Nov 052012
 

 By Chris Block

Puck Chatter~Radio returned Monday night to recap a full weekend of Rockford IceHogs hockey.

Kyle Beach, two weeks removed from being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games, emerged as one of the bright lights in an otherwise strange and alarming weekend for the IceHogs.  After posting 3 goals and 2 assists in two games over the weekend, Beach was named AHL Player of the Week on Monday.  We’ll discuss Beach’s weekend and his impact in Saturday’s huge comeback win over Lake Erie as well as listen to his own thoughts discussing Saturday night’s wild victory.

We also discuss Jimmy Hayes at his new position, how that came to be and what may be the thought process behind it.  You’ll hear Ted Dent’s thoughts on the officiating in Saturday night’s affair, in which the IceHogs were short-handed a total of nine times.

Also we delve into listener emails on topics such as Alexander Salak, the accurate story on Rostislav Olesz‘s current status, more on Kyle Beach, Jeremy Roenick‘s new book, big Birthdays upcoming, NHL13, update on bonertime~! and much much more.

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Nov 022012
 

By Chris Block

After getting off to an auspicious 0-3-0-1 start to the 2012-13 season, the IceHogs rolled off 4 straight wins over eight days last week to vault themselves into second place in the AHL’s Midwest Division and two points behind the first-place Chicago Wolves.

Those same Wolves will travel up Interstate 90 tonight to face the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.

In the only other two meetings between the two teams this season, the Wolves bested the IceHogs back on opening weekend, both times at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.  The Wolves begin their annual November road trip with tonight’s game.  They’ll be on the road for their next five games due to the annual circus stint at Allstate Arena.

Chicago defeated the IceHogs 1-0 in a shootout on October 13th and then again 5-3 the following day. Eddie Lack was in goal for the Wolves both nights and is expected to start between the pipes again for Chicago tonight. Continue reading »

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Oct 222012
 

{A huge thanks to Jon Fromi for sending in this IceHogs report since I was away this weekend for a wedding and have yet to see a second of the weekend’s games. –Chris Block}

By Jon Fromi

The Rockford IceHogs managed to remove the goose egg from the win column in their fifth game of the 2012-13 season. After a weekend that started with back to back losses to Peoria and Charlotte, a crowd of just over 2,905 at the BMO Harris Bank Center watched Jimmy Hayes score his first two goals of the season in the third period as the IceHogs defeated the Checkers Sunday by a score of 5-4.

Charlotte found several ways to bounce pucks past Alec Richards, but Rockford was able to prevail with an offensive effort that was absent in a pair of one-goal defeats Friday and Saturday. Richards, who spelled Carter Hutton, picked up the win in his first start of the season, making 23 saves on 27 shots.

After a scoreless first period, Rockford staked a 2-0 advantage on goals by Martin St. Pierre and Brandon Pirri. St. Pierre took a feed from Marcus Kruger in the slot just 58 seconds into the second period to open the scoring. Pirri took a pass from Ben Youds late in the eighth minute, pulled up in the high slot, and sent a slap shot over the blocker of Justin Peters to give the IceHogs a two-goal lead at the 7:55 mark. Continue reading »

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Oct 052012
 

By Chris Block

Once night removed from a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the Chicago Wolves in their first preseason game, the Rockford IceHogs returned home to clip the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in a shootout victory.

In the end, the three deciding IceHogs’ goals all came off sticks of players who played or finished last season with the Blackhawks.

Carter Hutton started the game for Rockford and gave up a deflating goal against to Milwaukee’s Jani Lajunen at 7:30 of the period.  The goal defined the first period for the IceHogs.  Lajunen picked up a puck along the goal line to Hutton’s left and tossed a weak backhand attempt toward the Rockford goaltender.  Hutton was a couple feet off the post and was caught off guard by the shot, which hit him in the left pad and trickled over the goal line to give the Admirals the early lead.

The period as a whole was largely forgettable for the IceHogs.  With 11 players seeing their first game action of the preseason, nearly everyone seemed sluggish and the team was out of synch.

With four and a half minutes left in the first period, Daniel Bang (apparently pronounced “Bong”  So, Dan Bong-banged in the rebound.  Okay, I’m done.) scored a power play tally for Milwaukee when he picked up a rebound and beat Hutton to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead.  A hooking penalty to Brandon Pirri had sent Milwaukee to the power play.  Marcus Kruger and Jimmy Hayes were sent out kill the first portion of Pirri’s penalty.  But the trouble began when Kruger was kicked out of the circle on the defensive zone draw.  Hayes then came in and lost the draw, pinning Rockford against it in their own zone. Continue reading »

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Sep 112012
 

By Chris Block

This week we’re joined by Mike Peck, play-by-play voice of the Rockford IceHogs, to preview the 2012-13 IceHogs’ team.

On this show we discuss the progressions made in the games of prospects Carter Hutton, Brandon Bollig, Dylan Olsen, Ryan Stanton, Joe Lavin and others. We take a look at who will emerge as the IceHogs team leaders and captains for this season, the changes in Jeremy Morin‘s game, the impact Rob Flick can have in the Rockford lineup, Pete Leblanc‘s journey to an NHL contract, Rostislav Olesz‘s status as well as the potential IceHogs roster should the NHL Lockout proceed as expected.

Mike also gives us the scouting report on Rockford signing Martin St. Pierre.

