Dec 012012
 

By Chris Block

Rockford continued its recent road winning ways with a 5-2 come from behind win before a crowd of 6,549 in Charlotte on Saturday night.  The IceHogs handed the Charlotte Checkers, the second-place team in the Western Conference, their 6th loss of the season though it was Charlotte’s 4th in 7 games in its home rink.

With the team’s hottest goal scorer, Andrew Shaw, out of the lineup serving a one game, and most recent, suspension Rockford looked to its big guns to pull them out of another big whole the team dug itself early on Saturday night.

The IceHogs got unanswered goals from Brandon Saad, Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin and two from captain Martin St. Pierre.  The captain, recognized as one of the slickest set-up men in the AHL, also fell an assist shy of registering the Gordie Howe Hat Trick on Saturday.

Rockford has now strung four consecutive road wins together after starting the season 1-4-0-1 on opposing ice surfaces.

And, for the first time this season, the IceHogs sit two games above the .500 mark at 11-9-0-1 with their win in Charlotte. Continue reading »

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Nov 302012
 

By Chris Block

On Friday, the American Hockey League suspended Rockford IceHogs winger Andrew Shaw for 1 game in response to a boarding infraction Shaw committed in Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Wolves.

Shaw was called for boarding by official Trent Knorr at the 15:45 mark of the second period when Shaw left his feet while finishing a check on Chicago forward Brett Sterling deep in the Wolves’ zone.

Shaw’s point of contact on Sterling appeared to be a shoulder or arm directly to the side of Sterling’s head.  Sterling went down and was shaken up for a few moments but stayed in the game.  Play continued on while the Wolves maintained possession of the puck.

During the delayed penalty call, Andrew Shaw retreated to the Rockford IceHogs’ bench where he walked behind the bench where the coaches stand, where he picked up a folding chair.  Shaw appeared to be contemplating throwing the chair onto to the ice when he was stopped by one of the team trainers. Continue reading »

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Nov 212012
 

By Chris Block

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.” Continue reading »

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Nov 192012
 

By Chris Block

On Monday, the AHL announced its decision to suspend Rockford IceHogs third-year defenseman Shawn Lalonde 3 games for his actions in last Friday (Nov 16) night’s game against the Houston Aeros in Rockford.

Lalonde’s suspension is result of an illegal check to the head on Aeros’ defenseman Steven Kampfer.  The incident took place at 9:40 of the second period in Friday night’s game while the Aeros were on the power play.

There was no penalty called on the play by either of the two referees, Joe Sullivan and Jean Hebert.

The hit temporarily knocked Kampfer unconscious and Kampfer was eventually stretchered off the ice and taken to a Rockford hospital where he was evaluated and released the next day. Continue reading »

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Nov 182012
 

By Chris Block

A fluke Adam Clendening skate blowout and another case of mindless minor penalties made all the difference on Sunday night as the Rockford IceHogs suffered their 8th regulation loss in 15 games (6-8-0-1), falling to the Houston Aeros 3-2.

On the positive side, the IceHogs’ power play snapped out of its 0 for 15 funk in going 2 for 4 on the night.  Ben Smith and Adam Clendening, making up for his ill-timed clumsiness less than a minute earlier, tallied Rockford’s goals with the man advantage.

The game was played before a crowd of 11,175 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  Houston is the American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.  Sunday served as a home game for the Aeros.

Carter Hutton was good, stopping 18 of the 21 shots he faced, but he almost had no chance to stop Johan Larsson’s goal after Clendening blew a tire out next to Hutton’s net and left a puck out in the low slot for Larsson to bang home, giving Houston the decisive 3-1 advantage with 9:59 remaining in the third period. Continue reading »

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Nov 152012
 

By Chris Block

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. Continue reading »

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Nov 142012
 

By Chris Block

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. Continue reading »

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Oct 062012
 

By Jon Fromi

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. Continue reading »

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Sep 212012
 

By Chris Block

Quickly checking in with a few notes….

First off, there hasn’t been a podcast yet this week because I’ve been playing sick and have mostly lost my voice.  Hopefully we’ll be able to do one over the weekend, if not then this Monday.

This weekend I’ll begin previewing the 2012-13 Rockford IceHogs by profiling each individual player.  I’ll also have a new post up sometime on Friday discussing our interview last week with IceHogs’ broadcaster Mike Peck.  I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t heard it yet.

The IceHogs will officially open their training camp on September 30th.  The season begins with a weekend set in Rosemont, Illinois on October 13-14 against the Chicago Wolves.

Lastly, I participated in a roundtable Q&A with several others that should be posted over at the newly-launced TheCommittedIndian.com shortly.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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Sep 112012
 

By Chris Block

This week we’re joined by Mike Peck, play-by-play voice of the Rockford IceHogs, to preview the 2012-13 IceHogs’ team.

On this show we discuss the progressions made in the games of prospects Carter Hutton, Brandon Bollig, Dylan Olsen, Ryan Stanton, Joe Lavin and others. We take a look at who will emerge as the IceHogs team leaders and captains for this season, the changes in Jeremy Morin‘s game, the impact Rob Flick can have in the Rockford lineup, Pete Leblanc‘s journey to an NHL contract, Rostislav Olesz‘s status as well as the potential IceHogs roster should the NHL Lockout proceed as expected.

Mike also gives us the scouting report on Rockford signing Martin St. Pierre.

We discuss the ramifications of today’s Michal Rozsival signing by the Blackhawks and how that move will impact Rockford’s roster. [see Depth Chart]

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PuckChatter~Radio will return next week with the first show of the dreaded NHL Lockout period.

**Next week seems like the perfect time to do some Blackhawks prospects / Rockford IceHogs Q&A from you, the listener.  So if you have any questions in general about this season’s IceHogs, or follow ups to anything Mike and I discussed on this show, post those questions in the comment section below, or its probably better to email those to me directly at PuckChatter@Gmail.com.

And again, if you missed last week’s interview with former Blackhawk Steve Ludzik, check it out!  Ludzy is a tremendous interview and was very generous with his time with us.  As always, he told some great stories and dropped some interesting nuggets down for us.

**I should point out a correction from the show.  I misspoke.  Michal Rozsival’s deal is a 1-year, $2M agreement.


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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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