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
Posted in Blackhawks, IceHogs, Interview, Prospects
Tagged Ben Smith, Blackhawks, Brennan Evans, Grand Rapids, Griffins, IceHogs, Interview, Rockford, Ryan Stanton, Ted Dent
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
Posted in Blackhawks, IceHogs, Injury, News and Notes
Tagged Ben Smith, Brennan Evans, Carter Hutton, Grand Rapids, Griffins, IceHogs, Kenndal McArdle, Kyle Beach, Louis-Marc Aubry, Rob Flick, Rockford, Ted Dent, Triston Grant, Wade Brookbank
“We’ll kick your ass too.”
By Rich Lindbloom
Okay, the lockout has gone on long enough. Normally this time a year I’d be watching Blackhawk games and parts of other NHL games throughout the week. While walking the dogs Tuesday night it dawned on me that I had just spent the previous hour watching a show called Swamp People. I’m not sure which is worse; my sudden affinity for the Rockford IceHogs, or watching the swampers yank 10 to 12 foot gators out of the pond. Pray for me as I’m quite certain Pawn Stars or Say Yes to the Dress, are not far in the offing.
In a way, now that the ‘Hogs have caught my interest, I wouldn’t be terribly upset with the cancellation of the rest of the NHL season. $10 to $20 dollars for a very good seat beats the hell out of paying $48 in the 300 section at the United Center. Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Brandon Bollig, Brennan Evans, Dylan Olsen, Grand Rapids, Griffins, Gustav Nyquist, IceHogs, Jimmy Hayes, Martin St. Pierre, Nick Leddy, Pawn Stars, Petr Mrazek, Riley Sheahan, Rockford, Swamp People, Ted Bulley, Ted Dent, Tomas Tatar, Van Andel Arena
By Chris Block
Recently, the IceHogs have put together some solid efforts. That can be said for each of their last four outings post-Christmas.
The IceHogs, however, are not a good enough team to overcome its mistakes typically, as their 11-18-1-3 clearly proves. Rockford has lost each of their last five games (0-4-0-1) and rank dead-last in the AHL, both in terms of their record and goals against (average of 3.8 per game).
Including Saturday night’s 3-2 regulation loss at Peoria, the team has lost its last three games by a margin of 4 goals, and that includes a late 145-foot empty netter by the Wolves on Thursday. At home Friday night, the IceHogs battled hard to pick up a point and get the game to a shootout, but Alec Richards let pucks by on the first three shooters he faced and Rockford lost the game 4-3.
A short-handed squad of IceHogs traveled to Peoria on New Years Eve afternoon for their 9th meeting of the 2011-12 season with the Peoria Rivermen. Read more
Posted in Game recap, IceHogs
Tagged 3rd Man In, Alec Richards, Andrew Shaw, Ben Bishop, Brandon Pirri, Brandon Segal, Brennan Evans, Brett Sonne, Cade Fairchild, IceHogs, Injury, Jeremy Morin, Peoria, Philippe Paradis, Rivermen, Rostislav Olesz, Ryan Stanton, Shaun Davis, Shawn Lalonde, Ted Dent