Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DARLING RECALLED, CARRUTH RETURNS TO ROCKFORD

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By: Nate Haeni
Photo by Todd Reicher
Rockford, Ill.- The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have recalled goaltender Scott Darling from the Rockford IceHogs. Additionally, Mac Carruth has been reassigned from the ECHL’s Indy Fuel to the IceHogs.

Darling, 25, has tallied an 8-2-1 record, .929 save percentage and 2.05 goals-against average in 11 games with the IceHogs. The Lemont, Ill., native posted a 2-1-0 mark with a .933 SV% and a 1.98 GAA in three games with Chicago this season.

Carruth, 22, earned his first career AHL shutout in his season debut for the IceHogs on Nov. 23. The netminder turned away all 23 shots he faced to help Rockford pick up their fourth straight win in a 3-0 blanking of the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena.

The Jackson, Wyo. native has appeared in six games with the Fuel this season, showing a 0-3-1-2 record with a 3.11 goals against average and .895 save percentage.

The backstop manned the pipes in seven games for the IceHogs in 2013-14, posting a 2-2-1 record with a 3.36 goals against average and .880 save percentage.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 6 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to Saturday's contest for Teddy Bear Toss Night. All the furry critters can be thrown onto the ice after the IceHogs score their first goal of the game. The stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to local hospitals and charities.

WEEK 8 RECAP: MIDWEST DIVISION RACE TIGHTENS UP

By: Brent Hollerud
Photo By Greg Hamil
IceHogs take three of six points, but drop pair to Chicago to finish Week 8

Week 8 Recap: 
An intense divisional race heated up further in Week 8, as the IceHogs took only one of four points from a home-and-home series with the Chicago Wolves, who were able to nip at the heels of Rockford’s lead in the Midwest. The IceHogs started the week with a convincing 6-1 home win over Iowa on Wednesday, before falling to the Wolves 4-3 in overtime at the BMO on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday on the road. Rockford now only sits three points ahead of Chicago in the divisional standings.

Week 8 Results:                     
Wednesday, Nov. 26, Iowa 1 vs. Rockford 6           
Friday, Nov. 28, Chicago 4 vs. Rockford 3 (OT)         
Saturday, Nov. 29, Rockford 1 at Chicago 2            
                                             
Week 9 Schedule:Thursday, Dec. 4, at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6, vs. Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7, vs. Lake Erie, 4 p.m.

Bacon Bits:

-Rockford had their six-game point streak (5-0-1-0) snapped on Saturday in Rosemont against the Wolves

-In a pair of Midwest Division home-and-home series (Chicago this week and Milwaukee in Week 6), the IceHogs show a 0-3-1-0 record

-In Saturday’s loss, the IceHogs had their penalty kill streak come to an end at 21-straight kills, dating back to the first period of their victory over Iowa on Nov. 21

-The IceHogs have allowed a power play goal in just six of their first 22 games, but have allowed multiple power play tallies in four of those six outings

-Wednesday’s game against the Wild set season-highs in penalty minutes both for the IceHogs (69) and combined (125)

-A total of six fighting majors and six 10-minute misconducts were issued in the game

-Rockford fired a season-high 49 shots on Iowa goaltender John Curry during the 6-1 victory

-Goalie Michael Leighton returned from injury on Saturday and stopped a season-high 39 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves

-After registering just one point (a goal) in his first eight games, defenseman T.J. Brennan has a point in 12 of his last 14 games going back to 10/31/14

-During the 14 game stretch, Brennan has totaled 3g-13a-16pts and now ranks tied for third in scoring among all AHL d-men

-Defenseman Ville Pokka recorded a point in all three games in Week 8, totaling 3g-1a-4pts and he now leads all Rockford blueliners with five goals

-Rockford is 7-2-0-1 this season when their opponents score first, a .750 winning percentage
In the AHL this season, the team that scores first wins .708 of the time

-Rockford tied a team record with nine wins in November as the club went 9-3-1-0

-November was tied for the busiest month of the season for the IceHogs, along with December when they play 13 games

