Tag Archives: Ben Smith

IceHogs keep playoffs in sight with big win in Milwaukee

By Chris Block

One night after picking up a huge 7-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves in their regular season home finale, the Rockford IceHogs hit the road, again set out to keep their AHL postseason bid alive in a crucial divisional matchup with the 8th place Milwaukee Admirals.

Rockford came into Saturday’s contest in 9th place in the Western Conference, tied at 81 in points with Milwaukee, though the Admirals hold two games in hand over the IceHogs heading into the final week of the regular season.

On the heels of Brandon Pirri’s franchise record 6-point (1 goal, 5 assists) night and Ben Smith’s hat-trick in the win over the Wolves, the IceHogs had to beat the Admirals on Saturday if they had any hopes of sneaking into the postseason.

Backed by a 20 save performance by Carter Hutton and goals by Adam Clendening, Ben Smith and Klas Dahlbeck, Rockford did just that, defeating the Admirals 3-1 on Saturday before a crowd of 8,895 fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Read more »

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Video of the IceHogs-Wolves bench brawl incident Sunday in Rosemont

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Ben Smith says he doesn’t regret fight that cost him a chance to make the Blackhawks for 2nd straight season; For now, focused on leading the IceHogs

Smith_Ben_IceHogsphoto courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs

The following is the piece published in Tuesday night’s issue of The Committed Indian, the official~unofficial Chicago Blackhawks home game night program, which you can buy individual copies or subscribe to at this link.

By Chris Block

You have to focus on what’s right in front of you and I think at that moment …  I was focused on winning two points against Grand Rapids and fortunately that night we did.Ben Smith

With the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining dispute having been settled and NHL training camps set to commence in less than three days, Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith took to the BMO Harris Bank Center ice in Rockford on January 11th to face off with the IceHogs division-rival, and Detroit Red Wings farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

At this time Smith was the IceHogs’ leader in goals scored, game-winning goals, a member of both the first-team power play and penalty killing units and among the top three forwards in ice time on a nightly basis.

And on a team up to that point which couldn’t help itself but take careless or undisciplined minor penalty after minor penalty, Smith had just 4 penalty minutes on the season and had not stepped foot in the penalty box since mid October.  That’s quite the accomplishment for the gritty and tenacious two-way forward Ben Smith is. Read more »

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AHL drops hammer on IceHogs; Carter Hutton injury confirmed, Ben Smith update

By Chris Block

The American Hockey League dealt the IceHogs a significant blow on Tuesday for Rockford’s part in this past Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Rockford was issued 11-game suspensions in all, while Grand Rapids will have center Louis-Marc Aubry suspended for 6 games and right wing Triston Grant suspended for 1 game.

Rob Flick received a mandatory 6-game suspension for being the first IceHogs’ player to jump off the bench and get involved in the brawl.  Aubry’s suspension matched Flick’s for being identified as the first Grand Rapids player to jump off the Griffins’ bench.

The newest IceHogs player, left winger Kenndal McArdle (who was playing in just his second game as a member of the IceHogs in Saturday’s night’s contest) was suspended 1 game.  McArdle was issued a game misconduct on Saturday night for jumping off the bench and being the Third Man In an ongoing fight.

Wade Brookbank was also suspended for one game, as was Kyle Beach, whose actions precipitated the Griffins leaving their bench.

IceHogs head coach Ted Dent was also suspended two games.  Dent will serve his suspension this weekend when the IceHogs host the Chicago Wolves on Friday and then the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night.

The IceHogs have now accumulated 25-games in suspensions over the first 41 games of the season.  The list: Andrew Shaw (7), Rob Flick (6), Shawn Lalonde (3), Kyle Beach (2), Ted Dent (2), Dylan Olsen (2), Wade Brookbank (2), Kenndal McArdle (1).

As noted on the site yesterday, Flick served the first game of his six-game suspension when he was held out of Monday’s 6-3 loss to Texas by the league.  Flick will be eligible to return on February 8th at Peoria.

All the details and videos of the Rockford-Grand Rapids brawl are here. Read more »

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Details of the Brawl of 1/19/13

By Chris Block

There is still a lot more to come from Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins before a sellout crowd of 6,219 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. [Video of the brawl is posted again at the bottom of this post]

230 penalty minutes in all were dealt out in Saturday’s game.  202 of those came as result of the brawl.

Frustrations from an IceHogs perspective had boiled over at the 11:58 mark of the second period after Grand Rapids forward Landon Ferraro scored a power play goal to put the visiting team ahead 6-3.

The IceHogs had been assessed five-straight minor penalties by the officials in the first eleven minutes of the second period alone and the Griffins had capitalized on two of those opportunities with the man-advantage.  To that point in the contest, Grand Rapids was 3 for 6 on the power play.  Rockford had just one power play chance to that point and it resulted in a Dylan Olsen goal, giving the IceHogs a 1-0 lead at 3:57 of the first period.

