Rockford IceHogs (19-17-1-1) are hosting the Peoria Rivermen (17-17-2-2) tonight at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
It’ll be the fourth of twelve meetings between the two clubs this season. The Rivermen have been victorious twice. Rockford defeated Peoria 5-4 in a seesaw affair when the teams last met on November 21st in Rockford. The IceHogs got off to a quick start when Adam Clendening scored his 3rd goal on the campaign 56 seconds in. Rockford went up 2-0 eleven minutes later when Brandon Saad scored an unassisted short-handed goal. Peoria though responded by notching three unanswered even-strength tallies in just under six minutes and led 3-2 heading into the first intermission. Between periods Ted Dent changed some lines around and altered his top two defense pairings, pairing Nick Leddy with Clendening and Ryan Stanton with Klas Dahlbeck. The rest of the game was controlled by Rockford. Martin St. Pierre tied the game late in the second period and two power play goals from Jeremy Morin sealed the victory. Read more »
Rockford emerged victorious in another see-saw affair with division rival Peoria on Wednesday night.
The IceHogs got out to a two goal lead as Adam Clendening scored in the first minute of the game and Brandon Saad notched a short-handed goal later in the period. But the IceHogs then allowed three unanswered first period goals and trailed 3-2 after the opening frame. Rockford responded, scoring three unanswered goals of their own in route to an eventual 5-4 win.
Jeremy Morin was the biggest factor in the comeback, scoring power play tallies in the second and third period. Martin St. Pierre had the other Rockford goal.
“That was a big win for us,” said Morin, the game’s number one star, after the game.
“We needed it. It was good to get the power play going. We need to start producing [on the power play] and not taking so many penalties. That is going to be huge for us.” Read more »
Rockford let a good opportunity to get back to the .500 mark slip away on Wednesday night when they hosted Peoria, the team that had scored the fewest goals coming in as well as owning the worst record in the AHL.
The IceHogs received goals from Martin St. Pierre, Pete Leblanc, Brandon Saad and Jeremy Morin but four were not enough and Peoria stunned a sparse crowd of 2,205 at the BMO Harris Bank Center in defeating Rockford 5-4.
Wednesday’s game started out promising enough.
Although the IceHogs penalty woes surfaced early when Brandon Bollig added to Rockford’s league-leading total when he was sent to the box for tripping Evgeny Grachev inside the Peoria zone three minutes into Wednesday night’s contest, the IceHogs still managed to strike while short-handed. Read more »
Each week from now until the end of the season we will bring you a first-hand account of the latest news, developments and analysis of this season’s Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Conflict of Interests?
“Well, we’re 1-3. So, that’s my assessment.”
That was IceHogs coach Ted Dent this past Saturday night after a 4-2 loss at home when asked to give his assessment of Jimmy Hayes’ performance in the four games after the decision was made to move Hayes from his regular spot at right wing, over to the center ice position.
Eight games into the season, the edict came down from Chicago Blackhawks management that they wanted to see how Hayes would do at center.
Little forward thinking went into this decision either, apparently. Blackhawks Director of Player Development Barry Smith was quickly dispatched to Rockford to go over film and one-on-one instruction over three days with Hayes, who admittedly hadn’t played the center position since he was a kid.
Not during training camp. Not over the summer when Hayes was a part of a group of 12 top Blackhawks prospects who traveled to Sweden for a five-day August mini-camp. No, during the last week of October was when the IceHogs coach received word he was to play Hayes at center until further notice.
“No, I haven’t played there in a long time,” Jimmy Hayes said last week. 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 »
Recently, the IceHogs have put together some solid efforts. That can be said for each of their last four outings post-Christmas.
The IceHogs, however, are not a good enough team to overcome its mistakes typically, as their 11-18-1-3 clearly proves. Rockford has lost each of their last five games (0-4-0-1) and rank dead-last in the AHL, both in terms of their record and goals against (average of 3.8 per game).
Including Saturday night’s 3-2 regulation loss at Peoria, the team has lost its last three games by a margin of 4 goals, and that includes a late 145-foot empty netter by the Wolves on Thursday. At home Friday night, the IceHogs battled hard to pick up a point and get the game to a shootout, but Alec Richards let pucks by on the first three shooters he faced and Rockford lost the game 4-3.
A short-handed squad of IceHogs traveled to Peoria on New Years Eve afternoon for their 9th meeting of the 2011-12 season with the Peoria Rivermen. 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 »
It’s a little early to panic, but the IceHogs are off to an auspicious start to the season on their home ice.
On Saturday, a crowd of 4,715 witnessed the IceHogs’ fifth-consecutive home ice loss, a 3-0 shutout to the Peoria Rivermen. The defeat drops Rockford’s record to 1-5-0-0 at home and 5-7-1-0 overall.
Rockford now sits firmly in 5th and last place in the Midwest division, three points behind the Chicago Wolves, who have played just four of their thirteen games at Allstate Arena so far. The IceHogs are also four points behind 3rd place Milwaukee, who have two games in hand on Rockford.
“When we’re on the road, we’re just relaxed. We just go out and play our game. We’re tight and a little unsure of ourselves at home,” IceHogs captain Brandon Segal said after Saturday’s loss.
“It’s kind of frustrating because obviously these are the points we need right now and we’re not getting them.”
The IceHogs came into Saturday’s contest off a stunning 7-6 loss at Peoria on Friday. Stunning, because Rockford led that game 6-4 with a minute and change left in regulation only allow two quick Phil McRae goals and then to lose the game in overtime on a questionable goaltender interference non-call that left the IceHogs incensed.
Peoria’s offense picked up where it left off Friday night and got going early when T.J. Hensick gave the Rivermen an early 1-0 lead. Brett Sterling skating down the far half wall found Hensick streaking to along the goal line to the net, stringing a pass through two IceHogs defenders. Hensick held the pass and skated around a weak stick-check attempt by Alexander Salak and roofed an easy nonchalant backhander far right corner 2:54 into the game. Read more »
The American Hockey League was finally able to release their 2011-12 regular season schedule on Thursday, exactly fifty days prior to the league’s official opener, October 7th.
Rockford will open its season on Saturday night, October 8th versus the Grand Rapids Griffins at the formerly-named MetroCentre, now the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The next day the IceHogs play their first road game at Peoria. That October 9th contest against the Rivermen begins a four-game road trip continuing with two games in Abbotsford on Oct 14 and 16. After five days off, the IceHogs make their first trip to Allstate Arena in Rosemont for the ’11-12 seasons’ initial meeting with the Chicago Wolves, brand new affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.
In all, the IceHogs and Wolves meet twelve times during the new campaign. In a weird twist, the Hogs-Wolves season series will be complete by Feb 26th. The rivals will meet on back-to-back days on three separate occasions: Oct 21-22, Jan 20-21 and Feb 10-11 (both of these games are in Rockford). Read more »