Tag Archives: Kent Simpson

IceHogs weekend at a glance; Rockford earns 5 of possible 6 points; Morin, Pirri heat up; more news

By Chris Block

Rockford continued its recent hot streak over the weekend in pumping out 13 goals over the 3-in-3 weekend set, all against division foes.

Jeremy Morin led the way, notching 2 goals and 4 helpers to extend his consecutive game point streak to 7 games, matching his career best streak set in February 2013 (2/13/13 – 3/1/13).

In those seven games last season, Morin tallied 3 goals and 7 assists and had a plus-3 rating.

Over his current 7-game point streak, Morin has 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points.  He’s also a plus-7 in this stretch to go along with 27 shots (22% shooting).

The IceHogs picked up 5 of a possible 6 points over the weekend.  The team extended its streak of consecutive games earning at least one point to seven (6-0-0-1).  In that time, Rockford has averaged 4.85 goals per game while allowing 3.00 against. Read more »

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3-2 defeat in Milwaukee hands Rockford IceHogs their 11th consecutive division road loss

By Chris Block

Countless forced passes and unforced turnovers resulted in another Rockford IceHogs road loss last night, 3-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals.

The loss drops the IceHogs to 2 games below the .500 mark (18-20-4-2) for the first time this season.

Friday’s defeat extends Rockford’s road losing streak to 7 games (0-5-1-1).

Rockford has now also dropped 11 consecutive division road losses (0-9-1-1) on the season.

The picture is much worse when you look at their last 15 road contests overall.  The IceHogs are 2-10-2-1 in those games.  They aren’t getting blown away, as their minus-25 goal differential over those last 15 road tilts does prove, but they aren’t playing good enough hockey with near enough consistency.  And finding ways to win on the road is not the IceHogs specialty. Read more »

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Leafs offense assaults Hawks in Toronto

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks brief and ridiculously hot streak ended Saturday night in Toronto.  And the Hawks took the loss in a ‘taste of your own medicine’ fashion.

The Maple Leafs scored fairly early and very often.  Each time the Hawks struck the Leafs had an extremely quick answer.

The Hawks had a similar looking lineup to begin the game.  On the second d pairing Michael Kostka goes with Hjalmarsson, and Oduya relegated to third line duties. Read more »

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West-leading IceHogs can’t close another 2-goal deficit

By Chris Block

Over the initial ten games of this IceHogs’ season, on four occasions Rockford came back from 2-goal deficits to emerge victorious.  In one of those games, their home opener against Grand Rapids on October 19th, Rockford actually trailed by 2 goals twice in the contest only to eventually attain the two points.

There is something to note about the character of a team when 4 of its 7 wins have come in dramatic comeback fashion.  Although, it can also leave behind a trail of just as many questions as it does answers.  And one thing is for sure – at this level, no team is going to maintain a .700 record for very long when the team is consistently falling behind early in games.

In Rockford, on Thursday night, the IceHogs afforded the Charlotte Checkers a 3-0 advantage before staging three unanswered tallies of their own, only to lose to the Checkers, 5-3.

On Friday night, Rockford bused north to Milwaukee for the first of twelve matches this season with the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate.

The IceHogs got goals from rookies Mark McNeill and Alex Broadhurst in Milwaukee.  But the Admirals jumped out to an early lead and then stretched a two-goal gap on Rockford midway through the game that Rockford this time would not close. Read more »

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Hamilton score 3 goals in 3:31, rally to beat IceHogs

By Chris Block

Going into Tuesday night’s matchup, the IceHogs had never managed a regulation win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in ten previous meetings.

They still have yet to earn one.

Rockford held a 2-goal lead with 3:05 to play in the third period in Hamilton, Ontario on Tuesday night, only to watch the Bulldogs score the next three goals in a 3:31 stretch, and take a 5-4 overtime win before a sparse Copps Coliseum crowd, announced as 1,990.

The IceHogs got two goals from rookie winger Mark McNeill, as well as Garret Ross’s first professional tally.  But it was the inability to hold a two-goal lead late stained what was otherwise a solid road performance.

Rockford was playing its AHL-leading sixth road contest of season.  The IceHogs came in holding a 3-2 road record.  Read more »

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Audio: Chris Block joins the HockeeNight PuckCast

By Chris Block

On Sunday night, I had the pleasure once again of joining our friends CT and “the Forklift” over at Hockeenight.com for their PuckCast.

Over the course of the show we discussed the Blackhawks so-so start, Kyle Beach‘s recent claim about the role he was “forced” to play, Joakim Nordstrom’s game, whose behind him and whether or not he should be sent down to Rockford.  We also discuss Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, the second-line center position, what should be done and who are the other top candidates for recall at this point.

Rockford’s 2-2 start is covered in detail, all the prospects and Fork’s favorites.   We discussed off season changes; Maxim Shalunov‘s first AHL shift gone terribly awry, and a funny story about Maxim Shalunov’s first interaction with the IceHogs training staff gone terribly awry; Kent Simpson going for Rockford’s star player one weekend to bench warmer the next; which Blackhawks prospect is likely to jump straight from college into the NHL, the Islanders terrible future home, Mariano Rivera, the fate of MSG, Laschet’s Inn, some Russian military history, a Jock Callander sighting and much, much more.

Its the longest PuckCast in more than three years and second-longest ever.

Fun time as always talking to those guys.

Check it out by punching the play button below.

Or, Right-Click here to download the audio file.

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McNeill’s first pro goal, assist help lead Rockford to a 4-3 win in Texas

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Read more »

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IceHogs Reckless in San Antonio

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Read more »

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Double Vision: Fromi Dances with the Hogs and Blackhawks on Saturday night

By Jon Fromi

Saturday night afforded me a rare opportunity. With the Blackhawks hosting Tampa Bay and the IceHogs kicking off their season off in Texas, it was time for a little three-way action. Namely, the Hawks, the Hogs and me.

Could I handle two games at once? Here’s how the night shook out:

6:56 p.m.-The arena in Texas is playing Buddy Holly as I pick up the feed from AHL Live. I have Comcast Sportsnet on the big screen and the Hogs on the small screen via my laptop. I like to listen to the visitors broadcast to get the local flavor-isn’t that why the internet is so great?  However, I have to get my (Mike) Peck on for at least a while tonight. Read more »

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Blackhawks trade for goalie Karlsson, send him to Rockford; Carter Hutton uncertainty; Flick could get minimum of 6 games

By Chris Block

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks traded a 7th round draft pick in 2013 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for 29-year old goaltender Henrik Karlsson.

The Stockholm, Sweden native served as Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup in Calgary during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.  Over that span, Karlsson appeared in 26 games posting a record of 5-9-8 with a 90.5% save percentage and a 2.79 goals against average.  Karlson was 1-4-2 last season in Calgary.  His only victory came on the final day of the regular season and he posted a 3.17 GAA and 90.0% save percentage in his nine appearances overall.

The Blackhawks then immediately assigned Karlsson to their AHL affiliate, Rockford IceHogs.  The pick used by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman in this deal is one he had previously acquired from Ottawa on December 2, 2011 when the Blackhawks traded forward Rob Klinkhammer (who was struggling mightily in Rockford at the time) to the Senators for a 7th round pick.

The 6 foot 6 inch Henrik Karlsson is expected to be in Rockford this week and suited up for the IceHogs next game on Friday when Rockford plays host to the Chicago Wolves.

We’ll know more soon, but it seems as though there is concern Rockford has an immediate need for a dependable AHL goaltender.

Karlsson joins Carter Hutton, 27, and Alec Richards, 25, on the IceHogs roster. Read more »

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