Tag Archives: Brad Mills

IceHogs overcome rocky start and finish, defeat division-leading Grand Rapids 5-4

By Chris Block

If the AHL playoffs were to begin this weekend, the first round would include a matchup between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.

Those two clubs were set to face off Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home set that will be their final two meetings in the regular season.

Rockford prevailed in a roller-coaster affair on Friday night before a crowd of 5,223 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  The IceHogs topped the Midwest Division leading Griffins 5-4 behind goals from Brad Mills, Mathieu Brisebois, Brian Connelly and two from Adam Clendening.

Friday’s game got off to a clumsy beginning with the IceHogs guilty of several icings before the first scheduled television time out.  Their struggles got worse after Mathieu Brisebois bumped Colin Campbell down as the two chased a loose puck in the ‘Hogs zone and was sent off for tripping. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio with Al Cimaglia talking Sochi, NHL restart and trade deadline

By Chris Block

Al Cimaglia of MyFoxChicago.com and Sirius/XM Radio joined us Monday night to recap the Sochi Olympics, discuss the end of the Mike Kostka era, preview the NHL stretch run and the Blackhawks potential participation in the GM talks leading up to the trade deadline on March 5th.

-Reflections on the recently completed hockey tournament in Sochi
-Team USA players ridiculous explanation for loss to Canada
-Jason LaBarbera talks IceHogs
-Comments from Brandon Pirri and Ted Dent
-Jeremy Morin says missing playoffs last 3 seasons “kinda unacceptable”
-Morin talks focus in trying to get back to Chicago
-Dent discusses Morin’s recent game
-John Tavares injury and should NHL players go to 2018 games?
-Michael Kostka placed & claimed off waivers. What could it mean.
-What could Stan Bowman be setting up to do before the trade deadline?
-Names up for sale
-Hawks areas of need
-Al & Chris debate the Bryan Bickell mystery
-Who Bickell has to thank for his big contract
-Will Pirri be a Blackhawk again?
-And much, much, more

You can also follow Al on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

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IceHogs weekend at a glance; Rockford earns 5 of possible 6 points; Morin, Pirri heat up; more news

By Chris Block

Rockford continued its recent hot streak over the weekend in pumping out 13 goals over the 3-in-3 weekend set, all against division foes.

Jeremy Morin led the way, notching 2 goals and 4 helpers to extend his consecutive game point streak to 7 games, matching his career best streak set in February 2013 (2/13/13 – 3/1/13).

In those seven games last season, Morin tallied 3 goals and 7 assists and had a plus-3 rating.

Over his current 7-game point streak, Morin has 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points.  He’s also a plus-7 in this stretch to go along with 27 shots (22% shooting).

The IceHogs picked up 5 of a possible 6 points over the weekend.  The team extended its streak of consecutive games earning at least one point to seven (6-0-0-1).  In that time, Rockford has averaged 4.85 goals per game while allowing 3.00 against. Read more »

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IceHogs name a team captain, and why that’s a mild surprise

Nightingale_LaBarbera_Marlies_2014Jan20_ToddREICHERJared Nightingale (#6) defends the area in front of Jason LaBarbera’s goal
photo: Todd Reicher, 1/20/14, Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

Last week the IceHogs finally named a team captain.  They waited until only 53 percent of their season had passed to do so.

Jared Nightingale, 31, was named Rockford’s captain on January 14th.  He becomes the 8th captain of the IceHogs since the organization joined the AHL in 2007.

“Teddy (Dent) had called me a couple nights before he announced it to the team,” Nightingale said in a conversation with TheThirdManIn.com on January 18th.

“Obviously I was honored.  I was excited to take on that role.”

The previous IceHogs captains are Martin St. Pierre (2012-13), Brian Fahey (2011-12, 2nd half), Brandon Segal (2011-12, 1st half), Garnet Exelby (2010-11), Jake Dowell (2009-10), Tim Brent (2008-09) and Jim Fahey (2007-08).