We discuss the ramifications of today’s Michal Rozsival signing by the Blackhawks and how that move will impact Rockford’s roster. [see Depth Chart]

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PuckChatter~Radio will return next week with the first show of the dreaded NHL Lockout period.

**Next week seems like the perfect time to do some Blackhawks prospects / Rockford IceHogs Q&A from you, the listener.  So if you have any questions in general about this season’s IceHogs, or follow ups to anything Mike and I discussed on this show, post those questions in the comment section below, or its probably better to email those to me directly at PuckChatter@Gmail.com.

And again, if you missed last week’s interview with former Blackhawk Steve Ludzik, check it out!  Ludzy is a tremendous interview and was very generous with his time with us.  As always, he told some great stories and dropped some interesting nuggets down for us.

**I should point out a correction from the show.  I misspoke.  Michal Rozsival’s deal is a 1-year, $2M agreement.


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Aug 222012
 

Photo credit: www.sskoveralltalltid.se

By Chris Block

For the second consecutive year, the Blackhawks have teamed up with a European league team for a friendly preseason tune-up.

Twelve Blackhawks players and prospects are in the town of Södertälje, Sweden this week taking part in a week-long mini conditioning camp.

These Blackhawks are guests of the Södertälje Sportklubb (SSK), a team in the Allsvenskan league, a level below the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien), as the Södertälje team makes its final preparations to begin its 2012-13 regular season.

List of Blackhawks players and prospects in Sweden for this week’s workouts:

Nick Leddy
Marcus Kruger
Dylan Olsen
Jimmy Hayes
Kevin Hayes
Ben Smith
Brandon Pirri
Jeremy Morin
Brandon Saad
Adam Clendening
Klas Dahlbeck

Brandon Bollig will join the group on Wednesday after clearing up a passport issue. Continue reading »

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Aug 172012
 

By Chris Block

The American Hockey League released its 2012-13 regular season schedule on Friday.

For the Rockford IceHogs, the 76-game jaunt begins on Saturday October 13th at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois against the Chicago Wolves.  The two teams will face off again in the same venue the next afternoon.

Rockford’s home opener takes place Saturday October 20th in the first of a two-game weekend set with the Charlotte Checkers at BMO Harris Bank Center.

You can download a PDF of the Rockford IceHogs schedule here.  You can also view it here.

The IceHogs’ regular season home finale comes on Friday April 12th against the visiting Chicago Wolves.

Six of the IceHogs final eight regular season games will come on the road, including their final three.

Rockford completes the regular season in Austin, Texas on Saturday April 20th.

This season’s slate also comes with a neutral site game to be played on Sunday November 18th at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The IceHogs opponent will be the Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. Continue reading »

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Jun 202012
 

By Chris Block

Word is the NHL is releasing its 2012-13 regular season schedule on Thursday.

–Rockford IceHogs re-signed forward Brandon Svendsen to an AHL contract for the 2012-13 season on Tuesday.

The 5-10, 176 pound Svendsen appeared in 39 games with the IceHogs last season after joining the team on January 10th.  The Minnesota native posted 4 goals and 10 assists for Rockford.  Two of Svendsen’s goals were game-winners and his tally with 43 seconds left in regulation in the season finale on April 14th sent that game to overtime.

Svendsen was signed to a professional try-out contract on January 10th and made his IceHogs debut in Rosemont for a Wednesday matinee game against the Chicago Wolves.

At the time, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith were all on recall with the Blackhawks.  Other IceHogs forwards Rostislav Olesz and Kyle Beach were each sidelined with shoulder injuries, creating an opening for Svendsen. Continue reading »

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Jun 182012
 

By Chris Block

Blackhawks announced they’ve re-signed three restricted free agents today.

Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and goaltender Carter Hutton all inked new deals.

According to reports, Smith and Bollig each signed two-year contracts.

Bollig’s first year is a two-way deal.  He’ll be paid at a rate of $575,000 in the NHL and $105,000 if he plays in the AHL.  His second year is a one-way contract paying him $575,000.

Ben Smith is also on a two-way contract for 2012-13.  Smith will reportedly earn $550,000 when he’s playing at the NHL level and $105,000 in the minors.  In 2013-14, Smith has a guaranteed contract for $575,000.

Carter Hutton agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

–On Friday, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers.  The rest of the league has apparently passed on Salak.  Today it was announced the Blackhawks and Salak agreed to an outright release. Continue reading »

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Apr 192012
 

By Chris Block

Last Saturday in Rockford, we had a chance to catch up with IceHogs forward Kyle Beach for a season-in-review discussion.

The Blackhawks 2008 first-round (#11 overall) draft pick missed 57 games this season due to a dislocated right shoulder that needed surgery.  Beach suffered the injury on October 28 in Peoria during a fight with Rivermen forward Stefan Della Rovere.

After extensive rehabbing and four and a half months sitting in the stands, Beach returned to the IceHogs lineup on March 23 against the Houston Aeros.

Prior to the injury, Beach had posted 3 goals, 3 assists in the IceHogs initial 8 regular season games.  Beach registered an assist in his first game back and scored in his third game, which was the back end of a 3-in-3 at Milwaukee on March 25.

Although he appeared in just 19 games this season, there were some encouraging steps Beach took during his second pro season, as we discuss in this audio and the interview with Beach.

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In this interview with the 11th overall pick of the summer of 2008, we discuss….

-Positives Beach takes out of another disappointing season

-His thoughts after being left out of “Black Aces” group after ’10-11 season Continue reading »

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