Injuries are beginning to pile up for the Rockford IceHogs.
While the team had been able to avoid everything but a few nagging injuries here and there, the IceHogs lost another key player this weekend. For how long though, we’re not yet certain.
Jeremy Morin missed Sunday’s loss at Grand Rapids with an undisclosed injury. Not sure of the extent of the damage other than the IceHogs saying Morin was “dinged up.” Morin got the worse end of a third period scrap with Chicago Wolves’ defenseman and higher end Vancouver Canucks prospect Kevin Connauton on Saturday night. Though Morin did make a return for the game’s final moments he was unavailable for Sunday’s road contest with the Griffins. Here is a link to video of the Morin-Connauton fight from Dec 8, Morin’s first fight of the season.
Morin has been held without a point in the last three IceHogs games he’s suited up for. Over his last 15 games, Morin has 7 goals and 2 assists to go along with a minus-2 rating. He’s second on the IceHogs with 9 goals total on the season, one behind team-leader Ben Smith.
–Defenseman Joe Lavin broke his right wrist in a game at Lake Erie on Nov 24th. The injury should sideline Lavin for 5-6 weeks, putting Lavin on schedule to return sometime after Christmas. Lavin was still wearing a cast this weekend. Read more »
The Rockford IceHogs wrapped up their preseason with a nice offensive game, besting the Peoria Rivermen 5-3. I took it upon myself to purchase the AHL Live stream of the contest and share some observations along with my thoughts on the eve of what will hopefully be a successful season for the Hogs.
This is just me commenting as a fan, much as I will whenever I offer up thoughts from my seat at the BMO Center. Like you guys, I know what I do about the behind the scenes dealings mainly from what Chris Block reports. I’m not going to provide his sparkling brand of analysis-mostly because I’m watching from the opposite side of the rink. Read more »
Once night removed from a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the Chicago Wolves in their first preseason game, the Rockford IceHogs returned home to clip the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in a shootout victory.
In the end, the three deciding IceHogs’ goals all came off sticks of players who played or finished last season with the Blackhawks.
Carter Hutton started the game for Rockford and gave up a deflating goal against to Milwaukee’s Jani Lajunen at 7:30 of the period. The goal defined the first period for the IceHogs. Lajunen picked up a puck along the goal line to Hutton’s left and tossed a weak backhand attempt toward the Rockford goaltender. Hutton was a couple feet off the post and was caught off guard by the shot, which hit him in the left pad and trickled over the goal line to give the Admirals the early lead.
The period as a whole was largely forgettable for the IceHogs. With 11 players seeing their first game action of the preseason, nearly everyone seemed sluggish and the team was out of synch.
With four and a half minutes left in the first period, Daniel Bang (apparently pronounced “Bong” So, Dan Bong-banged in the rebound. Okay, I’m done.) scored a power play tally for Milwaukee when he picked up a rebound and beat Hutton to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead. A hooking penalty to Brandon Pirri had sent Milwaukee to the power play. Marcus Kruger and Jimmy Hayes were sent out kill the first portion of Pirri’s penalty. But the trouble began when Kruger was kicked out of the circle on the defensive zone draw. Hayes then came in and lost the draw, pinning Rockford against it in their own zone. Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
It’s another 3-in-3 this weekend for the Rockford IceHogs, beginning tonight when the Chicago Wolves drive up Interstate 90 to the BMO Harris Bank Center for a 7:05 puck drop.
The Wolves have won each of two meetings two far, a back-to-back, home and home affair on October 21-22. Rockford and Chicago will see each other 12 times this season. The final meeting coming on Sunday February 26th in Rockford. After tonight, the two teams will next face off on December 29th at Allstate Arena. So, the other eight meetings will come in January and February.
Chicago (9-8-1-3) is 4th in the West Division, sitting 5 points (and with a game in hand) above 5th and last-place Rockford. It’s already becoming a broken record, but the IceHogs really need these two points tonight to keep from falling too far behind the pack.
Saturday night, Grand Rapids visits the BMO. It will be the final time this season to see Detroit Red Wings prospects at the BMO. Rockford has defeated the Griffins in two meetings already this season, including a 3-2 opening night victory in front of a crowd of 5,434. The two teams will wrap their 4-game season series this coming Wednesday night in Grand Rapids.
On Sunday, the IceHogs travel to Milwaukee (13-6-0-1) for their first visit to the Bradley Center this season. These two teams have yet to face off in 2011-12 and will do so 12 times before its all said and done. The Admirals are a modest 6-4 at home this year. By Sunday, Milwaukee will also be playing their 3rd game in as many days as they host Grand Rapids tonight, and visit the Chicago Wolves tomorrow evening.
–Watch the IceHogs: Tonight’s Rockford IceHogs – Chicago Wolves game will be televised locally in Chicago by the Wolves at 7pm on My50-Chicago, WPWR channel 50. Read more »
IceHogs’ center Brandon Pirri – photo: Rockford IceHogs
By Chris Block
Rockford IceHogs (8-10-1-0) drop the puck on a three-game weekend tonight when the Lake Erie Monsters (9-10-1-1) visit the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7:05. This will be the first time this season Rockford has had to play three games on consecutive days. They’ll do so again next weekend. In both cases, the first two games are at home, followed by a game day bus trip on Sunday.
Tonight’s game also marks the return of former Hogs Evan Brophey, Hugh Jessiman and defenseman Mike Brennan.
Brophey comes in on a 4-game point streak (2g, 2a). He registered his first career hat trick on 11/11/11 against San Antonio. Brophey turns 25 on Saturday. His IceHogs/Blackhawks tenure ended in suspension last March when he stepped out of the penalty box and destroyed Hamilton Bulldogs forward Hunter Bishop with an open ice blind side hit. Brophey received a season-ending 7-game suspension after playing in two subsequent games that weekend before the AHL got around to holding a hearing following the March 25th hit.
Hugh Jessiman had posted a goal in four consecutive games prior to Lake Erie’s 2-1 loss to Houston on Wednesday night. In 17 games this season, Jessiman has 7 goals and 9 points. Last season, prior to being sent to the Panthers in the Jack Skille-Michael Frolik/Alexander Salak swap, Jessiman had just 3 goals and 5 points in 25 games with Rockford. Jessiman was struggling with groin issues while with the IceHogs. Read more »