Call of the Wild

Inside the Rockford IceHogs Archives

Gallery 82 - Shoot Out Loss for IceHogs

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Netting the Game Winning Goal for the Texas Stars in a Shoot Out was Mathieu Tousignant.

It was Trick or Treat Night at the Metro Centre on Wednesday night and the Texas Stars went home with the WIN in their candy bag. The IceHogs lost to the Stars in a Shoot Out after nine rounds, 4-3. Even though the game contained no fights nor scrums, it certainly did not lack for action. Referee Ian Croft appeared to let the teams just play the game, calling a total of seven infractions for the entire night.

After the game the IceHogs players sat at tables set up on the ice and children were able to go around the tables to each player Trick or Treating. The kids were treated to a large assortment of items donated by area corporate sponsors. The players appeared to really enjoy interacting with the kids as they passed out the treats.

 

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Gallery 81 - IceHogs Beat Wolves in OT 4-3

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Igor Makarov was named #1 Star of the Game for scoring the game winning goal in OT.

It was an exciting time at the Metro Centre in Rockford last night during the game between the Rockford IceHogs and the Chicago Wolves. While it thundered and lightninged outside, there seemed to be a storm raging inside too. Within the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game there was 1 goal scored and 2 fights. The final score for the night was the IceHogs winning in OT 4-3. Referee Shaun Davis handed out a total penalty minutes of 43 for 13 infraction to Rockford and 37 for 14 infraction to Chicago.

 

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Gallery 80 - IceHogs Melted by the Heat

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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The Rockford IceHogs lost last night to the Abbotsford Heat, 4-1. One bright spot of the night was seeing former IceHog Matt Keith, who is now playing with the Heat.

Blackhawks' prospect, Jeremy Morin, appeared to receive a injury to his right leg late in the 3rd frame and needed help getting off the ice.

 

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A Quiet Moment Please.

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.


One of the founding members of Call of The Wild, Kris Gray's Father passed away earlier today after a long illness.  Kris and her talent are the heart and soul of this effort and our thoughts are with her and her family at this difficult time.


COTW 

Gallery 76 - IceHogs lose to Admirals 3-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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In goal for the Rockford IceHogs was Alec Richards on Friday night October 1, 2010.

The Milwaukee Admirals handed the Rockford IceHogs a pre-season Shoot Out loss this past Friday night, October 1st, in Rockford. Photos in the gallery are from that game.

 

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Gallery 75 - IceHogs Top Rivermen in Pre-Season Shoot Out

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Netminder, Danny Battochio, appears to be a big fan of The Dark Knight's. Battochio replaced IceHogs' Joe Palmer in goal with 8 minutes left in the 2nd period.

The IceHogs played their first pre-season game on Tuesday in Rockford against the Peoria Rivermen, defeating the Rivermen in a Shoot Out 5-4.

In looking over the rosters, not many players at this point in time are very familiar. With a lot of players still recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks, it's still uncertain how many of last season's IceHogs players will remain with the Blackhawks and who will be assigned to Rockford. IceHogs' Training Camp just opened this past Sunday September 25th, while the Blackhawks Camp opened on September 18th.  

IceHog Zack Torquato introduced himself to the fans in a big way during the game. He scored two goals during regulation play and then scored an additional goal during the Shoot Out. The 21 year old Ontario native signed a AHL contract with the IceHogs this past July. This will be his first professional season. Welcome to Rock Vegas Zack!

The next pre-season game is scheduled for Friday October 1st at 7:05pm at the Metro Centre in Rockford against the Milwaukee Admirals. The IceHogs open their season at home on October 9th. They have planned a Fan Fest for prior to the game to help kick off the season.

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Battochio reacts to the puck flying by.

 

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Update: Dan Bertram, former Blackhawks Prospect

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Dan Bertram, right wing.

It was announced on July 16, 2010 that right winger Dan Bertram of Canada, has signed a try-out-contract with the Red Bull Salzburg hockey team. He will attend the Red Bulls' pre-season training camp in Austria and will start training on the ice July 26Th with the rest of the team.

Bertram, 23, disappeared from the hockey world suddenly at the beginning of the 2009/10 season after being assigned to the Toledo Walleyes by the Rockford IceHogs. The Walleyes are the ECHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. Apparently Bertram requested and was granted an early release from his contract with the Blackhawks.

The 2005 NHL Entry Draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks', 2ND round 54Th overall, played for Boston College 2004-2008 and helped lead his team to the 2008 NCAA Mens Division 1 Hockey Championship. He was a Co-Assistant Captain for the team during his senior year of college.

His entry into the world of pro-hockey was a memorable one, as during the Blackhawks' Red & White Event pre-season 2008, he broke his lower jaw after being struck in the mouth by a puck. Despite his small size, 5'10" 185#, he often went toe to toe during fights with opponents much bigger than him. He played with both grit and moxy, not backing down to anyone. Bertram played a total of 56 games with the IceHogs and 5 games with the now defunct ECHL Fresno Falcons during the 2008/09 season.

We wish Dan all the best as he continues to pursue his career in pro-hockey.

Here are a few images of Bertram, taken while he played for the IceHogs during the 2008/09 season.

 

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So long, Farewell...Akim Aliu

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Blackhawks recently made a final decision as to the future of winger Akim Aliu with their club. On June 16th, 2010 the Blackhawks announced that Aliu was included in a multi-player trade with the Atlanta Thrashers. Blackhawks players Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu were traded to Atlanta in return for Jeremy Morin, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and a first & second round 2010 NHL Entry Draft selections.

Aliu's hockey career can be described as nothing short of colorful to date, as trouble seemed to follow him where ever he went. The 2007 NHL Entry Draft selection by the Blackhawks, round 2 (#56 overall), was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs at the beginning of the season in 2009, after having spent the last 5 years playing in the OHL where in amassed over 400 PIM's. During 2009/2010 season he played in 48 games for the IceHogs before being sent down to the ECHL Toledo Walleyes on March 4th to finish the season.

We wish Aliu all the best as he heads to Atlanta.

Here are a few images of Aliu taken over the past 2 years...

 

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IceHogs Outshined by Stars

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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IceHogs Ben Smith's shot is blocked by Texas netminder Brent Krahn, while Trevor Ludwig follows closely behind Smith.

The Stars were shining brightly last night inside the MetroCentre in Rockford. That's the Texas Stars to be precise. Friday night marked Game Four of the West Division Semi Finals in the American Hockey League between the Rockford IceHogs and the Texas Stars. Texas sent the 'Hogs packin' and scrambling for tee times with a final score 4-2. Texas fans will have to wait until Monday night April 26th, that's when game seven between the Chicago Wolves and the Milwaukee Admirals will be played. The winner of that series will then face the Stars in the AHL West Division Finals.

The first period was marked with hard hits and high hopes by both teams. The Stars' struck first, with Andrew Hutchinson firing the puck past Rockford's Corey Crawford at the 3:56 marker. The IceHogs seemed to take a break during the second period, phoning in their part of the game while the Stars surged ahead. Goals were scored by Mathieu Beaudioin and Andrew Hutchinson for the Stars, making the score now 3-0 Stars.

The IceHogs apparently received a wake up call in the locker room during the second intermission and came out in the third frame strong, dominating the ice for the entire 20 minutes. But as the old saying goes, too little too late. Chicago Blackhawks' prospect Kyle Beach managed to find a way around the virtual force field Brent Krahn seems to keep around the crease, scoring twice for the IceHogs. With 9 seconds to go in the game, Warren Peters scored an empty netter for the Stars, thus making the final score 4-2.

One can not say enough about the performance turned in so far in the post season by netminder Brent Krahn of the Stars. The IceHogs seemed to have fired just about everything they had, including the kitchen sink, at Krahn during game 4. He was able to stop 38 of 40 shots on goal. For his efforts, Krahn earned the #1 Star of the Game and AHL's #1 Star of the Night.

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Rockford's Corey Crawford offers congratulations to Texas' Brent Krahn for the Stars.

 

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Stars Blast Past IceHogs 6-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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IceHogs fan, Connor Coupar, shows off his playoff beard before the game on Wednesday night in Rockford.

The Rockford IceHogs took to the ice on Wednesday night trying to overcome a two game deficit against the Texas Stars. It's post season hockey time in Rockford. Unfortunately, the IceHogs were unable to rally a win Wednesday night, losing to the Stars 6-1. The post season can possibly come to an end on Friday night, if the IceHogs fail to win that game against the Stars. The Stars lead this semi final series 3-0.

The first period went scoreless until late in the first frame that the Star's Garrett Stafford fired a rocket past Rockford's nettie, Corey Crawford. In the second frame, Jamie Benn was able to find the back of the net twice. He was joined by teammates Landon Wilson and Greg Rallo in adding to the Stars total on the scoreboard. Hannu Toivonen replaced Crawford at the top of the third frame for Rockford. Mathieu Beaudoin tallied the sixth goal of the night for the Stars in the third period. Texas' Benn went onto claim #1 Star of the Game and the AHL's #2 Star of the Night for his efforts in this game.

Rockford's single goal of the night was scored by Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith. Smith, 21, hails from North Carolina and is a senior at Boston College. On Wednesday night Smith scored his first professional goal, assisted by Bracken Kearns and Rob Klinkhammer. He was denied a goal by the Star's Brent Krahn while on a 2:1 break away during the second frame. On April 18th the Blackhawks signed Smith to a 2-year contract. The contract begins at the start of the 2010-2011 season.

