PuckChatter~Radio returned Tuesday night with special guest Stephen Nelson, formerly the Rockford IceHogs radio; pre, intermission and postgame host.
Stephen joined us to share his experiences working for, and with the Rockford IceHogs this past season. He talked about his favorite players to work with and the new player profile feature he helped craft this season.
He also talked about the team’s early struggles experienced this past season and why Stephen always remained confident the IceHogs would turn things around.
Nelson gave us some behind the scenes insight on some of the top IceHogs and Blackhawks prospects including the special bond Ben Smith developed with the late Jimmy Newcomer, the 19-year old Rockford area kid who was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer who Smith visited in the hospital late one night and remained in contact with up until Newcomer passed away a few weeks ago.
We were fortunate enough on Saturday to sit down with Rockford IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent for a lengthy season-in-review discussion.
In this twenty-five minute interview, Dent shared his take on the gamut of subjects from coaching, to working in unison with Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks coaching staff to the ups and down season his IceHogs experienced in this 2011-12 season.
Dent also gives his take on the state of Kyle Beach‘s progression, where he thinks Beach could be had it not been for missing four months due to shoulder surgery and if Dent has been surprised at all by the rapid ascension of Andrew Shaw.
On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they have reached terms on a 1-year contract with center Pete Leblanc. It will be a two-way (NHL/AHL) agreement.
Leblanc was originally the Blackhawks 7th round selection (186th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. After spending four years at the University of New Hampshire, Leblanc turned pro with the Rockford IceHogs.
The Hamilton, Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with the Rockford IceHogs on AHL contracts as the Blackhawks had elected not to offer Leblanc an NHL contract until now.
In 70 games this season, Leblanc has posted 23 goals and 20 assists for the IceHogs. Since being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games in early November, Leblanc has scored all 23 of his goals over the most recent 61 contests.
He is currently tied for the team lead in goals scored (23) with Brandon Pirri. And Leblanc is second on the team in overall points, trailing Pirri by twelve points, with 43. Leblanc has a plus/minus rating of plus-2. It was Leblanc’s elevated level of play that caused veteran Brett McLean to slip down the IceHogs depth chart and even to the wing on the fourth line before McLean opted to play out the rest of the season in Switzerland. Read more »
In all, four players received a total of 10 games as penalty for their involvement in Sunday’s brawl. Rockford got the short-hand with two of its players each getting three games while Milwaukee got a total of four. The two teams and respective coaches were fined undisclosed amounts as well.
IceHogs center Rob Flick received 3 games for essentially instigating the incident when he skated over to Milwaukee’s crease and engaged with Admirals’ goaltender Jeremy Smith while the two teams were lining up for a face off in the neutral zone. Smith got a 1 game suspension.
Smith and Flick appeared to be exchanging words before Smith took a sip from his water bottle and turned around to find Flick approaching the top of his crease. At that point Smith took the first swing with his blocker at the head of Flick and the two immediately began fighting before the puck had ever dropped out near the Admirals’ blue line.
Shawn Lalonde and Milwaukee’s Michael Latta each received 3-game suspensions for leaving the penalty box to join in the melee. Those two had been sent off with off-setting fighting majors at the previous whistle. Lalonde was responding to Latta taking a run and IceHogs’ forward Brandon Svendsen, who was in a vulnerable position a few feet away from the boards. Read more »
This is the hard Bradley Center arena scoreboard cam. You don’t see everything, but stick with it (at 3:00) and you’ll see the beginning of the deal when Rob Flick and Milwaukee Admirals goaltender Jeremy Smith threw down. Shawn Lalonde and Michael Latta of Milwaukee had just been sent to the box, each with fighting majors on the play prior to the face off when all this went down. Thus, Lalonde and Latta both came out of the penalty box to join this melee. It should also be noted, the IceHogs were down a player all together in the brawl, as forward Rostislav Olesz left the game in the first period with an apparent serious injury to his right knee. Olesz did not return.
