Brandon Pirri handles the puck in his second-to-last home game as a member of the Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago, February 21, 2014 photo: Todd Reicher, courtesy of Rockford IceHogs
By Chris Block
I recall day two of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. Then Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon strained to holdback his excitement when talking to media types after drafting Toronto native, Brandon Pirri with the third-to-last pick in the second round of that draft.
“Terrific skills,” were the first Tallon gave when asked about Pirri. “He’s really a good hockey player. We’re very happy that we got him there. It’s the old adage, ‘(we) can’t believe he was still there.’”
Pirri had just turned 18 two months prior and was a relatively untested commodity upon entering the draft, having stuck to the Canadian junior B level after committing to join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the fall of 2009.
On a cold afternoon in Detroit, the Blackhawks invaded Joe Louis Arena for a 12:30 ET start. This lone NHL afternoon match was viewed nationally and did not disappoint.
The Hawks came in riding their 21 game point streak and the Red Wings were looking to play spoiler and break that streak.
With the talk of re-alignment throughout the NHL, the Red Wings will move over to the Eastern Conference and only see the Hawks 2 times a year versus the regular 6 times. This could be a big blow to the already great rivalry between these 2 clubs.
Marian Hossa played in his 1000th game, etching his name among the elite in the NHL. Dave Bolland missed his 5th consecutive game with an upper body injury. Read more »
There is still a lot more to come from Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins before a sellout crowd of 6,219 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. [Video of the brawl is posted again at the bottom of this post]
230 penalty minutes in all were dealt out in Saturday’s game. 202 of those came as result of the brawl.
Frustrations from an IceHogs perspective had boiled over at the 11:58 mark of the second period after Grand Rapids forward Landon Ferraro scored a power play goal to put the visiting team ahead 6-3.
The IceHogs had been assessed five-straight minor penalties by the officials in the first eleven minutes of the second period alone and the Griffins had capitalized on two of those opportunities with the man-advantage. To that point in the contest, Grand Rapids was 3 for 6 on the power play. Rockford had just one power play chance to that point and it resulted in a Dylan Olsen goal, giving the IceHogs a 1-0 lead at 3:57 of the first period.
No one on the Rockford side after the game was entirely blaming the refs for the lopsided power plays going in Grand Rapids favor. The IceHogs players and coach admitted most of the calls against them were warranted. Although, it was the hooking call referee Joe Sullivan gave Terry Broadhurst that gave Grand Rapids the power play that Landon Ferraro would use to put his team up 6-3 that had the IceHogs livid with the officiating. Read more »
Video of the long brawl that took place at the 11:58 mark of the second period between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.
This video doesn’t capture the entire sequence of events. A little after this footage ends, as the officials were about to begin the process of sorting out the penalties and game misconducts, Adam Clendening and Tomas Tatar somehow ended up together on the far side of the ice across from the IceHogs bench and those two squared off and fought.
Okay, the lockout has gone on long enough. Normally this time a year I’d be watching Blackhawk games and parts of other NHL games throughout the week. While walking the dogs Tuesday night it dawned on me that I had just spent the previous hour watching a show called Swamp People. I’m not sure which is worse; my sudden affinity for the Rockford IceHogs, or watching the swampers yank 10 to 12 foot gators out of the pond. Pray for me as I’m quite certain Pawn Stars or Say Yes to the Dress, are not far in the offing.
In a way, now that the ‘Hogs have caught my interest, I wouldn’t be terribly upset with the cancellation of the rest of the NHL season. $10 to $20 dollars for a very good seat beats the hell out of paying $48 in the 300 section at the United Center. Read more »