For trivia buffs, Rockford's Jack Skille set a record of sorts on Wednesday night. The unusual record was for most sticks broken during a single game. At last count, Skille had broken a total of five sticks.  

Game fourof this West Division Semi Finals between the Rockford IceHogs and the Texas Stars gets underway at 7:05pm Friday April 23, 2010 in Rockford. If a game five is necessary, it will be held in Rockford on Saturday April 24th at 7:05pm. If necessary, games six and seven are scheduled to be played in Auston, Texas.

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Netminder Brent Krahn for the Stars blocks the shot fired at him by right winger, Ben Smith. Smith is a Chicago Blackhawks Prospect currently assigned to the Rockford IceHogs.

 

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IceHogs Year End Awards Announced

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Pictured: Kyle Greentree, Teemu Laakso and Mark Dekanich.

The Rockford IceHogs handed out their Year End Awards to their players this past weekend. Saturday night also marked the IceHogs' last home game for the regular season. Unfortunately, the evening did not go well for IceHogs as they were shutout by the Milwaukee Admirals 4-0. Besides the players receiving awards, the IceHogs players awarded randomly picked Season Ticket Holders with literally "the shirt off their backs", by giving those fans the jerseys they wore on Saturday night.

IceHogs Man of the Year, Bracken Kearns, received his award from the parents and brother of Sydney Ives. Mrs Ives was noted to be wearing Sydney's IceHogs jersey that she was presented with last year when she was made a honorary IceHog. That jersey had hung in the IceHogs locker room in her memory since she passed away November 2009. Kearns was also named Unsung Hero by the team.

Most Improved Player was awarded to defenseman David Phillips. Phillips is a native of Beverly, England, UK and this is his first season playing in the United States in the American Hockey League. It is his 7th season playing professional hockey.

Heavy Hitter honors was awarded to Danny Bois. Best Defenseman was awarded to Richard Petiot. Brian Connelly was named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors went to Mark Cullen.

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Chicago Wolves 2 v Milwaukee Admirals 1

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Andrew Kozek scored the game winning goal at 14:19 into the second period. Kozek had been flattened into the ice by Milwaukee Admiral big man Nolan Yonkman. He dusted himself off, headed to the net, picked up a loose puck to give the Wolves the lead.

"We want to start a roll here," Kozek said. "We want to get that first place so all these games are huge for us. Yonkman got me pretty good, but to get him back was real nice."

Chicagoan Ryan Thang, who was playing for the University of Notre Dame till their season ended, scored the first goal of the game for the Admirals. It was Thang's second professional goal. It happened at 7:32 into the first period.


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IceHogs Clinch Playoff Spot

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Pictured: Philippe Dupuis, Mike Brennan and Corey Crawford.


The Rockford IceHogs clinched their Calder Cup Playoff spot in the American Hockey League by defeating the Lake Erie Monsters 2-1 on Friday night at the MetroCentre. The IceHogs are currently in thirrd place in the West Division, with the Milwaukee Admirals a mere five points behind them in fourth place. 


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Gallery XXVIII - Rockford Phantom Regiment

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Phantom Regiment's Drum Majors

The Rockford Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps were this year's featured theme for the Rockford IceHogs Charitable Foundation's annual Jersey Auction. The Phantom Regiment's Drum Line performed live for the fans during pre-game and first intermission. This amazingly talented group of young men dazzled the crowd of 6122 fans in the sold out MetroCentre on Saturdaynight. 

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Gallery XXVII - IceHogs Shutout by Wolves 3-0

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Pete MacArthur and Tim Filangieri battle for the puck.

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Chicago Wolves shutdown Rockford IceHogs 3-0

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Matt Anderson gave the Chicago Wolves an early lead over the Rockford IceHogs in action at the MetroCentre here tonight.

Anderson's (15) goal, less than 90 seconds into the game was matched by a power play goal by Ivan Vishnevskiy (11) in a shot from high in the slot that went through traffic at 9:29 into the second frame. 

The Wolves made it 3-0 with 2:46 remaining in the third. The power play goal by Spencer Machacek was his 19th.

"There's a lot more structure to our game in the last week and a half," Wolves Head Coach Don Lever said. "Mac's come on in the last week. He's the calmest and most under control he's been all year." 


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IceHogs' Charity Bowl-a-thon

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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IceHogs newest netminder, Hannu Toivonen, joined in the fun this past Sunday. Photo credit: Kelly Manke.

IceHogs fans gathered at the Cherry Bowl in Rockford on this past Sunday for a afternoon of fun with their favorite players while helping the team raise money for charity. The entire IceHogs team including players and staff were on hand for three games of nine pin no-tap. Proceeds received from the fans for entry fees and raffle tickets for door prizes were given then to help start up a Huntington's Disease Clinic here in Rockford at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. A grand total of $7,450 was raised, this also included a donation of $1000 from the IceHogs Booster Club.

Previously, people within the Rockford area had to seek medical help for this condition outside the area.

HD is a disease that affects IceHogs' Captain Jake Dowell personally. Both his father and brother are afflicted with it. HD is a neurological disorder that is passed down from generation to generation within families. Certain nerve cells in the brain degenerate, or waste away. There is no cure for HD and no known way to stop the disease from progressing. Persons with this disease usually die within 15-20 years.

Nearly $600,000 has been raised by the IceHogs Charitable Foundation for local not-for-profit schools and organizations since it's start in 1999. The next fundraiser for the Foundation is the Jersey auction to be held on March 27, 2010 at the MetroCentre.

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IceHogs Booster Club Treasurer, Kelly Cummings, is seen presenting a check from the Booster Club to Dr Mitch King. Dr King is an associate dean of accademic affairs for the College of Medicine. Photo credit: Kelly Manke.

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All 32 lanes at the Cherry Bowl were filled to capacity with players, staff and fans at the event last Sunday. Photo credit: Kelly Manke.

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David Phillips appeared to be having a fun time. Photo credit: Kelly Manke.

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Brian Connelly shows off his bowling form as he releases the ball. Photo credit: Kelly Manke.

 

Rivermen Outshine IceHogs, Win 3-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Shawn Lalonde and Chris Porter during game action Friday night in Rockford.

The Peoria Rivermen defeated the Rockford IceHogs 3-1Friday night. For the Rivermen, against the wall regarding a playoff spot, it was a passionate game. They dominated the IceHogs for all three periods.

Friday night's game marked the debut of Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Shawn Lalonde. He joined the team this week after completing his season in the Ontario Hockey League. Lalonde was a 2008 National Hockey League third round draft pick, 68th overall by Chicago.
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IceHogs Top Aeros in a Shootout 3-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Pictured are Rockford's Pete MacArthur and Houston's Maxim Noreau.

Travel weary IceHogs took on a equally tired Houston Aeros team early Sunday evening the 14th of March. This would be the third game in three days for both teams. Houston did have a slight advantage in that they traveled via bus during that time span, with their airplane flights being at either end of the trip. While the IceHogs caught an early 6:50 AM flight back to Chicago O'Hare Airport on Sunday morning from Manitoba. That meant getting up at 4 AM to catch the team bus to the airport. Most of the players apparently napped on both the flight to Chicago and the bus ride back to Rockford from O'Hare. Amazingly, all of the team's equipment bags made the same flight with them too. Last season, the team arrived back in Rockford with several key players missing their luggage.

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IceHogs Roster Changed by Chicago Blackhawks Trades

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Monday March 1, 2010 that they have traded goalie prospect, Joe Fallon, to the St Louis Blues. In return the Blackhawks received goalie Hannu Toivonen and defenseman Danny Richmond. Both Toivonen and Richmond were then immediately assigned to the Rockford IceHogs. In addition, the Rockford IceHogs announced the trade of defenseman Daryl Boyle to the Peoria Rivermen. The Rivermen are the American Hockey League affiliate for the St Louis Blues.

Richmond, 25 and a Chicago native, was previously part of the Blackhawks organization from 2005-2008 and skated for the IceHogs during their inaugural season in the AHL, 2007-2008. Richmond suffered a season ending injury on 2/16/08 while playing for Rockford against the Chicago Wolves, rupturing his spleen. It is noted on the IceHogs website that Richmond was assigned the #44. This number has not been used since the IceHogs won the UHL Championship in 2007 and was worn by then team Captain Nathan Lutz.

Toivonen a native of Finland, 25, was a 1st round 29th overall draft pick by the Boston Bruins in the 2002 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He has played 61 games in the NHL during his professional career. A bit of trivia...he holds the distinction of allowing in the first NHL career goal of Sydney Crosby's on October 8, 2005. That also marked Toivonen's NHL debut with that game and he was credited with the win in overtime for the Bruins. Toivonen will wear the #33 on his jersey for the IceHogs. 

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Blackhawks visit while IceHogs Win in Shoot Out over Rivermen 2-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Blackhawks' players Antti Niemi and Kris Versteeg, along with Blackhawks' Assistant Coach Mike Haviland are seen exiting the ice after being introduced to the crowd and dropping the ceremonial puck.

