Nov 192017
 

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs capped a weekend home set on Sunday night with a second-consecutive shootout victory, this time over the Chicago Wolves.

The season’s first meeting between Interstate 90 rivals delivered the back-and-forth action and volatility their games typically inspire.

Chicago’s season has been off to an inauspicious beginning (4-9-1-0) despite a roster full of talent that would suggest better results. The Wolves are now the affiliate of the NHL expansion Vegas Golden Knights, while also carrying a handful of the St. Louis Blues top prospects.  Next season, the Blues will be with AHL San Antonio exclusively. But for now, frequent roster juggling, particularly on the Vegas’ end, has made it difficult for the Wolves’ squad to build much chemistry.

On Sunday, Rockford saw a late 2-goal lead slip away as the Wolves fought back to a tie on tally’s by defenseman Jake Walman and captain Paul Thompson – the latter a short-handed goal off a Laurent Dauphin giveaway.

Vince Hinostroza was once again the hero for the home team.  Hinostroza dangled his way to a highlight reel goal midway through the first and had one of two of the IceHogs goals in the shootout.

Jeff Glass, on his 32nd birthday, was between the pipes for Rockford and stopped 34 shots and another 2 Wolves’ shooters in the skills competition en route to his 5th consecutive win.  Glass got both starts on the weekend with J-F Berube having lost his last 5 starts after beginning the season 5-0. Continue reading »

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Oct 172016
 

By Chris Block

Rockford dropped both ends of a back-to-back in Cleveland over the weekend to begin the 2016-17 campaign at 0-2-0.

It’s the first time the IceHogs have opened a season 0-2 since 2012-13, when they dropped a back-to-back in Rosemont to start that schedule when the NHL was on lockout. [Our detailed rundown of Friday’s season opening loss and roster are here.]

Jeremy Langlois was Rockford’s lone scorer in the second defeat on Saturday.  Langlois’s tally came short-handed late in the second when the IceHogs were already down 3-0.  The final score was 3-1.

Aaron Palushaj, T.J. Tynan and Nick Moutrey scored for the defending AHL champs, formerly known as the Lake Erie Monsters.  Anton Forsberg started in goal for the Monsters for the second straight night, stopping 26 of 27 ‘Hogs shots.  Brad Thiessen, the Monsters other goalie, missed the set due to the birth of his second child.

Worse news for Rockford comes on the injury front. Continue reading »

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Oct 152016
 

By Chris Block

I awoke Saturday morning, thinking watching the IceHogs 2016-17 season opener in Cleveland from the night before would be a fun way to start my weekend.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rockford was beaten 2-1 on Friday in Cleveland.  This, the banner-raising night for the former Lake Erie Monsters – the team that also eliminated the IceHogs in the opening round of this past spring’s AHL postseason.

Since, Lake Erie has become the Cleveland Monsters – because, apparently these two entities are no longer ashamed to be associated with the other – and former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion, John Madden has taken over as head coach for the franchise, after Jared Bednar left in August to take over for Patrick Roy in Denver.  It’s the first time Madden has been head coach of anything, by the way.  Ex-Blackhawk Steve McCarthy serves as one of Madden’s assistants as well.

Friday’s 2-1 final didn’t accurately portray the distance between these two teams on this night. Continue reading »

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Feb 252016
 

By Chris Block

I finally had a chance to watch Rockford’s 6-4 win at Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

Rockford reclaimed the top spot in the AHL Central Division with the victory over the Milwaukee Admirals. The IceHogs are now in Cleveland to face off with the Lake Erie Monsters this Friday and Saturday nights. For the Monsters, Friday and Saturday will mark their second and third games in as many nights as Lake Erie are hosting a rare three home games in three consecutive nights this week.

Marko Dano made his return to the lineup after missing the last 2 and 2/3 games with a head injury. He cleared his final protocol on Tuesday.

It was a weird game.

Rockford dominated the first period, scoring 3 unanswered first period goals. In the end, it was good they did because Milwaukee handled the IceHogs quite favorably for the next 40 minutes. Continue reading »

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Feb 212016
 

By Chris Block

UPDATE ON INJURED ‘HOGS

–Marko Dano was injured in a game against Manitoba Moose this past Wednesday when Moose defenseman Julian Melchiori rode Dano hard into the half wall in the Manitoba end. Dano lost his footing a bit as Melchiori finished his check and Dano crashed hard into the dasher boards. He stayed down for a moment then immediately skated off to the locker room and did not return. That was during the first period of Wednesday morning’s 5-2 IceHogs’ loss.

After Saturday’s game, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent updated Dano’s status.

“[Dano]’s getting better,” said Dent. “He’s day-to-day. Hopefully we’ll see him this week.”