-Forward Jamie Wise scored a goal in his AHL debut for Rockford on Friday

-Fellow Indy Fuel recall defenseman Dillon Fournier also picked up his first AHL point on Friday with an assist

-The IceHogs scored four third period goals on Wednesday and are now outscoring their opponents 29-14 in the final frame of regulation

-Rockford has been outshot 217-204 in the third period

Hot Hog: Week 8

Ville Pokka    Defenseman (3g-1a)

Rookie defenseman Ville Pokka recorded a point in all three of Rockford’s games in Week 8. Pokka began the week by bagging his first career two-goal game as he helped lead the IceHogs to a 6-3 win over the Iowa Wild. On Friday, Pokka marked an assist in Rockford’s overtime loss to the Wolves before tallying the Hogs lone goal in a 2-1 defeat in Chicago. Overall this season, Pokka leads all Rockford defenseman with five goals and has 5g-4a-9pts with a +3.

Upcoming Games:

Thursday, Dec. 4, at Milwaukee Admirals: Game begins at 7 p.m. Rockford looks to make it two wins in a row against their Midwest Division rivals as they make their second of six treks to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to take on the Admirals. The IceHogs’ last trip to Milwaukee ended with a 2-1 loss on Nov. 15.

Saturday, Dec. 6, vs. Grand Rapids Griffins: Face off is set for 7 p.m. Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to Saturday's contest for Teddy Bear Toss Night as the IceHogs host the Griffins. All the furry critters can be thrown onto the ice after the IceHogs score their first goal of the game. The stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to local hospitals and charities.

Sunday, Dec. 7, vs. Lake Erie Monsters: Game starts at 4 p.m. The IceHogs celebrate their four-legged friends as they host Lake Erie in a matinee for Pucks and Paws Night at the BMO. Local animal shelters will be on hand, so fans can visit with pets up for adoption, as well as take home treats for their furry companions back at home. 

Bud Light Hog Talk Monday Night At Mulligan’s and Grill:
Bud Light Hog Talk is back on Monday, Dec. 1 at Mulligan’s Pub and Grill from 6-7 p.m. Mulligan’s is located on North Main St. Fans can join Mike Peck or TJ Hogan from 6-7 p.m. on most Mondays throughout the season, as they chat with IceHogs players, coaches and front office members. This week’s guests will include IceHogs forward Peter Regin and Associate Coach Mark Osiecki. Take advantage of food and Bud Light specials at Mulligan’s. The show will be re-aired on Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. on WIFR’s 23.2 “Antenna TV.”

The IceHogs Broadcasting Network:

Catch every IceHogs game, home and road, in 2014-15 on WIFR’s 23.2, “Antenna TV.” The games can also be viewed on Comcast Cable channel 436, Charter Cable channel 193 or Mediacom 101 in the Rockford market and online through AHLlive.com. Fans can listen to the action for free on AHLlive.com. For a complete listing of TV stations carrying IceHogs games, visit IceHogs.com. Every broadcast will start with the IceHogs Warmup 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

Tickets On Sale for 2014-2015!

IceHogs individual game tickets are now on sale! Call (815) 968-5222 to reserve your seats for any IceHogs regular season game during the 2014-15 season. Tickets can also be purchased online at IceHogs.com, in person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office in downtown Rockford, or any Ticketmaster outlet, includating Walmart. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CHICAGO POWERS PAST ICEHOGS

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By: Nate Haeni
Photo by Ross Dettman
Special teams lead the way in 2-1 Wolves victory

