Tag Archives: Ben Smith

Special teams lift IceHogs past Peoria

By Chris Block

Rockford emerged victorious in another see-saw affair with division rival Peoria on Wednesday night.

The IceHogs got out to a two goal lead as Adam Clendening scored in the first minute of the game and Brandon Saad notched a short-handed goal later in the period.  But the IceHogs then allowed three unanswered first period goals and trailed 3-2 after the opening frame.  Rockford responded, scoring three unanswered goals of their own in route to an eventual 5-4 win.

Jeremy Morin was the biggest factor in the comeback, scoring power play tallies in the second and third period.  Martin St. Pierre had the other Rockford goal.

“That was a big win for us,” said Morin, the game’s number one star, after the game.

“We needed it.  It was good to get the power play going.  We need to start producing [on the power play] and not taking so many penalties.  That is going to be huge for us.” Read more »

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IceHogs Fall to Aeros in St. Paul

By Chris Block

A fluke Adam Clendening skate blowout and another case of mindless minor penalties made all the difference on Sunday night as the Rockford IceHogs suffered their 8th regulation loss in 15 games (6-8-0-1), falling to the Houston Aeros 3-2.

On the positive side, the IceHogs’ power play snapped out of its 0 for 15 funk in going 2 for 4 on the night.  Ben Smith and Adam Clendening, making up for his ill-timed clumsiness less than a minute earlier, tallied Rockford’s goals with the man advantage.

The game was played before a crowd of 11,175 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  Houston is the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.  Sunday served as a home game for the Aeros.

Carter Hutton was good, stopping 18 of the 21 shots he faced, but he almost had no chance to stop Johan Larsson’s goal after Clendening blew a tire out next to Hutton’s net and left a puck out in the low slot for Larsson to bang home, giving Houston the decisive 3-1 advantage with 9:59 remaining in the third period. Read more »

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The Rockford Files: Dent on the Jimmy Hayes Center Experiment, Notes on Beach, Saad’s return, Bad starts, the offense and more

By Chris Block

Each week from now until the end of the season we will bring you a first-hand account of the latest news, developments and analysis of this season’s Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Conflict of Interests?

“Well, we’re 1-3.  So, that’s my assessment.”

That was IceHogs coach Ted Dent this past Saturday night after a 4-2 loss at home when asked to give his assessment of Jimmy Hayes’ performance in the four games after the decision was made to move Hayes from his regular spot at right wing, over to the center ice position.

Eight games into the season, the edict came down from Chicago Blackhawks management that they wanted to see how Hayes would do at center.

Little forward thinking went into this decision either, apparently.  Blackhawks Director of Player Development Barry Smith was quickly dispatched to Rockford to go over film and one-on-one instruction over three days with Hayes, who admittedly hadn’t played the center position since he was a kid.

Not during training camp.  Not over the summer when Hayes was a part of a group of 12 top Blackhawks prospects who traveled to Sweden for a five-day August mini-camp.  No, during the last week of October was when the IceHogs coach received word he was to play Hayes at center until further notice.

“No, I haven’t played there in a long time,” Jimmy Hayes said last week. Read more »

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IceHogs carry 4-game win streak into this weekend; Dent on sitting Dylan Olsen; Leddy, Saad injury update and tons of news and notes

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. Read more »

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IceHogs victorious in 3-2 preseason shootout decision; Notes on Clendening, Svendsen injuries and two releases

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. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Rockford Preview with Mike Peck, Voice of the IceHogs

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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12 Blackhawks in Sweden this week for mini-camp

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. Read more »

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Audio: PuckChatter~Radio, e.110 Previews Blackhawks 2012 Draft, To Goalie or Not to Goalie, the news and much more

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio is back this week to preview this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft happening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Consol Energy Center.

The Blackhawks currently hold the 18th overall pick in the first round.

On the show, we discuss the possibilities of what Stan Bowman and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley may do with that pick, as well as what they should not do.

It’s a special Draft Primer mixed in with other odds, ends, Blackhawks news and hockey talk.

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Some of the topics discussed on tonight’s 60 minute show…… Read more »

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IceHogs re-sign Svendsen, Farjestad gets Salak; Notes on private prospect mini-camp, Haviland and Team USA

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. Read more »

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Hawks re-sign three, part ways with Salak; plus notes on Hawks draft and goaltending, Ed Belfour and Jimmy Waite

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. Read more »

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