Officially, Dano is out with an upper body injury.

The 21-year old Slovakian winger has just 4 goals in 33 games for the IceHogs and has been largely unimpressive since joining the Blackhawks organization.

–Kyle Cumiskey’s status remains a moderate mystery. The veteran blue liner hasn’t played since November 18th. Cumiskey began the season on the injury list and played in just 5 games in November before being sidelined again. Continue reading »

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Jun 142015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks wrested control of their Stanley Cup Final from the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. A strong defensive effort, paired with opportunistic goals by Patrick Sharp and Antoine Vermette, resulted in a 2-1 Blackhawks triumph in Game 5.

The Hawks bring a 3-2 series lead into Chicago Monday night as they attempt to finish the series on home ice. It was far from easy; for the fifth time in as many games, the margin of victory was a single goal.

First Period-It was the Blackhawks who came out on the attack in the opening minutes. Brandon Saad got a couple of shots to Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop. The Lightning returned fire with an odd-man rush late in the second minute, though Victor Hedman’s centering attempt was broken up. The Hawks blitzed Bishop with a few pucks from the fourth line of Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw. The Lightning countered with a strong shift in the fifth minute. Continue reading »

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Jun 112015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks drew even with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, winning a breakneck-paced Game 4 by a score of 2-1. Brandon Saad potted the game-winner in the third period of a contest in which the Hawks absolutely had to prevail.

First Period-Ryan Callahan bounced a backhand attempt off of the chest of Corey Crawford a minute into the game after a giveaway by Brent Seabrook. A few seconds later, Nikita Kucherov just missed a tip-in attempt after another Hawks turnover. Cedric Paquette nearly had a chance on Crawford after another Chicago miscue in its own zone.

Chicago got set up in the offensive zone briefly in the fifth minute, though a Niklas Hjalmarsson attempt was knocked wide before it got to rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Going into the first media timeout seven minutes into the opening period, Tampa had carried most of the action to the Hawks, who had not logged a shot on goal. Continue reading »

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Jun 092015
 

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks found themselves lucky that they were able to get a split in Tampa Bay. The return to home ice on Monday where they are 7-1 in these playoffs was hopefully the spark that was required. The Bolts have been giving the Hawks fits with their speed. The Hawks do have their own knockout punch when it comes to their speed as well, but it seems like they have been on their heels for most of the game. There are 22,000 strong waiting to see their beloved Blackhawks at the UC during this Stanley Cup Final.

Ben Bishop did get the start in this one and limped his way to a 3-2 road win in the United Center which puts the Hawks playoff record to 7-2. It was a late goal with 3:11 left in the third period when Cedric Paquette beats Corey Crawford with a low snipe. There was no Cinderella story on this night as the Hawks fall 2-1 in the series giving up home ice advantage. Continue reading »

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Jun 072015
 

By Chris Block

The 2015 Stanley Cup Final is shifting to United Center in Chicago on Monday with the series tied 1-1 after Tampa Bay bested the Blackhawks 4-3 in front of 19,204 fans at Amalie Arena on Saturday night.

Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Brent Seabrook notched the visitor’s goals, but Tampa was able to put 4 past Corey Crawford, who made 20 saves in an effort Joel Quenneville characterized as “just okay.”

The Blackhawks entered the 3rd period of Game 2 as they did three nights prior in Game 1, trailing Tampa Bay by a goal. Saturday night was following a similar path as Wednesday’s series opener, with Chicago largely dominating the pace of the game in the final twenty minutes of regulation.

Brent Seabrook tied the game at 3:38 of the third when his blast from the top of the point blew by Ben Bishop’s glove hand. Seabrook’s 7th of the postseason put the score at 3-3, but was not without controversy. As the puck closed in on Bishop, Marian Hossa converged on Bishop’s crease as well. Hossa skated toward the crease with his stick pushing into Bishop’s left leg pad. It appeared to be a clear example of goaltender interference, whether intentional or not, but after a brief conversation among the officials, the goal was allowed to stand. Continue reading »

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Jun 032015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks stunned the full house at Amalie Arena in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night. The host Tampa Bay Lightning came out smoking and led for the bulk of the game. However, a pair of late Chicago goals shocked the Lightning, who fell to the Blackhawks 2-1.

Teuvo Teravainen was the catalyst for the third-period comeback, scoring the tying goal and creating the chance for the game-winner with a strong back check. Corey Crawford was outstanding in net, keeping Chicago close until the Hawks could strike behind the heroics of Teravainen.

First Period-The Hawks iced the puck shortly after the opening faceoff. Tampa Bay took advantage, going on the attack. By the time Chicago was called for another icing early in the fourth minute, the Lightning had four shots on net. Continue reading »

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