Tag Archives: Ben Youds

IceHogs weekly wrap: Hutton leads ‘Hogs back to .500, sets franchise mark; Kyle Beach’s return date and much more

By Chris Block

Behind another stellar week of goaltending from Carter Hutton, the Rockford IceHogs picked up five of a possible six points last week to improve their record to 26-26-2-5.

This marks the first time the IceHogs have sat at the .500 mark since way back on October 28th when the team was 4-4-0-0 after a win at Peoria, the same night Kyle Beach went down with a dislocated right shoulder.

The week began on Wednesday night as a flu bug hit the Rockford dressing room.  The IceHogs, weakened also by the Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig call ups to Chicago earlier in the week, and without Jeremy Morin, put forth an amazing effort against the visiting Abbotsford Heat, one of the AHL’s best road teams.

Ben Smith was credited with his team-leading 8th power play goal to get the ‘Hogs on the board first.  The goal was originally given to Ben Youds but the official scoring was flipped the next day.  That goal also ended a 0 for 30 slump for the IceHogs power play units.  And they needed just 3 seconds on their first power play of the night to end that nightmarish streak.  The newest IceHog, Matt Fornataro knocked in his second goal in his fourth game since joining the team.  The game went to seven rounds in the shootout with Abbotsford scoring four times on Hutton while Heat goalie Danny Taylor allowed three from the IceHogs.  Rockford lost 3-2 but picked up a point.

Carter Hutton was the only reason the IceHogs were even in the game in Milwaukee after forty minutes on Friday night.  Since signing an NHL contract with the Blackhawks on Feb 24, Hutton has been incredible for Rockford.  The game was a rematch of the goalie-duel from six days earlier at the BMO between Hutton and Atte Engren.  Hutton prevailed in that game winning 2-1 in a shootout.  Engren stopped 35 shots in that game.   In Friday’s contest, Rockford was outshot 33-13 after two periods but the game was tied 1-1 heading into the third period.  In the final frame, the IceHogs got goals from Brandon Pirri (his team-leading 22nd) and Jeremy Morin (13th) to take the game 3-1.  Rockford is now  5-1-0-1 against Milwaukee this season and have five game left with the Admirals beginning with a  home-and-home this coming Saturday and Sunday. Read more »

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Paradis, Smith score in ‘Hogs comeback win in OKC

By Chris Block

Friday night in Oklahoma City, the Rockford IceHogs came from behind for only the second time this season when trailing after two periods to defeat the Barons 2-1 in overtime and send a Cox Convention Center crowd of 3,672 home in disbelief.

Ben Smith, who was reassigned to the AHL earlier in the day and flew into Oklahoma after playing for the Blackhawks on Thursday night, tipped a Brian Fahey wrist shot 2:50 into overtime to give the IceHogs the victory.

As the AHL team which allows the most goals per game, Rockford won for only the third time this season when being held to two goals or less (3-15-0-0).  The previous two wins came via the shootout after managing two goals through 65 minutes.

Rockford fell behind first for the 24th time in 38 games when Oklahoma City center Marco Arcobello breezed into the left faceoff dot and beat Carter Hutton clean with a wrist shot at 14:22 of the opening period.  It was just the second shot Hutton had faced, but the Rockford netminder’s night got better as it became busier. Read more »

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AHL suspends Jeremy Morin 3 games for elbowing incident in Milwaukee on Sunday

By Chris Block

Top Blackhawks prospect and Rockford IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin was suspended on Tuesday for the team’s next 3 games as result of an elbowing incident during Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss in Milwaukee.

With six minutes remaining in the second period, Morin collided with Milwaukee Admirals center Joel Champagne, while chasing a loose puck deep in the Admirals’ zone.

Morin’s elbow connected with the left side of Champagne’s jaw as Morin attempted to box his opponent off the loose puck in the right corner behind the Admirals’ goal line.

Champagne was moving on the ice but did lay prone for several minutes while attended to by both the IceHogs and Admirals trainers.  He was eventually placed on a backboard and stretchered across the ice before being sent to a hospital for further evaluation.

The play sequence began with a weak Champagne turnover in the neutral zone, forced by an Andrew Shaw backcheck.  Seconds later, Brandon Pirri gained the Admirals’ blue line by lifting a puck, tossed backhand across the ice, leading Shaw along the far boards.  Shaw won a one-on-one physical battle with defenseman Tyler Sloan and advanced that puck down low into the right corner.  At this point, Morin read the play and came down from the middle of the slot in pursuit of the puck.

Joel Champagne actually should have gotten to that puck first, but he was slow to get there.  Champagne saw Morin coming and pulled up to avoid a hit.  Morin had time to adjust, and instead of throwing a check on Champagne, Morin chose to box him off the puck since Champagne was, in effect, surrendering possession to Morin.  In seeing Champagne pull up and making his adjustment, Morin shifted his weight in turning his back to Champagne to shield the Milwaukee player off the puck.

