Tag Archives: Brian Fahey

Blackhawks 2012 preseason schedule; plus notes on this weekend’s events, Haviland, Yawney, Broadhurst, Salak, Fahey and time when the Blackhawks and Lakers almost pulled off a trade for two icons

By Chris Block

Many teams across the NHL, including the Chicago Blackhawks, have released their 2012 preseason schedules since the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup this past Monday night.

Now, Wayne Gretzky’s All-Stars may have a better chance of playing the United Center this September and early October than the Blackhawks, Penguins, Flyers and Red Wings, nonetheless, the schedule is as follows….

On the road:

Tuesday, September 25 @ Philadelphia – 6pm [central]

Saturday, September 29 @ Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena – 6pm

Friday, October 5 @ Pittsburgh Penguins, Consol Energy Center – 6pm

At the United Center:

Friday, September 28 vs Detroit Red Wings – 7:30pm

Sunday, September 30 vs Pittsburgh Penguins – 6pm

Saturday, October 6 vs Philadelphia Flyers – 7:30pm Read more »

Share

Blackhawks sign Pete Leblanc to 1-yr deal, IceHogs wrap their season this weekend, tons of news and notes

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they have reached terms on a 1-year contract with center Pete Leblanc.  It will be a two-way (NHL/AHL) agreement.

Leblanc was originally the Blackhawks 7th round selection (186th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  After spending four years at the University of New Hampshire, Leblanc turned pro with the Rockford IceHogs.

The Hamilton, Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with the Rockford IceHogs on AHL contracts as the Blackhawks had elected not to offer Leblanc an NHL contract until now.

In 70 games this season, Leblanc has posted 23 goals and 20 assists for the IceHogs.  Since being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games in early November, Leblanc has scored all 23 of his goals over the most recent 61 contests.

He is currently tied for the team lead in goals scored (23) with Brandon Pirri.  And Leblanc is second on the team in overall points, trailing Pirri by twelve points, with 43.  Leblanc has a plus/minus rating of plus-2.  It was Leblanc’s elevated level of play that caused veteran Brett McLean to slip down the IceHogs depth chart and even to the wing on the fourth line before McLean opted to play out the rest of the season in Switzerland. Read more »

Share

IceHogs playoff hopes take serious hit at Lake Erie

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs are running out of bodies and now games in their wild postseason bid.

On Friday they travelled to Cleveland, Ohio for a two-game set with the Lake Erie Monsters.  Rockford entered the opener on Friday night trailing the 10th-place Monsters by two points in the Western conference with a game in hand on Lake Erie.

By any means, this weekend presented four points the IceHogs needed.  And anything less than three would put Rockford’s postseason hopes in serious jeopardy.

With five games remaining and four teams to leapfrog in order to qualify for postseason, this weekend represented an opportunity to gain ground or jump past Lake Erie in the standings all together.

But after a 2-1 loss at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night, the IceHogs at best now can leave Cleveland this weekend in the exact predicament they arrived in.

And if they don’t beat Lake Erie in regulation on Saturday, they’ll bus home having lost ground in spite of getting two of a possible four points.

Rockford’s pursuit of a playoff spot has approached storybook proportions of late behind timely goal scoring, team defense, key contributions from ECHL signings, some luck and Carter Hutton. 

The IceHogs have gone 20-8-1-3 since Jan 16th when they were a season-worst 7 games below the .500 mark.

However, the IceHogs still managed to stumble in recent weeks even in earning 11 of a possible 12 points in their six games coming into Friday night’s contest.  Read more »

Share

Milwaukee still can’t solve stripped down IceHogs

By Chris Block

Without the services of Ben Smith and leading scorer Brandon Pirri, the Rockford IceHogs extended their recent dominance of the Milwaukee Admirals behind goaltender Carter Hutton’s 22-save performance.

Rockford defeated the Admirals 4-1 on Saturday night on goals from unlikely sources in Chris DiDomenico, Brandon Svendsen and Philippe Paradis.  All three ended long personal goal scoring droughts.  Pete Leblanc, another player whose had hard luck recently finding the back of the net, added an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go sending the Milwaukee crowd of 15,888 home unhappy.