It was a busy night at the MetroCentre in Rockford on Saturday before a sellout crowd of 6151 fans. The IceHogs hosted a few former players and a coach who are now with the Chicago Blackhawks this season. On hand to greet fans and sign autographs were former IceHogs players Kris Versteeg, Troy Brouwer, Colin Fraser, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Antti Niemi. Also appearing with them was Coach  Mike Haviland, from their inaugural season 2007-08 in the American Hockey League. Quite a few fans went home disappointed that they did not get a autograph as the lines were  long despite Blackhawks staying and signing autographs much longer than the advertised times. The ceremonial puck was dropped by Coach Haviland while flanked by Versteeg, Brouwer, Fraser, Hjalmarsson and Niemi. It was a Blackhawks reunion all around at that puck drop, as the Riverman in the group, Danny Richmond, played previously for both the Blackhawks and the IceHogs.

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Chicago Wolves (4) v Rockford IceHogs (2) Updated Final

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The Wolves have struggled this weekend, losing two games in a row, the first time that has happened since December 13th and 18th. Chris Chelios didn't play this weekend. He is in Canada attending the Olympics.

The Wolves are 5-4-1-0 when Chelios is scratched (55 percent). In the same period of time the Wolves are 36-13-1-3 (71.7 percent) when Chelios does play.

Playing against the Rockford IceHogs at the Allstate Arena this afternoon, the Wolves took a first period lead, but struggled, going 0 for three on the power play in the first period, but recovering to one for two in the second period.

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Rockford IceHogs Double Up on San Antonio Rampage; Lose to Milwaukee Admirals

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Matt Keith earned a Hat Trick on Friday night. Ironically it was "Baseball Hat Night" and the first 2500 fans into the arena were given free hats from the IceHogs and their sponsors.

Though the results were quite impressive on paper for Friday night's game, in person the game was quite sloppy. The highlight of the night was the season's first hat trick of the season for the IceHogs scored by forward Matt Keith. For his efforts, Keith earned the game's 1st Star of the Game and AHL's 3rd Star of the Night. Rampage Goalie Justin Pogge was chased from the net at the end of the first period and was replaced by Josh Tordjman for the remaining two periods. Corey Crawford was in net for Rockford. Final score: IceHogs 6 - Rampage 5.

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Gallery XVI-IceHogs snag Overtime Win from Griffins 2-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Rockford's Rob Klinkhammer took exception to a hit that was delivered to him by Griffins' Justin Abdelkader.

Afternoon Delight, that's what comes to mind when thinking of yesterday's IceHogs win against the Griffins. That old 1976 hit by the Starland Vocal Band could be a fitting theme song for the game. The game was a lovely way to spend a Monday afternoon in Rockford for a crowd of 3484 fans, made up of mainly kids off school for President's Day. Monday's game also concluded the 8 game series between the IceHogs and the Griffins, giving Rockford a final record of 7-1 against Grand Rapids.

The game got off to a quick start with Grand Rapid's Mattais Ritola fired an eye opening goal at 0:37 of the very 1st frame. To even things up in the first frame Bracken Kearns answered back for Rockford at 7:53 with an unassisted goal. The remainder of regulation play was evenly matched, with no one able to find the back of the net, sending the game into overtime. Defenseman Brian Connelly was the hero of the afternoon for the IceHogs, sniping the game winning goal into netminder Daniel Larsson's five hole during overtime play.

The game was filled with fast legs and hard checks from both teams. True effort was apparent by all of the the players. Rockford's Corey Crawford was stellar in net, stopping 25 of 26 shots on goal. Larsson for Grand Rapids managed to stop 28 of 29 shots that the IceHogs fired at him. Crawford's effort earned him the game's 1st Star, with Larsson receiving the 3rd Star. Connelly, received the 2nd Star of the Game and was also awarded the American Hockey League's 2nd Star of the Night.

Another rookie for the IceHogs that bears watching is forward Akim Aliu. He too is finally showing the Rockford fans what he can contribute to the team. The lessons learned during the first half of this season are finally now showing in his play. He's lost that rookie hesitation and is showing much more confidence while on the ice.  goalie mask 1 (2).jpg

The IceHogs handed out goalie mask replicas to fans as they entered the arena on Monday. Ben Boese is seen giving instructions on how to put the mask together.

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Jake Dowell looks back over his shoulder to watch Corey Crawford attempt to control a rebound.

 

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Gallery XV- Admirals fire back, sinking IceHogs 3-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Milwaukee's Mark Dekanich blocks a shot by Rockford's Matt Keith, while Jonathon Blum looks on.

The Rockford IceHogs hosted the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night before a crowd of 5953 fans at the MetroCentre. The Admirals handed the IceHogs a 3-2 loss, evening up the weekend's home and home series to 1-1. On Friday night, the Admirals hosted the IceHogs in Milwaukee and the IceHogs were the ones going home victorious.

Saturday's game started out on a somber note, with a moment of silence requested in honor of IceHogs player Ryan Flinn's father, who had passed away suddenly that morning. Then IceHogs President and General Manager Mark Bernard presented forward Mark Cullen with a plaque commemorating playing his 500th professional game. Cullen was also surprised with a jacket from the Blackhawks organization.

The game started with Rockford's Danny Bois lighting up Milwaukee's Mark Dekanich at 2:27 into the 1st period. He was assisted by Jake Dowell and Brian Connelly. It wasn't until 15:52 before Milwaukee answered back with a goal by Chris Mueller, assisted by Peter Olvecky and Wacey Rabbit. Overall, Rockford appeared flat with poor passing and execution, managing a total of only 4 shots on goal that period.

Second period apparently the boys let their feeling show. Referee Ghishlain Hebert handed out a total of 70 penalty minutes to the players for their shenanigans. A total of 3 fights and a scrum broke out in the second frame. Goalies Corey Crawford and Mark Dekanich came close to joining their team mates during a line brawl, with Dekanich skating out to the blue line when Crawford motioned him over. Crawford attempted to unlace his catcher, but things cooled down around him before he and Dekanich could join in the melee. Referee Hebert ended the period early at the 17:44 mark after Milwaukee's Teemu Laakso struck the glass with his stick in reaction to  Rockford's Evan Brophy's goal. The ice near the visitor's bench was covered in broken glass fragments and required a tedious cleanup by the MetroCentre arena crew. Laasko's actions earned him a 10 minute misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

During the 3rd frame, Rockford appeared to awaken, kicking in their afterburners. They put 15 SOG on the scoreboard, but were unable to add any more goals to the final score. Milwaukee continued to play the game they started that night and boarded the bus home victorious. Look for the love to continue to build between these division rivals when they meet again on February 21st & 25th in Milwaukee.

The Icehogs are living life fully in the minors, with all the roster challenges faced by farm teams at mid-season. Mark Cullen, Jack Skille, Daryl Boyle and Nathan Davis are currently out with injuries.Brian Bickell was recalled to the Blackhawks on Friday and on Sunday Jake Dowell joined him in Chicago. Both impressed by scoring goals during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chicago went on to win the game during a shootout, with the winning goal scored by former IceHog Troy Brouwer. To fill in the Rockford roster for the injured and called up the Ice hogs have tapped Toledo for Adam Hobson, Derek Nesbitt and Maxime Tanguay. 

The player to watch right now is defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin. He seemed to have spent the first half of his rookie season learning, usually made more mistakes than helping his line mates. But last night, he seemed to be able to put it all together and turned in a impressive performance. He made his checks count and seemed to be in the right place at the right time for once.

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IceHogs' Simon Danis-Pepin and Admirals' Peter Olvecky along the boards.

 

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IceHogs Hand Griffins 5-3 Loss

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Jan Mursak and Joe Charlebois clash at mid ice.

The IceHogs handed the Griffins their proverbial hats at the door last night, beating them 5-3. This match-up was the seventh out of eight scheduled games between these two teams this season, with the last game on Monday February 15th, the puck dropping at 2:05pm in Rockford.

The game for the most part was a mid-week snoozer before a crowd of 2,064. A back and forth, wake me when it's over type of game. Now, that's not to say there wasn't a little excitement now and then, but just a little mind you. No fights, just a couple of episodes of mild shoving after a rough play. The third period was perhaps the most exciting of the entire game, with Rockford scoring three times and Grand Rapids only able to answer back with two goals. Corey Crawford and Thomas McCollum were in net for Rockford and Grand Rapids respectively.

Earlier on on Wednesday IceHogs backup goalie Joe Fallon was recalled to Chicago to backup Cristobal Huet for the Blackhawks in a game against the St Louis Blues. Alec Richards was then recalled from Toledo to replace Fallon for Rockford. Chicago lost to St Louis 3-2 and Fallon was reassigned back to the IceHogs before the evening was over. Fallon had been standing in for Antti Niemi, who was feeling under the weather.

Immediately after Wednesday's game the IceHogs once again boarded their sleeper coach and hit the highway, heading for Lake Erie for a double-header on Friday and Saturday against the Monsters.

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Rockford IceHogs Pink It Up!

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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IceHogs players David Phillips, Brian Bickell & Rob Klinkhammer show off their pink hair in support for Breast Cancer.

The IceHogs supported a worthy charity last night in Rockford while beating the visiting Peoria Rivermen 4-2. In support of Breast Cancer research and awareness, everything was pink. Pink ice, pink tape on sticks & players, pink banners & decorations, pink clothing, pink jewelry, and even pink hair.
The Susan G. Komen For The Cure organization received donations of nearly $10,000 last night. IceHogs President/General Manager Mark Bernard presented them with a check for $8,970 and the IceHogs Booster Club donated a check for $1,000.

IceHogs players Brian Bickell, Rob Klinkhammer, David Phillips and Jonathan Carlsson all went above and beyond the call of duty. They showed their support and style by dying their hair various shades of pink. Pink tape was seen wrapped proudly around ends of players' sticks and socks. Even a few players decorated their sticks in a candy striped fashion by wrapping the pink tape up the stick. Tough man Ryan Flinn was seen wearing pink tape around his wrists.