Rockford, Ill. – One area that had been a non-factor in the first three games of the 2014-15 Illinois Lottery Cup series had been power plays.  
The script was flipped on Saturday night at Allstate Arena, as all three goals in a 2-1 Rockford IceHogs (15-5-1-1) loss to the Chicago Wolves (12-6-3-0) were scored with the extra man. The defeat was the second in as many nights for Rockford against their in-state rivals.  
The Wolves have been lethal in the second period so far this season, with a plus-13 goal differential entering the contest, and to make matters worse Rockford gave them an extra skater to start the middle frame on Saturday. Chicago took full advantage of the power play and grabbed a 1-0 lead just 50 seconds into the period. Brent Regner set up Ty Rattie just above the faceoff circle and the winger blasted his league-best 13th goal of the season past Michael Leighton. 
Chicago added to the lead in third period, again with the man advantage. Defenseman Brent Sopel fired a shot from the blueline that Shane Harper tipped to the back of the net to push the score to 2-0 at the 5:06 mark in the third.  
Rockford fought back with four minutes to go in the final period. With Brent Regner in the box for an interference minor and serving a bench minor, Ville Pokka connected on a drive from the faceoff circle to bring the score to 2-1.  
The IceHogs were pressing for the equalizer with Leighton on the bench, but could not find a way to recreate the last minute comeback that their opponent pulled off 24 hours prior. 
Leighton, who was sidelined for six games due to an injury, returned to action for the first time since Nov. 11and was stellar in net despite being handed the loss. The Rockford goaltender stopped a season-high 39 shots on goal.   
Matt Climie turned aside 27 shots to grab the victory.  
Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 6 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to Saturday's contest for Teddy Bear Toss Night. All the furry critters can be thrown onto the ice after the IceHogs score their first goal of the game. The stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to local hospitals and charities.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

WOLVES WIN IN WILD FINISH AT THE BMO

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By: Brent Hollerud
Photo by Todd Reicher
Chicago grabs the series opener with a 4-3 overtime victory in Rockford

Rockford, Ill. - The American Hockey League's much-hyped overtime format was on display Friday night in Rockford, and it certainly lived up to its reputation. After the dust settled from a frenzied extra frame, the Chicago Wolves emerged with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Rockford IceHogs in an Illinois Lottery Cup matchup in front of a packed BMO Harris Bank Center.

Chicago defenseman Brent Regner tipped home the game winner with 10.2 remaining in overtime to give the Wolves their first victory in three chances against the IceHogs. He almost didn't get the opportunity.

Rockford goalie Scott Darling punched a rebound all the way to the neutral zone, where it landed on the stick of Teuvo Teravainen who saw nothing in front of him except the Wolves net. Chicago netminder Matt Climie stymied the breakaway attempt, sending the play back the other direction with just enough time for Regner to redirect a shot from Dmitrij Jaskin. The assist on the game-winner was Jaskin's third of the night.

The back-and-forth finale was indicative of a thrilling extra frame that almost seemed as if it would go the distance at four men aside. The opening six-plus minutes was played at a breakneck pace with only one whistle before play reverted to 3-on-3 with 48.6 seconds remaining.

Chicago was able to force overtime in dramatic fashion as well. Trailing the IceHogs 3-2 and getting outplayed for much of the third period, the Wolves found the equalizer off of a Colin Fraser deflection with 1:06 left in regulation.

Before Fraser stole a potential regulation win away from his former team, it was up to Climie to keep the Wolves in the game. He rose to the challenge, finishing the game with 37 saves, including several big saves down the stretch when Chicago was shorthanded. The IceHogs were held scoreless on five power play opportunities, despite generating a handful of quality scoring chances.

Rockford scored their go-ahead goal to begin the third the same way Chicago scored their last pair - with a misdirection. Brandon Mashinter got a handle on a point shot from T.J. Brennan, which caromed off the right post and in to give the IceHogs a 3-2 lead at 6:22 of the third.

The IceHogs got off to a sluggish start in the opening frame as the Wolves were able to control the pace. Rockford committed a number of turnovers in their own end, none more costly than the first, which led to an early goal for Chicago. David Shields picked Ryan Hartman's pocket and quickly found Ty Rattie at the net-mouth, who one-touched it home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead just 1:49 into the game.

While the IceHogs looked a tad lethargic in the opening twenty, they came out buzzing in the second. Rockford turned the 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, thanks to some help from their newest players.

