Tag Archives: Mike Brennan

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 »

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IceHogs revert to old ways, 3 games below .500

By Chris Block

Wednesday night’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Lake Erie Monsters played out like a tale of two teams for this season’s Rockford IceHogs.

After an opening period which saw the IceHogs pepper Lake Erie’s veteran goaltender, and Chicago area product, Gerald Coleman with 17 shots, but not many second chance opportunities, Rockford went into the first intermission with nothing to show for their efforts.  The IceHogs then came out flat for the second period and quickly found themselves down 2-0 after some unfortunate turnovers.  Despite dominating the first period, Rockford reverted to its October through mid-December form in letting game get away from them on home ice.  By the midway point of the third Rockford was in a 4-1 hole.  But then, the IceHogs of the month of January suddenly reappeared and put up a challenge.  Dylan Olsen unleashed a howitzer of a one-timer to get his team within two goals with less than two minutes to play and a late Lake Erie penalty allowed Rockford to pull within one with 18 seconds to go.

This was the second consecutive game in which Rockford greatly outshot its opponent and lost.  Last Friday in Rosemont, the IceHogs out shot the Wolves 32-18, but lost the contest 4-2.  They were also down three goals with a minute left in that game.

On Wednesday night, Rockford out shot Lake Erie 17-7 in the first period.  None of those chances better than when Rostislav Olesz blew by two defenseman, Cameron Gaunce and Stefan Elliott, then wristed his shot too high over the glove of Coleman, who just got a piece of Olesz’s attempt as well. 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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