Tag Archives: Alec Richards

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 »

Share

Jeremy Morin Returns, Shoots – Scores; IceHogs lose in Abbotsford 4-3

photo: HockeyBroad.com

By Chris Block

The long-awaited return of Jeremy Morin took place in southern British Columbia on Friday night where the IceHogs travelled to take on the Abbotsford Heat.

In just his second shift since January 15th, Morin got a puck entering the Abbotsford zone from Chris DiDomenico.  Given time and space through the middle, Morin wasted no time cutting down the slot and deked Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving down and slipped the puck through to give Rockford a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game.  Morin gave a the big fist pump salute to himself in celebration.

Morin looked very good considering he’s largely been inactive for the past nine months.  It was a good sign on the goal that Morin did not hesitate to take open space through the middle of the ice when it was given to him.  After all, it was a similar situation against the Chicago Wolves back on January 15 that Morin was hip-checked and came down landing head first on the top of his helmet, sidelining the 19-year old for the remainder of the 2010-11 season and still feeling the effects of that unfortunate collision during training camp in September.

Rockford lost the game 4-3, after leading throughout the first 41 minutes of the contest.

Morin started the game on a line with Brandon Bollig and center Chris DiDomenico.  It can basically be considered the IceHogs’ fourth line at the moment.  By the end of the first period, Morin was bumped up to the top line with Brett McLean and Brandon Segal, taking Rob Klinkhammer’s spot.  Morin returned to DiDomenico’s line during the second period but eventually Ted Dent had Morin back up on the top line. Read more »

Share

Crawford’s groin, Salak’s mental break, IceHogs open 2-0, notes on Beach, Klink, DiDom, Segal and Campbell’s Panthers

Corey Crawford was given Monday’s practice off (Sunday was an off day for the entire team) to heal a slight groin pull, as reported by CSNChicago’s Tracey Myers.

More on that, as well as an update on Ben Smith with quotes from Myers here.

Jesse Rogers talks to Dan “Car Bomb” Carcillo about his Chicago debut this Thursday versus the Winnipeg Jets:

Carcillo on his nickname: “Everyone has nicknames. It just so happens mine is better than everyone else’s.”

Ben Smith (concussion) skated Monday but is not cleared for contact.

Viktor Stalberg (knee) skated on his own and Joel Quenneville intimated he could start skating with teammates in practice again later this week.

Carcillo practiced on a line with Kane and Hossa.

Jonathan Toews talks about getting that first goal out of the way… wanting to be a great offensive player. [Chris Kuc, Tribune]

–For those wanting to catch a glimpse of Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Kopecky and their new crew before the Hawks travel to South Florida on November 2, tonight is your chance.  Campbell skated just over 30 minutes and had the primary assist on both Panthers’ goals in a 2-0 win on Long Island in Florida’s only game so far.  Jose Theodore was in net for the shutout.

The Panthers will make their only national television appearance of the 2011-12 season, and just their third in four years tonight on VERSUS when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.

–For those who missed it, I uploaded Saturday night’s Committed Indian column here.

–No podcast this week.  Check out HockeeNight’s latest from Sunday night. Read more »

Share

Barons bang ends IceHogs’ streak; Blackhawks pick Gilbert to join Hogs

Rockford can go without seeing the Oklahoma City Barons for another seven months.

The bubble burst on Rockford’s five-game winning streak and overall recent upswing in the form of a 7-0 pummeling Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Hannu Toivonen made his fifth start in six games but was pulled in favor of Alec Richards during the first intermission.  Toivonen allowed three goals on nine shots.  Richards didn’t fair much better, letting another three by himself in the second period.  Richards stopped 14 of 18 Barons overall in finishing the game.

Toivonen has been pulled from 8 of his 41 starts this season.  Four of those have come against the Barons.

Friday, Oklahoma City scored all seven of their goals at even strength.  The Barons did go 0 for 2 on the power play but one of those lasted just 26 seconds and by the time they got their second chance the score was already 6-0.

The IceHogs finish the season series with OKC at a record of 1-4-1-0.  They were dominated 29-16 (-13) in the scoring column and their lone win came back on Jan 2 in Oklahoma City when the IceHogs needed six goals to defeat the Barons 6-5. Read more »

Share

Injured IceHogs advance season-long win streak; Jimmy Hayes debuts

Hours after the Chicago Blackhawks and NHL office made his first professional hockey contract official, Jimmy Hayes got his first experience in the pro ranks for the Rockford IceHogs.

Under the guise of an amateur-try out contract, Hayes made his debut in Cleveland on Wednesday night as the IceHogs took on the Lake Erie Monsters.  Hayes’ entry-level pro contract with the Hawks kicks in on July 1st.

Hayes acquitted himself quite well in his unofficial pro debut.  He exhibited nice hands, decent wheels and didn’t seem too out of place all things considered.  The adjustment from college to the pro-pace wasn’t too much of a factor, at least in Lake Erie.  Oklahoma City on Friday poses a different challenge.

On his first shift, skating with Mathis Olimb and Ben Smith on the Hogs’ second-line Hayes showed good strides in transition leading a Hogs’ odd-man rush up the right side boards.  Hayes strung a slick pass just an inch or two further than Olimb could handle though, coming down just left of the slot and they didn’t get a scoring chance there.

In the middle period, Hayes again led a rush, but it also amounted to nothing.  Hayes was carrying the lead with Olimb and Andy Bohmbach on a 3-on-2, but Hayes lost the handle as he strode through the right circle.  He finished the game with three shots.  He’s not shy on the body but it appears he prefers to use his stick and he’ll have to shake that too much finesse with his head down college habit.  So its great for the Hawks, and IceHogs, Hayes is able to join up for some valuable minutes before an all-important off season.

Before the game Bill Peters noted he plans to dress Hayes in all seven (Wednesday included) of the IceHogs remaining games.  Peters was down six regulars (add another if you count Jeremy Morin) on Wednesday, so Hayes saw as much or more ice time as he figures to get in any single outing over the final two weeks of the season. Read more »

Share

IceHogs mid-season swoon in detail, Morin injury update, stats and more

Rockford continues its busiest week of the season tonight when they bus to Rosemont, Illinois for the 7th of 10 matchups this season with the Chicago Wolves.  The two teams have split the games even so far.

As a team, the IceHogs have been nothing short of awful of late.

Rockford has lost 13 of their last 15 games (2-11-2-0).  Seven of those losses have come on home ice.  When this recent stretch of losses began back on January 21st, Rockford was three games above the .500 mark (19-16-1-4) having won seven of ten.

Today, the IceHogs (21-27-3-4) are deeply trenched in last place in the West division, trailing 7th place Chicago by 15 points.  With only 25 games left in the regular season, the IceHogs would essentially have to run the table now in order to grab a spot in the postseason.  Just two teams in the league (Adirondack and Bridgeport) hold fewer wins than Rockford.

The chief culprit in this recent swoon has been some inexplicable poor starts.

Dating back to Jan 21st, Rockford is being outscored 27-11 in the opening period.  It gets a little better in the middle stanza (10gf-15ga) while the 3rd period rings dead-even (14-14).

On five occasions in the last 15 starts, Rockford has trailed by two or more goals after the opening twenty minutes.  Three times, they trailed by three or more.  On Feb 13 at Milwaukee, the IceHogs trailed after the first period 5-1.

While the goaltending of Alec Richards and Hannu Toivonen has been less than adequate at times over the downturn, Rockford’s defense has largely been to blame. Read more »

Share