posted in IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Akim Aliu, Atte Engren, Ben Smith, Ben Youds, Brandon Pirri, Carter Hutton, Evan Brophey, Hannu Toivonen, IceHogs, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Beach, Marc-Olivier Vallerand, Pete Leblanc, Rob Klinkhammer, Ryan Stanton, Wade Flaherty
By Brad Gardner
The Chicago Blackhawks made it three straight wins as they captured round five (of six) against the Detroit Red Wings, grinding out another 2-1 win against the Central Division leaders. The ‘Hawks have now earned points in all five games against the Wings this season, earning a 3-0-2 record in the process. On Sunday, goals from Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane and another steady performance from Ray Emery earned the team two important points in the standings.
The Blackhawks made good on an early tripping penalty to Kyle Quincey, taking a 1-0 lead on Patrick Sharp’s power play goal 3:17 into opening period. Sharp’s slap shot from the blue line appeared to deflect off of defenseman Niklas Kronwall in front of the net and past Jimmy Howard. The goal was Sharp’s 25th of the season
Kronwall caught a break of his own a few minutes later, when he sent a slap shot from the blue line that beat Emery and tied the game up at one goal each. Emery’s vision was blocked by defenseman Johnny Oduya, leaving him helpless against the only goal of the game for the Wings. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Brad Gardner, Game recap
Tagged Andrew Shaw, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Jimmy Howard, Joey MacDonald, Johnny Oduya, Kyle Quincey, Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Pavel Datsyuk
By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks got some big games from a pair of former Ottawa Senators Friday night to get a three game road trip off to a promising start. Marian Hossa and Ray Emery figured heavily in the outcome as the Blackhawks bested a hot Senators squad by a 2-1 score.
The Hawks came up short on a golden opportunity four minutes in when Hossa took control of the puck in the Senators zone. He brought the puck behind the net and found Patrick Kane at the face off circle. Kane made a nice pass to Andrew Brunette. Despite there being plenty of open net, Brunette couldn’t get a handle on the pass, which looked like it was deflected.
Kane garnered a breakaway in the ninth minute but an active stick by Matt Gilroy prevented a shot. A Jared Cowen interference penalty at the 10:06 mark gave the Blackhawks a few shots on the power play, but as has been the case of late nothing came of it. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, Jason Spezza, Johnny Oduya, Marian Hossa, Matt Gilroy, Milan Michalek, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Ray Emery, Senators
“I’ll never watch the Hawks again”
By Rich Lindbloom
“What do you get when you fall in love?
A guy with a pin to burst your bubble
That’s what you get for all your trouble
I’ll never fall in love again” - Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Have you thrown in the towel on the Hawks this season? Had enough of third period meltdowns, awful rebounds and uninspired play from the core? Are Frolik and Bickell driving you up a wall? Have you found yourself asking, “Why did Stalberg do that?” Are you fed up with a defense that couldn’t clean their plate, let alone a crease? Do you lie awake in bed at night wondering, “Why can’t I quit you?” In short, what do we actually get ‘for all our trouble?’ Hell, at least my wife gets flowers on occasion. Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Andrew Shaw, Burt Bacharach, Corey Crawford, Corinthians, Diane Warwick, Joel Quenneville, Johnny Oduya, Jonas Gustavsson, Maple Leafs, Patrick Kane, Ray Emery, Sami Lepisto
By Brad Vandenberk
It was a night of debuts at the United Center on Wednesday. Newly acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya donned the number 27 and started the game paired with Brent Seabrook. Brandon Bollig answered the bat phone and was called up for duty. Bollig is 7th in the AHL in penalty minutes and was hoping to bring energy and grit to a Hawks team that has lost 3 straight games. The Hawks debuted their white jerseys at home as the Leafs chose this game to where their 3rd jersey’s which are a dark blue. Corey Crawford got the call for the home team and Jonas Gustavsson tried to right the good ship Maple Leaf. Jonathan Toews missed his 5th straight game with an upper body injury. Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarsson were still out with injuries as well. Sean O’Donnell, Michael Frolik and Brendan Morrison sat upstairs as five rookies would sport the Indian head. The Hawks had lost 12 of their last 16 coming in and the Leafs were not any better, as they had lost 9 of their last 10. This game would be a test of each goaltender as both teams have had shaky tendy’s. However, the Leafs haven’t beaten the Hawks in 9 years, 6 straight games. Read more