Tag Archives: Byron Froese

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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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 »

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IceHogs news and notes: Olesz and power play tied to recent slide, Froese back, McLean to leave team, Richards struggles, Bollig fight

By Chris Block

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 »

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IceHogs gear up for huge weekend; Kyle Beach update, Dylan Olsen itching, Toledo Hogs and Rockford attendance

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 »

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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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Hawks prospects finish strong, down Pens 4-1 to salvage a win in Oshawa


By Brad Vandenberk

The final day of the Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario wrapped up Tuesday with the Chicago Blackhawks playing their final contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Both teams entered the game 0-2 for the tournament, looking for a win.  The Hawks had the slight edge by having a total of 6 goals throughout the tournament, while Pittsburgh had just 1 through 2 games.

Johan Mattsson was the starting goalie, with Shawn Lalonde and Ryan Stanton on defensive.  The forward line saw Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Saad, centered by Phillip Danault. [Tuesday’s line up]

The game didn’t take long to get started.  15 seconds after the puck dropped, Rob Flick set the tone for the day dropping his gloves against Keven Veilleux of the Penguins.  Fists were flying as Veilleux took Flick to the ice.  Just 5 minutes later, after a delayed offside, Shawn Lalonde decided to take on Dominik Uher.  Read more »

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Fahey, Segal signings help boost Rockford


Concerns about Rockford’s lack of size and experience were partially answered last week with two new player acquisitions.

First, the IceHogs signed 30-year old defenseman Brian Fahey on August 31 to a minor league contract.

Fahey (6-1, 215) spent most of this past season in Hershey with the Washington Capitals organization.  Fahey also got his first taste of the NHL with the Capitals in seven games over separate call ups, the final being last December.

A fourth round pick of the Avalanche in 2000, Fahey has since bounced around the minors for Colorado, the Thrashers, Rangers, Capitals and on his own.    Fahey’s best seasons came on stacked Chicago Wolves’ teams (2006-08) and on Hersey in 2010-11. Between those stops, Fahey had a forgettable year in Hartford that led to him getting dealt back to Colorado for bad seed Nigel Williams.  He got back on track that year in Cleveland with the Monsters.

Fahey is a fundamentally sound veteran defender who provides the IceHogs with a strong right-handed shot from the point.  He’ll make a sound pass into the neutral area, one area in dire need of improvement from last season.  He’ll step into Ivan Vishnevskiy’s vacated spot on Rockford’s power play and Fahey will see time on the team’s revamped penalty kill but largely by default of better options. Read more »

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Thursday’s notebook

–Our next radio show will be Tuesday night, March 15th @ 8pm central.  You can listen live here or at your convenience later in archive form on ITunes, here or at that same link.

Ben Smith is now riding a four-game goal streak, posting five goals in that span.  Rockford beat Hamilton 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday night.  Brandon Pirri sealed the win in the shootout after Jeff Taffe and Smith also converted in the breakaway skills session.

Rockford will close out their 7-game road trip Friday night in Milwaukee.  They return home on Sunday afternoon to face the Chicago Wolves.  Its the Wolves final visit to MetroCentre this season.

The IceHogs have won five of their last eight games (4-3 on the road).  They’d gone three months without going to a shootout before having them in back-to-back games this week and splitting the outcomes.  Hannu Toivonen has a .948 save percentage over his last six appearances.

–I’ll be doing a Rockford Q&A in post-form here on the site this Monday.  For whatever reason I’ve been receiving a lot more IceHogs’ and prospect related emails than usual of late.  Typically I get those when the Hawks aren’t doing well or the IceHogs or individual prospects catch fire.  Anyway, I’ve responded to just about every one already person-to-person, but since so many were particularly thoughtful queries, I figured we’d put it up for everyone to read.  I’ve seen more IceHogs’ hockey this season than is probably good for my health, so I can help you with just about anything crossing your mind concerning that team.  So, if there’s any IceHogs’ topics or questions you would like discussed, email those to me by Sunday morning and I’ll include any that aren’t already covered. Read more »

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