Tag Archives: Nathan Paetsch

Desperate Hogs Strike Back, 4-1 win in Game 3 puts Rockford back in series

By Chris Block

Returning home for Games 3 through 5 of their best-of-seven series down 2-0 to Grand Rapids, the Rockford IceHogs took to the ice on Wednesday night with an automatic sense of urgency in an almost must-win situation.

The IceHogs exhibited that urgency and desperation before a crowd of just 1,780 at BMO Harris Bank Center in a fiery and physical opening twenty minutes in Game 3.

That dominant first period set the table for an eventual 4-1 IceHogs victory.

Mark McNeill scored his 2nd goal of the postseason just 25 seconds into Grand Rapids’ first power play of the game, a controversial five minute major assessed midway into the first period. The breakaway goal gave the IceHogs a 1-0 lead. Rockford’s penalty kill kept a consistent pressure on the Griffins’ power play throughout the 5 minute kill and prevented the visitor’s from tying the game.

Later, when Rockford got its first chance on the power play, Ryan Hartman banked a pass to himself at the Grand Rapids blue line and strode in alone the same way McNeill had earlier and beat Griffins’ starter Tom McCollum with 1:24 to play in the opening frame. Hartman’s goal would stand as the game-winner.

“We knew this was a must win for us and we came out in the first period and were a desperate hockey team,” said goaltender Michael Leighton, who made 23 saves in Rockford’s 4-1 win in Game 3. Read more »


IceHogs overcome rocky start and finish, defeat division-leading Grand Rapids 5-4

By Chris Block

If the AHL playoffs were to begin this weekend, the first round would include a matchup between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.

Those two clubs were set to face off Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home set that will be their final two meetings in the regular season.

Rockford prevailed in a roller-coaster affair on Friday night before a crowd of 5,223 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  The IceHogs topped the Midwest Division leading Griffins 5-4 behind goals from Brad Mills, Mathieu Brisebois, Brian Connelly and two from Adam Clendening.

Friday’s game got off to a clumsy beginning with the IceHogs guilty of several icings before the first scheduled television time out.  Their struggles got worse after Mathieu Brisebois bumped Colin Campbell down as the two chased a loose puck in the ‘Hogs zone and was sent off for tripping. Read more »