Defenseman Dillon Fournier, reassigned to the IceHogs Friday morning, notched his first AHL point with a secondary assist on Pierre-Cedric Labrie's game-tying goal. Fournier started the scoring play with a pass to Matt Carey, who made a 10-foot pass to Labrie inside the right circle. In one fluid motion, Labrie settled the pass and snapped one by Climie to make it 1-1 with his second of the year at 2:23 of the period.

Another Indy Fuel call-up gave Rockford the lead 5:36 later when Jamie Wise netted his first-career AHL goal in his AHL debut. Garret Ross delivered a pin-point pass to Wise cutting across the crease, who deftly moved the puck from his backhand to his forehand while off-balance to make it 2-1.

The lead did not make it to the end of the period, as the Wolves nabbed an equalizer at 13:30 of the second. A defensive breakdown found the IceHogs outnumbered in front of Darling, who made a couple saves but could not stop Harper. The Chicago forward tucked a loose puck over Darling's shoulder for his sixth of the year, sending the game into the third period at a 2-2 stalemate.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the IceHogs, dating back to a 2-1 defeat in Milwaukee on Nov. 15. Darling made 26 saves in a losing effort.

Rockford won't have to wait long to avenge Friday's defeat, as they meet Chicago again Saturday night in Rosemont to finish the home-and-home series. Face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Allstate Arena.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 6 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal to Saturday's contest for Teddy Bear Toss Night. All the furry critters can be thrown onto the ice after the IceHogs score their first goal of the game. The stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to local hospitals and charities.

Friday, November 28, 2014

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By: Brent Hollerud
IceHogs host first leg of Illinois Lottery Cup home-and-home series

Rockford, Ill. – With another win in their pockets and their stomachs full of turkey and stuffing, the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs (15-4-0-1) now focus on a key home-and-home series against the Chicago Wolves (11-6-3-0), beginning at 7 p.m. Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The Illinois Lottery Cup matchup marks the conclusion of Rockford’s Brovember initiative, as the IceHogs will once again be wearing their specialty jerseys. Select uniforms will be available during the game via a blind silent auction in the concourse, with all proceeds benefitting Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center.

Tickets are available by phone at 815-968-5222, in person at the BMO Harris Box Office and at any Ticketmaster location, or online at IceHogs.com. The game will also be available for viewing online at AHLLive.com and locally on 23.2 Antenna TV, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with IceHogs Warm Up.  For up-to-the-minute updates, follow the IceHogs on Twitter (@GoIceHogs).

The first-place Rockford squad is rolling into the weekend series, thanks to a 6-1 win on Wednesday against the Iowa Wild; a win that gave them five-straight victories and 13 of their last 15 overall. The IceHogs turned the BMO into their own firing range, pouring on a season-high 49 shots (36 through 40 minutes) and matching their season-high scoring output.

Rockford opened the floodgates with four tallies in what was a hectic final frame.  Defenseman Ville Pokka accounted for two of the third period goals to lead a team that had 13 different players record at least a point.

The next challenge for the IceHogs lies in the first of three home-and-home sets with the Wolves this season. Rockford has taken the first two stages of the 2014-15 Illinois Lottery Cup race, including a 3-0 shutout victory last Sunday at Allstate Arena. After Friday’s tilt at the BMO the in-state rivals will meet again 24 hours later in Rosemount to round out the weekend.

After dropping a 4-1 decision to the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday, the Wolves have fell to a second-place tie in the heated Midwest Division standings. Both the Wolves and the Admirals sit with 25 points, placing them six back of the IceHogs.  This weekend’s doubleheader presents a prime opportunity for Rockford to create some distance from the pack, and for Chicago to climb back into the mix.

So far this season the Wolves have been led by the offensive trio of Pat Cannone (5g-10a), Rob Bordson (5g-9a) and Ty Rattie (11g-2a). On the back end, they will have to do without the services of netminder Jordan Binnington this weekend, who was recalled to the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week.

Next Home Game:
 Saturday, Dec. 6 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Rockford begins their December home schedule against the Griffins with the annual Teddy Bear Toss night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Fans are encouraged to bring stuffed animals to throw onto the ice surface after the first IceHogs goal, all of which will be donated to local charities. 

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