Brandon Pirri missed the game with a lower-body injury.  Pirri will miss Sunday’s home game versus the Admirals and likely Tuesday’s contest in Oklahoma City against the conference-leading Barons as well.  Officially, Pirri is listed as day-to-day.

Ben Smith will undergo surgery next week to repair a labral tear in his right hip and hernia.  He will miss the remainder of the season but is expected to make a full recovery in sixteen weeks.

For one night anyhow, the IceHogs didn’t seem to miss Pirri and Smith as others stepped up in their absence. Read more »

Share

IceHogs takedown Wolves in first of weekend set

By Chris Block

Alexander Salak showed no signs of a goaltender who hadn’t played in two months on Friday night as he backstopped the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Wolves.

In fact, it was probably the best Salak has played in his 11 starts thus far as an IceHog.

“He was real good,” IceHogs coach Ted Dent said of his goaltender’s 27 save performance.  “So was their guy (Eddie Lack).  It was a low scoring game and real good goaltending both ways.”

The returning Salak, out of action since suffering an ankle injury during the opening seconds of the second period in a game on December 2nd against Lake Erie, looked as sharp and composed as he has to date.  The Wolves came at him hard, as they had in two previous contests back in October (Salak’s first two starts of the season), bumping and crowding the goaltender’s crease often.  Previously, those sorts of actions seemed to nudge Salak off his focus, once even causing Salak to throw his equipment across the ice, but not on Friday evening before a crowd of 4,501 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Read more »

Share

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 »

Share

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 »

Share

IceHogs offense sparks early, Rockford earns impressive 6-3 victory over rival Chicago Wolves

                           

By Chris Block

A combination of Rockford’s offense gaining new life and Carter Hutton’s 32 saves ended the IceHogs’ four-game losing streak and lifted the baby-Hawks to a 6-3 win over rival Chicago Wolves.

“It was huge,” alternate captain Brett McLean said of the swoon-snapping victory.  “We felt lately that maybe we had not gotten the results that we’ve deserved.”

After scoring just five goals total in their previous four games, the IceHogs’ offense exploded for a four-goal first period and six goals in all before a crowd of 4,272 at BMO Harris Bank Center.

“It was a good, hard-paced fast game,” said IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent.  “I thought we played as close to a 60-minute game as we could.  There were a couple breakdowns in the second period, but other than that, I thought we played a solid game.”

Carter Hutton made his third-consecutive start since being recalled from Toledo last weekend after the Alexander Salak injury.

“I thought he was good, especially on the power play in the third (period),” Dent said of Hutton’s performance after his team defeated the Wolves for the first time this season in three matchups.  “I thought he was solid.  He gave us a real good chance to win tonight.” Read more »

Share

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 »

Share

Jeremy Morin Returns, Shoots – Scores; IceHogs lose in Abbotsford 4-3

photo: HockeyBroad.com

By Chris Block

The long-awaited return of Jeremy Morin took place in southern British Columbia on Friday night where the IceHogs travelled to take on the Abbotsford Heat.

In just his second shift since January 15th, Morin got a puck entering the Abbotsford zone from Chris DiDomenico.  Given time and space through the middle, Morin wasted no time cutting down the slot and deked Abbotsford goalie Leland Irving down and slipped the puck through to give Rockford a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game.  Morin gave a the big fist pump salute to himself in celebration.

Morin looked very good considering he’s largely been inactive for the past nine months.  It was a good sign on the goal that Morin did not hesitate to take open space through the middle of the ice when it was given to him.  After all, it was a similar situation against the Chicago Wolves back on January 15 that Morin was hip-checked and came down landing head first on the top of his helmet, sidelining the 19-year old for the remainder of the 2010-11 season and still feeling the effects of that unfortunate collision during training camp in September.

Rockford lost the game 4-3, after leading throughout the first 41 minutes of the contest.

Morin started the game on a line with Brandon Bollig and center Chris DiDomenico.  It can basically be considered the IceHogs’ fourth line at the moment.  By the end of the first period, Morin was bumped up to the top line with Brett McLean and Brandon Segal, taking Rob Klinkhammer’s spot.  Morin returned to DiDomenico’s line during the second period but eventually Ted Dent had Morin back up on the top line. Read more »

Share