The first period went scoreless and it wasn't until 5:01 in the second period that Jack Skille found the back of the net from a pass from Kyle Greentree and Richard Petiot for Rockford. Later in the second frame netminder Corey Crawford fumbled, letting in a juicy goal by Peoria's Chris Porter at 16:00. Porter was assisted by Ryan Reaves and Cam Paddock. Other goals for Rockford during the game were credited to Kyle Greentree, Jake Dowell. Matt Keith was credited with an empty netter. Jonas Junland had the second goal for Peoria.

Corey Crawford was back in stellar form once again, stopping 27 of 29 shots on goal and earned himself the number one Star of the Game honors. Ben Bishop was in net for Peoria.

Rockford's Akim Aliu was tossed from the game late in the third frame by Referee Kyle Rehman. Aliu did not like a call Rehman made and made his opinions known. Chirping at the ref will usually only get you one thing, a guaranteed early shower. Aliu received a 10 minute Misconduct and a 10 min Game Misconduct for his voiced opinions.

Immediately after the game the IceHogs boarded their sleeper bus and headed for Grand Rapids for a game against the Griffins Saturday evening. The IceHogs return home on February 3rd to take on the Griffins once again at the MetroCentre.

 


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Bulldogs Blowout IceHogs 5-0

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Hamilton Bulldogs returned to Rockford last night and blew the IceHogs out of their barn, 5-0. There is a reason why the Bulldogs are one of the top rated teams in the American Hockey League, they're good, really good. Yes, there were a few penalties committed by Hamilton players that went uncalled by Referee Jeff Smith, but that can happen in any game with any team. Would it have changed the end result of the game? No.

From the drop of that fateful first puck until the final buzzer, the Bulldogs played a full 60 minutes of hockey. That's not to say that the IceHogs didn't, as they did hustle and put forth a good effort, unfortunately it wasn't anywhere near enough. The Bulldogs seemed to swarm the ice, they were able to be everywhere at every time.  How five men could cover the ice that well was just amazing. They intercepted pass after and pass from the IceHogs and poke checked the puck away time and time again. They made it all appear effortless on their part. Line changes were completed quickly and when the oncoming line hit the ice, they hit it on the run, hungry to play.

Rockford's Corey Crawford was not having a good night and was chased from the net early in the thirrd frame after being lit up four times by the Bulldogs. Joe Fallon replaced Crawford and was able to stop nine out of ten shots on goal the remainder of the game. Hamilton's Curtis Sanford had a stellar night, getting the shut out, stopping all 25 shots Rockford fired him. For his efforts he received the number one Star of the Game and AHL's number two Star of the Night.

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Young fans competing in the Frito Lays' Goalie Race, racing to win a bag full of snack products.

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Danny Bois and Brock Trotter.

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Corey Crawford, Mike Brennan, Jassen and Cullimore and David Desharnais.

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Curtis Sanford and Ryan Russell successfully block Matt Keith's shot.

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Corey Crawford taps out as Joe Fallon replaces him in net.

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Curtis Sanford had a stellar night in goal for Hamilton.

IceHogs Roar Past Griffins 5-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Rockford IceHogs took on the Grand Rapids Griffins this past Saturday evening before a sold out crowd of 6151 in the MetroCentre. It was "Fleece Blanket Night" and the fans always turn out in droves for that premium give away. 

In the first frame, it appeared that the Griffins dominated the Hogs. The majority of the action during the first frame occured deep in the IceHogs zone, but the Griffins were unable to convert any of their 11 shots on goal. 

Corey Crawford was once again the starting netminder for Rockford, while Thomas McCollum was in goal for Grand Rapids. While Crawford's performance lacked the sharp finesse he's been showing of late, he was still able to get the job done, stopping 28 of 30 shots on goal.

Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Jonathan Carlsson scored his first American Hockey League goal for Rockford during the 2nd frame. Carlsson was Chicago's 6th Round (162nd overall) 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft Pick. He has spent the majority of this season in Toledo with the Blackhawk's East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Walleye and is in his Rookie season. Carlsson also was awarded the #1 star of the Game.

At the time of this writing, Rockford is currently in 2nd place in the West Division of the AHL, just 1 point behind the Milwaukee Admirals. However, that position is shaky, as everyone else within the division has anywhere from 3-5 games in hand on the IceHogs.

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Corey Crawford and Jassen Cullimore defending the goal for Rockford.

 

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Thomas McCollum netminder for the Griffins.

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Goal Celebration.

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IceHogs' Richard Petiot introduces the Griffin's Francis Pare to the glass.

  

Weary IceHogs Battled On

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Peoria's Brett Sonne and Rockford's Pete MacArthur pictured mid-ice during the action.

A former Rockford IceHog sealed a win for the Peoria Rivermen in a 4-3 shootout win by the Rivermen at the Carver Arena Saturday night.Pelletier had a successful season last year with Rockford and was recalled to the Blackhawks several times throughout the year.
Pelletier was signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent last summer. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues in December for Brendan Bell.

The two West Division rivals continue to show their dislike for each other, the game contained three fights and one line-brawl. At 2:48 of the first frame Rockford's Jake Dowell danced a bit with Peoria's Ryan Reaves, with Dowell being on the losing end of that bout.

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IceHogs Blow Past Aeros 5-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Rockford's Corey Crawford was stellar in net on Friday night against the Houston Aeros.

Who were those masked men? The IceHogs came out of the tunnel on fire Friday night and proceeded to play what could have been considered a complete game in the opening two and half minutes. Rockford had chalked up two goals within the first 51 seconds, chased a goalie out of net in those same 51 seconds and had a heavyweight fight at the 2:30 mark. Those feats alone could be listed as events in an entire game. Old team records were broken and new were set with those history-making first minutes for Rockford.

IceHogs' netminder Corey Crawford put in his best performance so far this season with this game, saving 34 out of 35 shots on goal. For his efforts, he was awarded the first Star of the Game and rightly so. For you trivia buffs, he was also named the first Star of the Game for Wednesday's game against Houston also. This was his fourth start in net since returning from two months off for a lower body injury. He was seeing the puck excellently and for once the defense in front of him didn't let him down.

The time clock showed 0:24 in the first frame when Mark Cullen for Rockford lit Wade Dubielewicz up, assisted by Pete MacArthur and Matt Keith. Then just a very short 27 seconds later Jack Skille chased Dubielewicz from net, scoring at 0:51. He was assisted by Brian Connelly and Kyle Greentree. Immediately Anton Khudobin was sent in to replace Dubielewicz, hoping to change the momentum for Houston. At the 2:30 mark Houston's Matt Kassian asked Rockford's Ryan Flinn for a dance. Flinn accepted and fists flew furiously with the match ending in a draw. But even Khudobin couldn't stop Rockford's drive as Kyle Greentree got the puck past him late in that fateful first frame, assisted by Bracken Kearns and Jack Skille.

Rockford appeared to shutdown Houston's efforts during the second frame, not allowing any of their ten shots on goal find the back of the net. the game stats don't reflect how well Rockford played that frame as they only got one shot on goal. But, if you are going to only get one shot, might as well make it count. That shot resulted in a goal for Richard Petiot, assisted by Mark Cullen and Simon Danis-Pepin.

In the third frame, Houston finally got on the board with a goal scored by Jamie Fraser. He was assisted by J.P.Testwuide and Trent Campbell. Rockford's Akim Aliu nabbed a empty netter at 19:44 to make the final score 5-1.

Rockford will spend this weekend on the bus, as they play in Peoria on Saturday night and then make a quick run up to Grand Rapids for a afternoon game against the Griffins.

 

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Houston's Matt Kassian appears to give Rockford's Mike Brennan a leg up onto the boards.

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Blizzard conditions prevailed inside the MetroCentre as the snow flew while Corey Crawford and David Phillips defend the net.

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These girls appeared to be having a great time watching the game from glass level in the club lounge. Giggles, squeeks and squeals could be heard in reaction to the action happening just a few feet in front of them.

 

 

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Three coaches, one division

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The blog will not be looking deeply at the San Antonio Rampage, though the Chicago Wolves defeated them in a close 5-3 win last night and play them again tonight. The SAR are one of three AHL teams to have new coaches this season.

The Peoria Rivermen changed coaches when their parent club, the St. Louis Blues, terminated the Head Coaches contract there. That brought Rick Wamsley to the Rivermen earlier this month.

Greg Ireland received the axe in San Antonio in November as a Thanksgiving week present. Ireland, the former coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, was replaced by Ray Edwards.

While in Chicago, the Wolves relieved Don Granato and called on Don Lever.

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IceHogs Ground Aeros, 3-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The MetroCentre was a rockin' for once, filled with very loud cheering fans. Local TV station, WIRF Channel 23 "bought out the house" and gave away several thousand tickets to area fans.
The Rockford IceHogs topped the Houston Aeros 3-2 last night before a sellout crowd of 5,989. The game itself was very low key, with both appearing to coast through the motions. Soft hits and sloppy passes appeared to be the theme of the night for both teams alike. Even the shots on goal totals were low in comparison to other games, with Houston having 26 while Rockford only produced 21 shots on goal.
Goals were scored by Jack Skille, Rob Klinkhammer an

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IceHogs Win with Last Second OT Goal

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

IceHogs' Captain Jake Dowell tapped in the game winner in overtime last night, with one second to go on the clock, lifting the IceHogs over the Toronto Marlies 4-3 Wednesday night. The game was a mid-week snoozer, dosed with sloppy passes and listless playing. It only got exciting once the game went into overtime with the score tied at 3 each.