Rob Flick, Carter Hutton, Shawn Lalonde, Ryan Stanton and head coach Ted Dent all received game misconducts and thus ejected. This all went down about halfway through the second period. To calm things down and sort out the mess, the referees inserted an eighteen minute mid-period intermission.
As of this hour, the AHL has not issued the inevitable suspensions to Rob Flick, Shawn Lalonde and Ted Dent, if not others as well.
More video of the continuation of the “brawl” which continued on for several minutes as the officials tried to separate everyone. Read more »
A juicy rebound goal by Rostislav Olesz and a Shawn Lalonde shot that went off Jimmy Hayes’ pant leg and in was all the IceHogs could muster against Matt Climie on Saturday night before the second-biggest crowd of the season in Rockford’s BMO Harris Bank Center.
That wouldn’t be enough as the Wolves scored goals in bunches to defeat Rockford by a final score of 6-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,164.
Carter Hutton was mercifully pulled from his net by IceHogs coach Ted Dent after the Wolves scored three goals in 2:34 midway through the second period. Hutton was able to stop 15 of the 20 shots he saw in 28:23 of action but he didn’t have much chance on a few of those goals.
“I apologized to Hutts because our team wasn’t there in front of him,” Dent noted of speaking to Hutton and explaining the switch between the second and third periods.
Alexander Salak came in to relieve Hutton, one night after his victorious 2-1, 27-save return to action after being sidelined ten weeks with an ankle injury. Salak stopped all 15 shots he faced over 31 minutes in relief of Hutton on Saturday. Salak was pulled for an extra attacker with three and a half minutes to go when Chicago notched its sixth and final goal of the evening into the vacated Rockford net. Read more »
Join us live at 8pm central for our annual New Years resolution and predictions extravaganza. This show should be Super.
We’ll take a look at why the Blackhawks suck against the Oilers, what’s wrong with Dan Carcillo’s brain… how the Blackhawks don’t seem to care about the brains of Marcus Kruger, Brent Seabrook and others… and we’ll preview the week ahead, including the big matchups Thursday in Philly with the Flyers and back at home Sunday with the Red Wings.
Beer, Bacon & Malort
My good friends over at HockeeNight dot com will be hosting some Red Wings fans this Saturday night, January 7th, at Paddy Long’s in Chicago at 1028 W. Diversey. That, of course, is on the eve of the Red Wings-Blackhawks matchup at United Center the next night. Hmm. Beer, bacon and Malort… don’t mind if I do.
–I’ll have another column running in the Committed Indian this Sunday night.
Both players will continue with their junior teams and likely be called to the Rockford IceHogs if those seasons end before Rockford’s does, which at this point looks like it’ll be on April 14th. Read more »
Not even the IceHogs best collective effort of the season was enough to earn points before a crowd of 3,734 at BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday night.
Twenty-four hours after getting recalled from ECHL Toledo, goaltender Carter Hutton was a minute and twenty seconds away from securing at least a point for his team when Abbotsford’s Ben Walter jabbed a rebound past Hutton to hand Rockford a heart-wrenching 2-1 defeat.
For the IceHogs, the loss ended a five-game home stand with a sour taste and 2-3-0-0 record to show for it. The team managed just one goal in each of its last three games, all losses. After starting the home stand with two wins – a 6-3 victory over San Antonio and another 7-3 clubbering of Peoria, Rockford’s home record now stands at a dismal 3-9-0-0.
Overall, Rockford is now four games below.500 at 8-12-1-0.
Losses on back-to-back nights at home certainly stings, but head coach Ted Dent wasn’t disappointed overall with his team’s performance against the Heat.
“Last night was a different game than tonight,” Dent explained. “Tonight was a playoff-type atmosphere. It was a fast game… hard-hitting. The only area of improvement I think we could have had there was scoring on the power play.” 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 »