Tag Archives: Brian Connelly

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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Odds and Saads: Morin’s shot, Teuvo plan, Carey signing, Hartman, Johns and more

By Chris Block

MORIN’s OPPORTUNITY

Don’t wait for the IceHogs’ leading goal scorer to be back in Rockford, at least for the time being.

Jeremy Morin was told he is up with the Blackhawks for the remainder of the season.

So, unless there is some major change in direction, don’t expect him to be back in Rockford before then, if ever.

I suppose there is a chance he’d return to Rockford in the event the IceHogs team makes the playoffs and the Blackhawks are healthy enough to the point Morin slides down the depth chart far enough.  But that would also have to mean Teuvo Teravainen would play outstanding enough that the Blackhawks would no longer care about burning a year on Teravainen’s slide-eligible entry level contract – which contrary to what is being insinuated publically, they are not planning to do so at this time.

–In case you missed it last week, Odds and Saads will be a weekly feature here on TheThirdManIn.com.  This is part one of two for this week.

TEUVO TIME

Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL regular season debut for the Blackhawks when they host the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Read more »

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IceHogs extend point streak to 11, but blow 3 leads in process; Lose 5-4 in overtime at Oklahoma City

By Chris Block

Rockford capped off the best month of its AHL existence on Friday night, though in a 5-4 overtime loss before 3,853 fans at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

The IceHogs picking up a point in the loss to the Oklahoma City Barons not only extended the team’s streak of consecutive contests earning at least a point to 11 games (9-0-1-1), but it also meant Rockford went unbeaten in regulation over an entire month for the first time since they joined the American Hockey League in 2007.

Rockford held and lost the lead three times on Friday.  Bobby Shea and Terry Broadhurst each scored twice for the ‘Hogs.  For Shea it was his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season.  Terry Broadhurst notched his 12th and 13th tallies. 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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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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Blackhawks trade Connelly to Calgary for Morrison

By Chris Block

As expected, Stan Bowman pulled the trigger on his first deal well-ahead of the February 27th trade deadline, sending defense prospect Brian Connelly to the Calgary Flames in exchange for veteran center Brendan Morrison.

“He’s a centerman and he’s got a long pedigree of being a good offensive performer,” Stan Bowman said speaking about Morrison on the team’s web site.  “I think having that experience and that ability gives us a lot of options depending on where Joel wants to use him.”

Morrison, 36, has spent the past season and a half with the Flames.  Chicago will be Morrison’s sixth NHL stop in five seasons.  The 5-11 center was drafted out of the University of Michigan by the New Jersey Devils but would move on to spend parts of 8 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks (2000-08).  Morrison was traded in March of 2000 to the Canucks for Alexander Mogilny.

The Blackhawks get a center who can set the table for skilled wingers while being defensively responsible.  While falling down the Flames’ depth chart, Morrison was averaging 13 minutes per night and winning 50.3% of his face offs this season. Read more »

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Hutton, IceHogs win 4th straight, cap off week that has young team buzzing; Update on Alexander Salak, Pirri talks Blackhawks

By Chris Block

Rockford extended its season-long winning streak to four games on Sunday in a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals before of a sparse crowd of 3,938 on “Blackhawks Night” at BMO Harris Bank Center.

Carter Hutton was spectacular in goal once again, capping off seven days that will assuredly earn him AHL Player of the Week honors.  Hutton stopped 33 shots against the Admirals in route to a 4-0-0-0 week in which Hutton allowed a total of five goals against.

“We got great goaltending tonight,” said IceHogs head coach Ted Dent. “It’s a nice way to finish off the weekend.”

It was a weekend that saw the IceHogs win three one-goal games, the first two coming in a home-and-home versus interstate rival Chicago Wolves.  Despite an overall record (18-21-1-3) that still seats Rockford 3rd from the bottom team percentage of points wise in the league, the IceHogs have been good in games decided by a goal, 9-6-1-3.

That particular record hasn’t come around until of late for the young IceHogs.  Rockford is 5-1-0-0 in their last six games decided by one goal.  Two of those wins came in overtime.

“Earlier in the year, the one-goal games, the last five minutes of the game you just didn’t have a good feeling on the bench,” Dent said.  “You felt like something bad was going to happen.  And it was.  It was always happening, bad.  Now, I think there is a comfort level that we can defend a lead.” Read more »

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Hutton, Penalty Kill stand tall in 3-2 IceHogs victory

By Chris Block

Led by a red-hot Carter Hutton in goal and a stingy penalty kill unit that has now killed off 23 consecutive power plays against, the Rockford IceHogs completed a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Chicago Wolves Saturday with a 3-2 win in Rosemont, Illinois.

In front of 15,920 at Allstate Arena, the largest crowd the IceHogs have played in front of in nearly three years, Rockford accomplished a third period come back for just the third time this season, all three coming in the past fourteen days.  Saturday night’s victory also extended the Wolves losing streak to a season-high four games and brings Rockford’s road record to within one game of .500 at 9-10-1-2.

Carter Hutton stopped 37 shots on Saturday in his fifth consecutive start (4-1-0-0). In those five starts, Hutton boasts a 1.39 GAA and 95.1% save percentage.

Saturday re-matched two teams that had played 24 hours earlier in Rockford.  On Friday night, Rostislav Olesz’s goal midway through the second period stood as the difference in a 3-2 IceHogs’ victory. Read more »

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Pirri lifts Power Play, Hogs to 4-2 win over Milwaukee

By Chris Block

A complete 60-minute effort was all the IceHogs needed to defeat second-place Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Rockford improved their season record to 11-14-1-2 on goals from Pete Leblanc, Brandon Bollig and two from the team’s leading scorer, Brandon Pirri.

Rockford’s power play entered Saturday night’s game having scored just 3 times in its past 40 chances.  Against the Milwaukee Admirals, the IceHogs power play scored 3 times on 5 chances Saturday.  Two of those goals came off the stick of Brandon Pirri, the other was set up by Pirri.

“I thought our power play really helped us out tonight,” head coach Ted Dent said after a week of working with that unit in practices.  “We finally figured that out.”

Pete Leblanc capitalized on an early power play opportunity when he snuck into the low slot and chipped a feed from Brandon Pirri past Milwaukee Admirals starter Jeremy Smith.  Ben Smith was in front of the net disturbing Smith’s vision as well on the play, putting the Hogs up 1-0 at 10:35 of the opening period.  The assist marked Pirri’s 50th professional helper (49 AHL, 1 NHL)

Two minutes later, after failing to convert on a second power play, Brett McLean was called for roughing, giving Milwaukee its first chance with the man advantage.  The Admirals wasted little time converting as defenseman Jonathan Blum whizzed a shot from the left point past Carter Hutton’s glove to tie the game at 1-1.  Admirals forward Ryan Thang was in front battling for position with Joe Lavin, and Hutton was late reacting to Blum’s shot. 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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