Referee Francis Charron seemed to catch a nap, calling just four minor infractions for the entire game. Oddly enough, those infractions were divided evenly between Rockford's Jassen Cullimore and Toronto's Ashton Rome. Even with both teams playing their enforcers, Ryan Flinn for Rockford and Brennan Evans for Toronto, not one single fight broke out.

But a win is a win.

The IceHogs left early this morning, starting a three game road trip to Texas. They return to the MetroCentre next Wednesday January 13, 2010 against the Houston Aeros.

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Jake Dowell reacts in the background as Referee Francis Charron motions his goal as good, thus lifting the IceHogs over the Marlies 4-3 in OT.

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The team surrounds their Captain, Jake Dowell, as they celebrate their OT win over the Marlies.

 

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Blackhawks Prospects All-Stars & Injury Updates

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Blackhawks organization and their affiliates, the Rockford IceHogs and the Toledo Walleye have been celebrating the announcements this past week of the American Hockey League's and the East Coast Hockey League's All-Star Team lineups.

Prospects Jack Skille and Mark Cullen, both currently playing for the AHL Rockford IceHogs, have been named to the AHL's PlanetUSA Team for the 2010 All-Star Game. Skille, a right winger, was a 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft pick by the Blackhawks, first round (7th overall). Cullen, a center, started his pro career after college when he was signed by the Minnesota Wild back in 2002. This is the first time either player has been named to a AHL All-Star Team.

Prospects currently assigned to the ECHL Toledo Walleye, J.C.Sawyer and Maxime Tanguay have both been named to the ECHL All-Star American Conference Team. This will be Sawyer's second All-Star game and Tanguay's first. Currently Sawyer leads the ECHL defensemen with 12 goals and 28 points. Tanguay, a forward, is currently ranked 2nd among ECHL rookies with 19 assists.

IceHogs Injury Updates:

Corey Crawford, goaltender - possibly returning as early as this upcoming Friday. He's been back going full tilt in practices according to IceHogs GM & President Mark Bernard. Crawford has been sidelined with a nagging lower body injury since mid November.

Akim Aliu, right wing - probably returning to the lineup on Friday. He's been out with a sprained wrist for several weeks.

Nathan Davis, center - is rehabbing and is expected back in 3-5 weeks from a right shoulder injury he received during practice in early December.

Pete MacArthur, left wing - probably returning to the lineup on Wednesday. He left the game late in the 3rd frame this past Saturday after being hit hard into the boards by two Grand Rapids players, striking his head into the glass.

 

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IceHogs lose in Shoot Out to Grand Rapids Griffins 5-4

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Rockford IceHogs and the Grand Rapids Griffins met for the first time this season on Saturday night in Rockford. Rockford was coming off a win on New Years Eve to the Houston Aeros and were looking to make it two in a row. The Griffins on the other hand were just looking for a win, as they were riding a five game losing streak.

By the time the buzzer sounded ending the first period, Rockford was leading 2-1with goals by Bryan Bickell and Bracken Kearns. The lone goal for Grand Rapids was tallied by Jan Mursak during that period.

The Griffins came out of the locker room on fire to start the second period with Francis Pare scoring a mere 35 seconds into the frame. Matt Keith answered back a short time later, scoring for the IceHogs. Griffins' Patrick Rissmiller lit up Alec Richards for the third time that night at 9:35 and Coach Peters promptly pulled the rookie netminder, replacing him with Joe Fallon. The Griffins were able to add another goal to their total at 16:26 by Francis Pare, making that two goals for him that night. Rockford answered back at 18:04 when Kyle Greentree was able get one past Griffins' nettie Daniel Larsson.

Going into the third frame, the score was tied at four all. At 3:06 into the frame a fight broke out between Rockford's Bryan Bickell and Grand Rapids' Mike Walsh, with Bickell coming out the clear winner. The entire game was speckled with minor scrums and hard checks into the boards. Rockford's winger Pete MacArthur needed to be helped off the ice after a rather brutal hit he took when two Griffins decided to make a sandwich out of him, checking him hard into the glass. At the end of the third period, the score remained tied.

Neither team was able to score during Sudden Death Overtime and the ice surface was quickly prepared for a shoot out. Jeremy Williams was the only Griffin able to get the puck by Fallon, while Rockford was not able to score. The Griffins Win 5-4 and break their losing streak.

 

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Gallery X: Antti Niemi, net minder

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Antti Niemi appears to be having a great season so far as the #2 man defending the crease for the Chicago Blackhawks. Here is an assortment of photos of him taken last season while playing for the Rockford IceHogs.

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Gallery IX-Former Blackhawks' Prospect has NHL Debut

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Former Blackhawks prospect, net minder Mike Brodeur, made his National Hockey League debut recently on December 19, 2009. Brodeur, 26, was recalled to the Ottawa Senators on a emergency basis back in November after Pascal Leclaire was sidelined by a fractured cheekbone.

Brodeur was a 7th round (211 overall) 2003 NHL Entry Draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks and played for their affiliate teams from 2004 to 2008.

During his first NHL career start, he made 22 saves against the Minnesota Wild. Ironically, the goal that spoiled his bid for a shutout came from former Blackhawk player, Martin Havlat, at 4:40 of the 3rd frame. Minnesota also was playing with a slight disadvantage, as they lost most of their equipment to a fire to the equipment van parked outside Scotiabank Place. Final score with Ottawa winning, 4:1.

Brodeur made himself a fan favorite during his time with the Rockford IceHogs back in the 2007-08 season. Brodeur mixed it up during a game against the Chicago Wolves when a line brawl broke out on center ice. He left his crease to join in ruckus, easly handling Chicago's Robert Gherson who turtled early into their fight. Rockford fans have a tradition of "booing" the opposing team as their starting lineup is announced before each game. However, fans bucked tradition on February 14, 2009, when Brodeur returned to the MetroCentre, by giving a rousing welcome when his name was announced as the Rochester Americans' starting goalie.

Currently Brodeur is back in net for the American Hockey League Binghamton Senators, having been reassigned by Ottawa.

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IceHogs take 2 this weekend; Break home Ice magic of Chicago Wolves

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

On Saturday night, after having six days off for the holiday break, the IceHogs were showing a bit of rust and dust on them. Saturday also marked an amazing accomplishment for the Chicago Blackhawks organization. It seems that in the National Hockey League the Blackhawks were scheduled to play the Nashville Predators. In the American Hockey League the Rockford IceHogs were scheduled to play the Predators' AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals and in the East Coast Hockey League the Toledo Walleye were playing against the Predators' ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Blackhawks, the IceHogs and the Walleye were all successful in winning their respective games that night.

On Saturday, the first period got underway quickly, with Kyle Greentree scoring off a sweet feed by Jack Skille at 4:55. Then a little over seven minutes later, Danny Bois scored. The IceHogs  relaxed and took a break during the second period, thus shifting the momentum to Milwaukee. Milwaukee's Cal O'Reilly and Mark Santorelli both beat rookie net minder Alec Richards to make it 2-2 by the end of the second frame. Fans were also treated to a lengthy tango that ended in a draw during the second frame by IceHogs' Adam Hobson and Admirals' Wacey Rabbit. Both skaters were awarded five minutes for fighting by Referee Ian Croft for their efforts. Milwaukee was not able to answer back to goals made by Brian Connelly and Rob Klinkhammer of the IceHogs in the third period, thus making the final score 4-2, Rockford.

On Sunday, the IceHogs met against their I-90 rivals, the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont at the Allstate Arena. It appears the IceHogs were finally able to shake that monkey off their back, by defeating the Wolves in their own house, 6-4. Rockford's Jack Skille and Chicago's Spencer Machacek took the number one and number two stars of the game honors respectively. Both earned their award by scoring two goals each during the game.

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Adam Hobson and Wacey Rabbit seemed to dance more than throw punches.

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Rockford's Alec Richards snatched the puck out of mid-air while reaching out between skaters.

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Milwaukee's Mark Santorelli looks behind him as Rockford's Alec Richards covers up his shot.

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IceHogs: Injury Update

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Corey Crawford continues to be out with a lower body injury and is still expected to return sometime in January.

Jassen Cullimore was ill this past Saturday night and did not play in the game against the San Antonio Rampage.

Akim Aliu is out with a sprained wrist.

Jack Skille was pulled during the game on Saturday against the Rampage as a precautionary measure, due to back spasms. The IceHogs will re-evaluate him after the Christmas break.

Nathan Davis continues to recover from his shoulder injury and is expected back sometime in January.

Rampage defeat IceHogs 2-1 Saturday Night

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Rockford IceHogs came into the game with hopes of making it two in a row after winning on Friday night against the Chicago Wolves. But, the Rampage had other ideas. Rockford ended up handing San Antonio the win, 2-1.

The IceHogs had control of the momentum during the first period, out shooting the Rampage 12-10. However, in the second and thirrd frames Rockford seemed to lose their cohesiveness after losing right winger Jack Skille for an undisclosed reason. Skille was very predominate in the first frame and didn't return to the game after the first intermission.