No one on the Rockford side after the game was entirely blaming the refs for the lopsided power plays going in Grand Rapids favor.  The IceHogs players and coach admitted most of the calls against them were warranted.  Although, it was the hooking call referee Joe Sullivan gave Terry Broadhurst that gave Grand Rapids the power play that Landon Ferraro would use to put his team up 6-3 that had the IceHogs livid with the officiating. Read more »

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Update on Ben Smith injury; Saad’s Huge Weekend, New Montador concussion could open door for a prospect

By Chris Block

In a true case of unfortunate timing, Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith was injured while playing for the IceHogs in Rockford on Friday night.  The team’s leading goal scorer injured his hand and missed Saturday night’s game in Milwaukee due to the injury.

It is not known at this point how long Smith will be out of action.

Over his last 25 games, Smith has posted 12 goals, 12 assists to go with a plus-5 rating.  His season total of 15 goals are one better than that of Martin St. Pierre, the IceHogs overall leading scorer.

To follow up on a Twitter post I put out on early Saturday evening, at this point it now appears Ben Smith will not need surgery on his injured hand.

Smith was injured during Friday night’s 5-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

A source with knowledge of the injury had learned on Saturday that Smith’s injury may require surgery.

However, late Saturday night a separate person close to the situation indicated that Smith’s hand won’t require surgery.

Smith was involved in a fight late in the second period Friday night with Griffins’ defenseman Brennan Evans.  Read more »

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Blackhawks recall 4 players from IceHogs, Ben Smith not one of them; Smith comments; Morin on roster shakeup

By Chris Block

While it can’t officially be announced until after the NHLPA membership ratifies the new CBA on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have jumped the gun a bit by recalling four players from AHL Rockford.

Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were all recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday January 7th.  This, one day after the NHL and Player’s association hammered out the framework for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the NHL Lockout.

All four players were held out of Rockford’s home game Wednesday night against first-place Grand Rapids.  The transactions will be made official this weekend.  Three of the four were in Chicago skating with most of the other Blackhawks players at informal on-ice workouts beginning Tuesday.  Nick Leddy joined in on Thursday.

One player who was surprisingly left out of the initial group of four call-ups is Rockford IceHogs alternate captain, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Ben Smith.

Smith, 24, scored his 15th goal of the season on Wednesday night.  He also ranks second in points scored by an IceHogs player, 26, seven behind team captain Martin St. Pierre. Read more »

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IceHogs can’t bully lowly Bulldogs; Plug pulled on crucial 1st period video review going against ‘Hogs

By Chris Block

Looking to return to their recent winning ways and stay within striking distance of first-place Grand Rapids ahead of two all-important matchups next week at the BMO with those same Griffins, the Rockford IceHogs (17-14-1-1) traveled to Hamilton, Ontario on Friday night to face a down-and-out Hamilton Bulldogs squad.

Hamilton came into Friday’s contest against Rockford with the worst record (11-18-1-2) in the AHL.  Hamilton, the AHL affiliate to the Montreal Canadiens, had lost 8 of their past 9 contests since defeating Rockford 6-4 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on December 15th.

Worse yet, Hamilton had not scored a goal in more than three games before facing the IceHogs for the second and final time this season.  The Bulldogs had been shutout in each of their previous three games, all road losses.

For these reasons, and perhaps a little too much confidence in the way they’ve played of late, the IceHogs may have taken the Bulldogs for granted on Friday night.

Despite the IceHogs getting out to a quick start, sloppy passing and poor work in the defensive zone contributed to a 3-1 Rockford loss before a crowd of 4,505 at Copps Coliseum on Friday.

Backup Alec Richards got the start in net, his first in nine games.  Read more »

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Ted Dent says some supposed NHL guys not pulling their weight; Blackhawks brass forcing more lineup changes; Tonight’s game preview

By Chris Block

Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.

The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday.  Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session.  However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.

Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division.  The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division.  Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.

The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season.  One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »

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Chris Block joins the Hockeenight Puckcast for a special Holiday podcast

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of joining CT and the “Forklift” on their groundbreaking, award-winning HockeeNight PuckCast.

As always when Hockeenight and TTMI join together, we ran the usual gamut of topics.  We review the NHL’s class action complaint filed against the NHLPA in a New York court on Friday and the damning quotes from Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer cited in the motion.

We discuss all the latest on Blackhawks prospects including Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith and Fork’s favorite, Jeremy Morin.  Also, we broach the Blackhawks directive to IceHogs coach Ted Dent to move Andrew Shaw back to center, and what may have gone into that decision – the Jeremy Roenick autobiography, “torpedoing” Jimmy Hayes, Malort~!, Gary Bettman’s standing in the face of his third work stoppage, how the 5% variance would effect teams should it be realized, George “the Animal” Steele and some professional wrestling history.

You can Right-Click to Download the MP3 file here

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