The decision to name a team captain in mid-January came as a bit of a surprise. Read more »

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Hamilton score 3 goals in 3:31, rally to beat IceHogs

By Chris Block

Going into Tuesday night’s matchup, the IceHogs had never managed a regulation win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in ten previous meetings.

They still have yet to earn one.

Rockford held a 2-goal lead with 3:05 to play in the third period in Hamilton, Ontario on Tuesday night, only to watch the Bulldogs score the next three goals in a 3:31 stretch, and take a 5-4 overtime win before a sparse Copps Coliseum crowd, announced as 1,990.

The IceHogs got two goals from rookie winger Mark McNeill, as well as Garret Ross’s first professional tally.  But it was the inability to hold a two-goal lead late stained what was otherwise a solid road performance.

Rockford was playing its AHL-leading sixth road contest of season.  The IceHogs came in holding a 3-2 road record.  Read more »

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McNeill’s first pro goal, assist help lead Rockford to a 4-3 win in Texas

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Read more »

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IceHogs Reckless in San Antonio

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Read more »

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Coaching Changes: Blackhawks relieve assistants Ben Simon, Steve Poapst of their duties in Rockford

By Chris Block

In addition to the breaking news today that goaltending coach Stephane Waite is leaving the Chicago Blackhawks for the same position with the Montreal Canadiens, (this after last week when Stan Bowman said he expected Waite to stay with the Hawks) we can also confirm further coaching changes going on within the organization.

There has been a shuffling of the deck on the Rockford IceHogs coaching staff after the team failed to qualify for the AHL postseason for the third consecutive season.

Following up on some speculation we heard back in early May regarding the Rockford IceHogs coaching staff, the Chicago Blackhawks official site has removed the listing and profiles of Ben Simon and Steve Poapst, both assistant coaches for the IceHogs this past season.

We can confirm independently both Simon and Poapst have been released by the Blackhawks and are seeking new employment.

Ted Dent’s profile, as well that of goaltending coach Andrew Allen, are still listed on the Blackhawks web site.  Dent’s two-year contract expired with the conclusion of this season but it would appear he’s staying.  Dent was present in Boston at the Cup deciding Game 6 and for the parade and championship rally in Chicago on June 28th.

At this point, there has been no official word from the Blackhawks on these releases or who will be replacing the coaching roles vacated by Steve Poapst and Ben Simon. Read more »

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Rockford caps Four-Point Weekend with Shootout Victory over Lake Erie, BMO Zamboni is day-to-day

By Jon Fromi

It took regulation, overtime and seven rounds of a shootout, but the Rockford IceHogs completed two weekend victories with a 2-1 shootout win over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters. Brad Mills’ successful attempt past Calvin Pickard provided the winning margin after Carter Hutton stopped Carl Stollery to end the contest.

It really was a battle of opposing net-minders, with Hutton making 35 saves on 36 Lake Erie attempts. Hutton was named the game’s first star.

Pickard stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced, the lone goal coming via a Kyle Beach power play goal in the final minute of the first period. The tally, which was assisted by Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin, tied the score at a goal apiece following Paul Carey’s goal midway through the first. Read more »

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Recap and observations of Rockford’s 2-0 loss to Houston on Saturday; IceHogs 5th straight loss at home

By Jon Fromi

The Rockford IceHogs have played 48 games of their 2012-13 schedule. Despite avoiding the poor start that has plagued the team in recent seasons, post lockout struggles have put the IceHogs in an all-too-familiar position. Namely, near the bottom of the AHL Western Conference and looking at an uphill climb to a spot in the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.

Saturday’s effort at the BMO Center didn’t inspire confidence as the IceHogs were shutout by Houston 2-0. Since play resumed last month, Rockford has limped to a 3-7 mark. The luck wasn’t any better against the Aeros.

Both Aeros goals were of the same variety. Ben Youds failed to clear the Hogs zone in the waning seconds of the opening period, leading to a two-on-one chance that was made good when Johan Larsson beat a sprawling Henrik Karlsson with eight seconds left. Read more »

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