Play during the second period was delayed while the MetroCentre's arena crew replaced a section of glass in the visitors tunnel area. Rockford's Ryan Flinn had checked a Rampage player hard into the glass, causing a section to pop out and break. The glass first knocked into a video camera man and then onto arena crew member as he scrambled to get out of the way. No serious injuries were noted. This writer was standing two glass panes away from where it happened. Unfortunately the cameraman was being trained, thus receiving a frightful initiation. When ever any play came within 50 feet of him during the remainder of the game, he could be seen backing away quickly from the glass. He might have a bruise or two from the incident though, as his camera lens took the brunt of the force, knocking the camera back into his nose. Ouch.

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Actor Alex Moraz appeared for fans during the game for  autographs. Moran can be seen currently in the movie "The Twilight Saga: New Moon".

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Actor Alex Moraz dropped the first puck at Saturday night's game.

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Rampage's net minder, Justin Pogge, was outstanding in net on Saturday night and received the number one star of the game honors.

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IceHogs' Joe Fallon and Pete MacArthur make diving attempts to block the puck, but their efforts weren't enough to stop the shot made by San Antonio's Stefan Meyer.

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Brody came to the game all dressed up for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

 

Icehogs beat Wolves 3-2 Friday night

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

It seems though that the IceHogs and the Wolves are rut. The teams appear to only win games against each other when having the home ice advantage. Friday night the teams met for the seventh time this season and the records say it all: IceHogs 3, Wolves 2 in another home victory.

These teams had this same problem back during the IceHogs very first season in the AHL, 2007-08.

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Jake Dowell and Chris Chelios chase the puck around the boards.

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Rockford net minder, Joe Fallon, does a belly flop onto the ice to cover the puck with his glove, while Evan Brophy stands by.

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Drew MacIntyre blocks a shot by Jack Skille, while Chris Chelios gives chase.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Benefit for the Ives Foundation

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Rockford IceHogs continue to show their support this season for honorary IceHog, Sydney Ives. The "Better Halves," the wives and girlfriends of the players, and the team have put together a fundraiser for this holiday season and are looking for your support. On Friday and Saturday night this weekend at the MetroCentre they are selling Christmas ornaments that were autographed by the IceHogs players. Ornaments sell for $5 each are will be available tonight before, during and after the game. They also will be raffling off an autographed IceHogs jersey on Saturday night. TIckets for the jersey will be sold on Saturday night.

All proceeds from these sales will go to the Ives Foundation. The Ives Foundation was formed by the family of Sydney Ives. Ives battled against a brain tumor for over 18 months. Sydney received her angel wings just this past November. She was a made an honorary IceHog on May 20, 2009 and since her death, her jersey with the number 19 and the name Ivestrong on the back, hangs in the locker room in her memory. Please show your support tonight game for this worthy cause. 

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They call themselves the "Better Halves", IceHogs players' wives and girlfriends.

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Pictured is the autographed jersey the wives and girlfriends of the IceHogs players are raflling off on Saturday, December 19, 2009.

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Personally autographed Christmas ornament being sold by the wives and girlfriends of the IceHogs players. Autographed ornaments are randomly bagged and are being sold for $5 each and benefit the Ives Foundation.

 

 

Rockford's battling goalie: Dan Cloutier

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Dan Cloutier may not be property of the Chicago Blackhawks, but his on-ice work ethic is creating buzz. Signed by the AAA affiliate of the Blackhawks to a professional tryout contract, Cloutier was brought in net to plug gaps left by injuries to the minor league team's goalie roster.

The veteran NHL goaltender promptly got it on, in the hockey sense of the word, dropping the gloves and raising the bar for Rockford goalies to come, taking on Manitoba Moose big man Guillaume Desbiens, as recounted by our own Kris Gray.

Reed Schreck, who covers the IceHogs for the Rockford Register Star notes in his hockey column last night that Cloutier has a number of YouTube appearances, including one in which he taunts beats the hell out of the other goalie then skates over to the New York Islanders bench to remind them who du man.

We've been blessed to see a number of goalie fights, they are as common as a bench clearing brawl, which means very unusual. I'm not promising anything, but just reminding people that the rivalry between the Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs will be expressed once again on Friday night at the MetroCentre in downtown Rockford, an easy run for the readers in the Northwest subs. You never know what you might see. Fun for the whole family.

 

Inside the IceHogs - Dan Cloutier

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

What in the world is veteran NHL goalie Dan Cloutier doing in Rockford, IL you ask? The 33 yr old family man took a few minutes to answer few questions after practice on Tuesday. Cloutier recently signed a professional tryout with the AHL Rockford IceHogs. Cloutier has not played professionally in the past 18 months and has had two surgeries to his hip. He also spent some time as assistant coach to the CHL Corpus Christi IceRays along side his brother, Sylvain, who was the Head Coach.

First and foremost, Cloutier was NOT signed by the IceHogs to replace number one net minder Corey Crawford. Crawford is currently sidelined with a lower body injury that has apparently been plaguing him since the end of last season. Cloutier also was NOT signed nor brought in to play for the Chicago Blackhawks.

When first asked "Why Rockford, IL?", Cloutier replied that it was the best fit for his family right now. He attended fall training camp with the Detroit Red Wings and had received multiple offers from teams in Europe to play this season. With a two year old at home and his wife expecting their second child, he felt it would be unfair to leave his family behind at this time if he chose to accept an offer in Europe. So, he decided to wait to see if anything opened up close to home this past November. On the very same day he got the call from the Rockford IceHogs, he had also received calls from two other teams in North America.

He adamantly denies receiving any pressure from the IceHogs organization in regards to getting back into game ready shape. He goes on to state that the IceHogs have been really great to him, allowing him to take his time getting into game ready form. The IceHogs have brought their Goaltending Coach, Wade Flaherty, back to town this week to work specifically with Cloutier.

Cloutier made his starting debut with the IceHogs this past Sunday, December 6th and played a total of 26:22 minutes in the game before receiving a Match penalty for roughing from Referee David Danfield. Cloutier took offense to being run over by Manitoba Moose player, Guillaume Desbiens. A line brawl ensued, which Cloutier participated in against Desbiens. Cloutier states he has always been competitive and doesn't back down. The AHL Announced on Monday December 7th that Cloutier received a one game suspension for his actions in the game on December 6th.

 

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Dan Cloutier pictured December 6, 2009 in his debut start with the IceHogs.

 

IceHogs Update: Injuries and Suspension

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Monday night at the IceHogs live radio show, Hog Talk, Coach Ted Dent gave updates fans about the following players:

Blackhawks Prospect Corey Crawford, net minder, will be out an additional four weeks or so. He's has been off the ice with a lower body injury since November 13, 2009.

Dan Cloutier, net minder, will sit out the game on Friday December 11, 2009 in Texas, while serving a one game suspension from the AHL for his actions in the December 6, 2009 game against Manitoba. Cloutier was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 51.4 after being assessed a match penalty for roughing.

Center Nathan Davis will be out at least six weeks for a right shoulder injury he received last Tuesday December 1, 2009 during practice. Davis stated that while making a goal during a shootout practice he apparently tripped over something, landing hard onto his shoulder. Davis was one of the featured players during the radio show on Monday.

Joe Fallon, net minder, received a minor neck strain on Saturday night December 5, 2009 during the game against Lake Erie, when Monsters' T.J.Hensick ran him over while he was in goal. He is not expected to lose any ice time and is expected to be in goal for this upcoming weekend's scheduled games.

With the IceHogs' goalie situation very iffy right now, they are looking at the possiblity of bringing in Alec Richards for this Friday's game against the Texas Stars as backup to Fallon. They also have the option of using Blackhawks prospect Joe Palmer as a backup. Palmer is currently assigned to the CHL Texas Brahmas.

Fists Fly and Tempers Flare, IceHogs lose to Moose 4-3

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Welcome to Thunderdome. Sunday's match up between the Rockford IceHogs and the Manitoba Moose was more like a slug fest than a hockey game. It was fraught with tempers flaring, fists flying and  penalties handed out. Referee David Banfield was generous handing out penalties, Rockford received a grand total of 83 PIM for 18 infractions and Manitoba received 48 penalty infraction minutes for 14 infractions. A total of 4 IceHogs players received penalties that evicted them from the game. Ryan Flinn, of Rockford, had the dubious honor of receiving the most PIM in the game. He garnered a grand total of 31 PIM for 2 separate incidents. The first was a scrum that he received a roughing minor and then just a little past mid-way into the 2nd frame he and Manitoba's Guillaume Desbiens tangled in a fight.

Sunday's game also marked the debut of IceHogs net minder, Dan Cloutier. Cloutier was recently signed to a professional try out. He played a total of 26:22 minuted before being involved in a line brawl in the 2nd frame. He took offense to being bulldozed down into the net by the Moose's Guillaume Desbiens and IceHogs' Mike Brennan. Cloutier was evicted from the game after receiving a match/roughing penalty for his actions. Rockford's Jack Skille and Manitoba's Matt Pettinger exchanged punches early in the first period, resulting in Skille being slammed head first into the ice. Skille left the ice, but returned to the game in the 2nd period and went onto score 2 goals in the 3rd frame.

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Tom Maxwell and Akim Aliu go flying into the air after Maxwell checked Aliu into the boards.

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Richard Petiot and Sergei Shirokov chase the puck along the boards.

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Jassen Cullimore assists his team mate, Dan Cloutier, off the ice after being involved in a line brawl.