As far as the elbow, Champagne was struck by an accidental blow from Morin’s left, trailing elbow. Read more »

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IceHogs drop 2 games below .500 at quarter-mark; Tough loss to West’s best Oklahoma City

By Chris Block

Arriving at the quarter-mark of the season (19th of 76 games) on Saturday night, the divisional last-place Rockford IceHogs were riding high as they welcomed the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Barons.

Rockford was looking to draw to an even .500 record and continue to build momentum off back-to-back home wins, 6-3 and 7-3, this week over San Antonio and Peoria.

The Barons rode the four hour bus ride in from Grand Rapids after holding on for a 5-4 win over the Griffins on Friday night.

In a tightly-checked and hard-fought affair, Oklahoma City prevailed in Rockford Saturday night by a 3-1 score and the IceHogs now find themselves two games under the .500 mark.

“I think they played a good defensive game against us,” alternate captain Brian Fahey said after the loss.

“We had a hard time getting to their net.  Its not that we didn’t have chances, we just had a tough time getting to the second and third chances.”

After an evenly matched opening twenty minutes, Oklahoma City got on the board at 1:06 of the second on controversial goal call by referee Dave Lewis.

IceHogs goaltender Alexander Salak fiercely disputed the call, feeling the puck had not crossed the line.  However, further review proved the puck did and the Barons’ Philippe Cornet, the AHL’s leading goal scorer, had his 14th of the season.

“I thought we had a great first period,” said defenseman Dylan Olsen.

“Second period we were a little off.”

The scored stayed 1-0 until 2:41 of the third period when Cornet netted his 15th goal, set up brilliantly by winger Ryan Keller for the easy put-home to give the Barons the 2-0 advantage.

This tally came seconds after the IceHogs’ Brandon Bollig squandered a golden opportunity to tie the game at the other end when he missed an open side by shooting a puck through Oklahoma City goaltender David LeNeveu’s crease, missing the net entirely.

Brian Connelly gave Rockford life late on a power play when he unleashed a slap shot from the right point through traffic to trim the Barons’ lead to 2-1 with 7:23 to go.  Wingers Jeremy Morin and Brandon Segal obstructed LeNeveu’s vision as Brett McLean set Connelly up for the shot.

With his team down 2-1, Ted Dent pulled Alexander Salak from his net for the extra attacker with a minute and a half to go in regulation.  Twenty seconds later, Ryan O’Marra was the benefactor of a Rockford turnover and sealed the Barons’ win emphatically with an empty-net tally at 18:57 of the period. Read more »

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Hawks prospects finish strong, down Pens 4-1 to salvage a win in Oshawa


By Brad Vandenberk

The final day of the Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario wrapped up Tuesday with the Chicago Blackhawks playing their final contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Both teams entered the game 0-2 for the tournament, looking for a win.  The Hawks had the slight edge by having a total of 6 goals throughout the tournament, while Pittsburgh had just 1 through 2 games.

Johan Mattsson was the starting goalie, with Shawn Lalonde and Ryan Stanton on defensive.  The forward line saw Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Saad, centered by Phillip Danault. [Tuesday’s line up]

The game didn’t take long to get started.  15 seconds after the puck dropped, Rob Flick set the tone for the day dropping his gloves against Keven Veilleux of the Penguins.  Fists were flying as Veilleux took Flick to the ice.  Just 5 minutes later, after a delayed offside, Shawn Lalonde decided to take on Dominik Uher.  Read more »

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Prospect Tourney in Oshawa Takes Shape

Johan Mattsson, Aug 9, 2011, Lake Placid, NY – Yahoo.ca

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In ten days, about 24 of the Blackhawks top prospects will arrive in Oshawa, Ontario to compete in the annual Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Invitational Tournament.

The Leafs, Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will participate in the four-day, round-robin points-based tournament.  The same four competed against one another last September when the exhibition was staged in London, Ontario.  Chicago has been invited for the second consecutive year, having replaced the Boston Bruins, the only change in the foursome since 2009.

Toronto announced its roster way back on August 9.  Ottawa and Pittsburgh did so on Tuesday.  Click the links to preview their squads…. Read more »

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Blackhawks payroll skyrockets, Rockford signs two to AHL contracts

If, as Rocky Wirtz claims, the Blackhawks are still operating in the red through this past season, the company will have its work cut out for itself this coming year.

As things stand now, the Blackhawks will spend a minimum-projected $77 million on player salaries in 2011-12.  This is about an $8.5 million increase on what was spent in 2010-11, $68.5M.  The Hawks spent $66.0M in 2009-10, including performances bonuses ($4.1M) that went penalized against the Hawks cap the following season.

While the team at this point sits roughly $3M under the $64.3M salary cap ceiling with the roster one player over the 23-man limit, several factors will have the team spending almost $13 million more than the “upper limit.” Read more »

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