 

IceHogs do the Monster Mash, beat Lake Erie 4-2

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

It was a busy night  at the Rockford MetroCentre. The IceHogs extended their winning streak to 5 games, beating the Lake Erie Monsters 4-2.  At last the IceHogs have finally found their mojo and are jelling as a team on the ice. 

It was raining bears in Rockford when at 4:26 of the 1st frame, Daryl Boyle scored the 1st goal of the evening for the IceHogs. It was the annual Teddy Bear Toss and once again IceHogs fans showed their  generosity. Fans entered the arena carrying overflowing bags of stuffed animals. These will be distributed to sick children at area hospitals by the IceHogs players before the holidays. A local Marine Corp group also received bags of stuffed animals that night at the game. The remaining toys will be distributed to local area charities. A total of 1457 bears and bunnies were thrown onto the ice by fans.

Saturday night also marked the reappearance of Super Fan Cameron Hughes. He was seen throughout the game dancing and tossing out free t-shirts to the 3936 fans in the stands.

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IceHogs player, Pete MacArthur helps gather stuffed animals tossed to the ice by fans during their Annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.

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Rockford net minder, "Joe Cool" Fallon, shows no reaction to Monster's Marty Sertich stopping short in front of him.

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It was snowing Saturday night inside the MetroCentre, as Brock Bradford and Richard Petiot go after the puck behind the net.

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Superfan Cameron Hughes dancing in the stands.

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Lake Erie's T.J.Hensick handles the puck while closely followed by IceHogs Daryl Boyle and Jack Skille.

 

 

IceHogs win over Wolves 3-2 on Wednesday night

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Wednesday night was the sixth meeting this season between division rivals the Rockford IceHogs and the Chicago Wolves. The IceHogs started the game by totally dominating the Wolves in the first period, out shooting them 21 to six and scoring two goals. But in the second and third frames, the IceHogs seemed to sit back and coast and only added a total of nine more shots on goal. The Wolves, on the other hand, seemed to nap through the first two frames and then awoke to score two goals in the third frame. For the Wolves, it was too little too late and the IceHogs went home with the win 3-2.

Chicago's Scott Lehman seemed to have a full dance card for this game. His first dance came at 9:34 in the first frame, squaring off with Rockford's Mike Brennan. That dance ended when Brennan managed to take Lehman to the ice. But it was uncertain just who was the winner, as they both seemed to hit the ice at the same time. Lehman's second dance of the night came at 8:57 of the third frame against Rockford's Danny Boyle. If you blinked you missed it, as it was over before it even started, with Boyle taking Lehman to the ice with a quick flip. Hardly seemed worth the five minute penalties both skaters received. It was noted that after the game, Lehman was reported have received an upper body injury during the game. He is listed as day to day by the Wolves.

Chicago Blackhawks forward, Kris Versteeg was sighted at the game last night. He cheerfully signed autographs during the game, as fans approached him. Versteeg, a former IceHog, is best friends with IceHogs' Rob Klinkhammer.

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Chicago Wolves players, Chris Chelios and Peter Mannino.

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IceHogs' goalie, Joe Fallon, earned himself a 2 minute Roughing penalty for this little shove he game to Chicago's Brett Sterling in the 3rd frame.

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Chicago's Scott Lehman taking time out of his busy night to have a dance with Rockford's Mike Brennan.

 

 

 

Saturday's All Right for a Fight or 3 - Icehogs take the Heat 5:1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Ryan Flinn and Ryley Grantham glare at each other during their fight on Saturday night in Rockford.

It was "Fight Night" in Rockford on Saturday night at the MetroCentre, when the IceHogs and the Heat met for the last time this season. It's  apparent that these teams don't like each other and any grudges held over from this game will have to wait until next season. The total of three fights and one scrum made for an exciting evening for the 3640 fans on hand. The IceHogs only required the services of one net minder, Joe Fallon, while the Heat needed two to complete the game. Matt Keetley replaced Leland Irving in net for Abbotsford, just 3:40 into the second frame, after Rockford lit Irving up for the 4th time.

In between the fights, the teams actually managed to play a little hockey, resulting in Rockford beating the Heat, 5:1. Scoring for Rockford was Mark Cullen, Evan Brophy, Ryan Flinn, Bracken Kearns and Jack Skille. The Heat's lone goal was scored by Riley Armstrong. 

The evening's fight card featured: Ryan Flinn(R) vs Ryley Grantham(A), with Flinn getting the win; Danny Bois(R) vs Matt Pelech(A), with Pelech taking home the win; and Jake Dowell(R) vs J.D.Watt(A), with that match ending in a draw. Not satisfied with the draw Watt kept throwing punches at Dowell after the linesmen had stepped in to separate him and Dowell. Watt received in addition to his automatic 5 minute major for fighting, a 2 minute instigating minor and a 10 minute instigating misconduct. The scrum featured IceHogs' Danny Bois and the Heat's Keith Seabrook.

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Fighting in bout #2 of the night was Matt Pelech and Danny Bois.

 

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Linesmen try to separate the last bout of the evening between Jake Dowell and J.D. Watt.

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Pictured: Matt Keetley, Ryan Flinn and Matt Pelech

IceHogs lose to Moose, 2-1 after 3rd Period Push

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Turkey Bowling, contestants tossed their frozen turkeys across the ice, aiming for 2 liter bottles of soda pop set up in place of bowling pins.

 

 

The Manitoba Moose were in Rockford on Wednesday night, to play against the IceHogs. The game marked IceHogs' goal tender Alec Richards' AHL debut in net. He wowed the fans with spectacular glove saves and appeared to be able to handle anything the Moose sent his way during the first and second frames. But in the third frame, the Moose climbed on the momentum train and rode it to victory, beating the IceHogs 2-1. Manitoba's Matt Pettinger was responsible for their two goals in the third frame and Kyle Greentree got the lone marker for Rockford in the second period.

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Chicago Blackhawks' prospect, Alec Richards, in his first AHL game as the starting net minder.

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Manitoba's Cory Schneider blocks a shot by Rockford's Bracken Kearns.

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IceHogs lose to Stars in OT 4-3

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

In what was the best game to date between the Rockford IceHogs and the Texas Stars, the Stars won in OT 4-3. The first two games against Texas did not end well for Rockford and fans were holding their breaths at the start of this third match up on Saturday night. Rockford seemed to find their rhythm in the second frame and didn't let up until the final buzzer sounded in over time.

Continue reading...

Fallon gets Shutout against Wolves, IceHogs Win 1-0

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

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Rockford IceHogs's Joe Fallon redirects the puck.

 

When the Rockford IceHogs and the Chicago Wolves play each other you are guaranteed an exciting game. Friday night's match up was certainly no exception. The IceHogs beat the Wolves 1-0 at home. The game also marked the return of Boris Valabik to the Wolves. Valabik was just recently assigned to the Wolves, from the NHL Atlanta Thrashers, for a reconditioning stint. Both Rockford and Chicago fans were disappointed though, when Chicago's Chris Chelios was announced as a scratch for the game.

Continue reading...

IceHogs turn off the Heat, Winning 6-3

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

 

Chucko, Cullen and Seabrook

 

After their embarrassing loss on Friday night to the Texas Stars, the Rockford IceHogs needed to prove to both themselves and their fans, that they could get the job done. On Saturday, when the IceHogs hosted the Abbotsford Heat for the first time ever in Rockford they accomplished that goal and then some.

 

A close friend summed up Saturday night's game this way: "this was a complete game in just the first three minutes. The Hogs scored three goals, we had a fight, and a line brawl. We could've called it a night right then."


The Abbotsford Heat, the name might be new, but the players are basically the same ones that played last season for the now defunct Quad City Flames. In the two years the AHL Flames resided in Moline, Illinois, they built a fanatic fan base. These teams don't like each other. Tempers flared throughout the night. Checks into the boards were frequent and hard. Referee Shaun Davis handed penalties out like candy. Abbotsford's penalties totaled 47 minutes for 15 infractions, while the IceHogs received 27 minutes for nine infractions. There were three fights and scrums too numerous to count.


Now that the team has moved north to Canada, the fans they left behind have remained loyal. Quite a few Flames jerseys were spotted in the MetroCentre stands on Saturday. QC Flames fans have purchased ticket plans with the IceHogs, continuing the long hockey rivalry between the Quad Cities and Rockford.

 

With three of the four games this season behind them, the IceHogs have a two game to one advantage. The final game of the series, an echo of the greatest rivalry in Illinois professional hockey, takes place November 28 in Rockford.

IceHogs goalie, and Chicago Blackhawks prospect, Corey Crawford, was sidelined with a lower body injury received in Friday night's game against the Stars. To cover the injury and other personnel openings, the IceHogs recalled netminder Alec Richards , J.C. Sawyer and Maxime Tanguay from the ECHL Toledo Walleyes on Saturday morning. Rockford's Joe Fallon turned in a solid showing in net. Fallon has been consistently showing more confidence between the pipes this season.  Abbotsford's goalie Leland Irving was lit up 4 times by Rockford before being replaced at the top of the second frame by David Shantz.

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J.C.Sawyer checks Jason Jaffray into the boards.

Fandom

Fans reacting to the action on the ice.

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Playing for the Heat is Keith Seabrook, brother of Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook.

Continue reading...

Stars Shutout IceHogs 4-0; IceHogs dedicate weekend to cancer victim

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

The Rockford IceHogs and the Texas Stars met for the very first time last evening in Rockford. The game itself was uneventful and for the most part, even unexciting at times. The Stars are currently in 1st place in the Western Division and not without reason. They're a very solid defensive team and it shows. Stars' net minder, Brent Krahn, shutout the Hogs 4-0. Krahn was awarded the #1 Star of the Game and in addition, received AHL's #2 Star of the Night. Krahn spent most of last season playing for the Chicago Wolves.

 

The IceHogs announced on Tuesday they are dedicating Friday and Saturdays games to Honorary IceHog Sydney Ives, in her memory. Sydney, 11, won her courageous battle against Brain Cancer by entering Heaven on November 7th. In her honor, the IceHogs have will her honorary jersey with the #19 and her name plate hanging in their locker room for the remainder of the season. She was made a honorary IceHog on May 20, 2009 by the team. The players will all wear Ivestrong stickers on their helmets this weekend in tribute to her memory also. The motto "Ivestrong", was adopted by her family during her 18 month fight. IceHogs Center, Bracken Kearns, has pledged to donate $20 for every goal he scores the remainder of this season to the Ivestrong Foundation.

 

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The IceHogs gave away 2500 Super Hero Capes on Friday night and the American Red Cross was on hand to help fans create face masks to wear with their capes.

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Davy Phillips, A Belfast Giant Among us!

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

Last July a friend in Belfast, Northern Ireland told me that one of the Belfast Giants was packing his skates and preparing for the Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp. Yes, Davy Phillips star blueliner of the Belfast Giants was coming our way to show Chicago how a British born and trained player could put his mark on the North American game.


David did more than impress he earned an American Hockey League contract at the July camp and has his eye on the National Hockey league. First he has to survive his rookie season in the rough and tumble the AHL. Something he seems well on his way to accomplishing.


Here is a first look at our import on the Icehogs. My first impression of him has lasted. Phillips is a stay at home defenseman who keeps his head up and knows to keep between the opposition and his goalie. Two basic things that are lovely to see in a blueliner, rookie or vet.


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David Phillips on October 14th against the Chicago Wolves.IMG_0409.gif

David Phillips mixing it up with Jason Krog in his first game at the Allstate Arena October 14 2009. Welcome to Chicago Davy.IMG_9561.jpg

There Phillips is doing what a blueliner is supposed to, get in the way of the other team however he needs to.

IceHogs Stop Losing Streak, Beat Rampage 5-3

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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The Rockford IceHogs broke a five game losing streak, waking from their long nap, to beat the San Antonio Rampage 5-3 at the MetroCentre Wednesday night. Skating from the tunnel with their sticks on fire, the only thing the game lacked was a good fight.

Led by Super Fan Cameron Hughes, back in the MetroCentre, Rockford fans protested loudly when Referee Ian Croft made a questionable call, giving San Antonio's Shaun Heshka a 2 minute minor for High Sticking in the 3rd frame. Rockford's Mark Cullen was on the receiving end of that stick, ending up with a cut to his lower lip.
In reward for their efforts, the fans were gifted with free t-shirts from Hughes. Hughes had made multiple appearances at the MetroCentre last season and was well received by the fans.

Continue reading...

IceHogs Drop 5 in a Row; Bernard not worried

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Editors note: The losing streak was broken minutes ago as the Rockford IceHogs defeated the Peoria Rivermen 5-3 at the MetroCentre.

Althougth the Rockford IceHogs have buries five straight losses, President and General Manager Mark Bernard said he wasn't concerned about the losses. The team is looking forward to November, he explained, when the team will have an easier travel schedule.

We haven't had a chance to have serious practices he told "Hog Talk", the team's weekly radio show. It's early in the season yet, he explained. The IceHogs lost a three game weekend, added to losses on October 24th and 28th. Bernard said the team and the coaches are looking forward to November, as there are only three road games scheduled and the remaining eight games are at home.


Crawford loses stick

Corey Crawford loses his stick as Chicago's Kevin Doell crashes the net. Credit: Kris Gray

Bernard hoped that this would allow the team to have better practice sessions, eat some home cooking and bond more as a team.

Continue reading...

Chicago Wolves 3, Rockford IceHogs 1

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

The extra effort kids tonight are the Barrington Red Wings. We found a few on the concourse before the game.

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Barrington Red Wings visit the Chicago Wolves v Rockford IceHogs game, November 1, 2009 Credit: Jane Rickard




The Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs will play eight of the season's ten games by the end of the year. With four of the games now behind them, the two teams seem evenly matched, with the home advantage proving crucial in each contest.

So, again on Sunday, November 1, the home team, the Wolves, took the game in a close contest, 3-1, with the game winning goal coming late in the third period with just 4:03 remaining off of a Chris Chelios fireball from the right circle on Rockford Goalie Joe Fallon.

What is it about these two teams? The Wolves coming off of a 4-1 loss to the (Austin) Texas Stars and an early morning flight to O'Hare; the IceHogs coming off of two weekend back-to-back losses against the Milwaukee Admirals, both 2-1? In the three seasons the Hogs and the Wolves have faced each other more than 82 percent of the games have gone to the home team.

Continue reading...

Blackhawks Prospect Jack Skille, Road Warrior

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

Skille 2-16-09

The [Chicago Blackhawks](http://blackhawks.nhl.com/) have recently been enjoying the advantages of having their [AHL](http://theahl.com) affiliate located close-by in [Rockford](http://www.icehogs.com/). They have recalled and reassigned prospect, [Jack Skille](http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=87876) an amazing total of 5 times this month. Four years ago, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate was [located in Norfolk, VA.](http://www.norfolkadmirals.com/) Recalling a player to Chicago back then involved hours of travel by airplane.
Now, it's a quick drive on the Interstate.


Need directions to the United Center in Chicago from Rockford? Just ask Skille. He can probably drive the route in his sleep by now. Skille has appeared in five games with the Blackhawks so far this season, scoring a goal on October 14th against [Edmonton](http://oilers.nhl.com/) and an assist the next night in Nashville against the [Predators](http://predators.nhl.com/).

The Blackhawk's prospect was in downtown Rockford Tuesday evening, attending a [IceHogs Booster Club](http://www.icehogsboosterclub.org/) function with his fellow IceHogs teammates. Skille is a very personable young man, greeting Booster Club members with a hearty handshake and a cheerful, "Hi, I'm Jack". He joked that perhaps he should try to get his mileage reimbursed, as with each recall/reassignment he has had to drive back and forth between Rockford and Chicago. "It was very tiring" he stated.


In talking with Skille, he was excited about the time he spent with the Blackhawks so far this season and has averaged about 7 minutes of ice time in each game he's played in. Skille stated he will not have to worry about going through waivers until possibly next year, provided he has a two-way contract. The right winger was a first round, 7th overall, 2005 NHL entry draft pick by Chicago and hails from Madison, WI.

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IceHogs Sink Admirals 6-1 Friday Night

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.

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Fans reacting to the Rockford IceHogs scoring their 1st goal of the night.

The desire to win was burning brightly when the Rockford IceHogs took to the ice last night in Rockford. But they had two huge obstacles to overcome; the first was facing the Milwaukee Admirals for the first time since their post season playoff run ended 4-0. The second obstacle was that the IceHogs were fresh off an embarrassing loss on Wednesday to Peoria.

The IceHogs came back in great form, defeating the Admirals 6-1, proving to themselves they could overcome mental obstacles. Rockford's Evan Brophey, assisted by Mike Brennan, was the first to light up Milwaukee's net minder, Mark Dekanich, at 10:04 into the first frame. It's become very hard to keep track of Jack Skille's movements this season so far, as the Chicago Blackhawks have been recalling & reassigning him every other day, or so it seems. Skille, perhaps aided by the perception that he wasn't there, was next in line to score, assisted by Kyle Greentree and Mark Cullen.

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Rivermen Capitalize on IceHogs' Inabilities; win 4-1

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Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.


game

The Rockford IceHogs and the Peoria Rivermen met last evening in Peoria for their 3rd of 10 games scheduled this season. I fear the IceHogs forgot to get off the bus, as they seemed ineffective for the the first 30 minutes of the game. The Rivermen absolutely dominated the game. A bit of trivia, the Rivermen posted more goals scored than the IceHogs had in shots on goal for the 1st frame. Rockford had managed to only total 2 SOG. The Rivermen went on to win, 4-1.

In goal for the IceHogs was Joe Fallon for the 1st & 2nd frames and was replaced by Corey Crawford at the top of the 3rd. Crawford was able to stop all 7 SOG the Rivermen sent his way. Peoria's Ben Bishop was stellar, stopping 32 of 33 SOG. Bishop was later named #1 Star of the Game. Credit goes to Peoria's Barry Tallackson, Yan Stastny, Nicholas Drazenovic and Chris Porter for goals they each scored. Kyle Greentree was the loan scorer for Rockford.

The action between Bracken Kearns and Mitch Love and several heated scrums marred the evening. IceHogs Nathan Davis' hit on Peoria's Ben Bishop behind the goal was the catalyst to a very heated scrum at 12:36 of the 3rd frame. Bishop had gone behind the net for the puck and was starting to come back around to the front when Davis appears to hit him head-on. I look for things to heat up more as the season goes on between these two teams. They almost seem to be more of a rival this season than the Wolves right now.

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Peoria mascot, Louie the Bear, plays with a few fans.

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Rockford's Corey Crawford makes a spectacular pad save against Peoria's Yan Stastny. Credit Kris Gray


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Chicago Wolves v IceHogs

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

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Rockford IceHogs fans on opening night, October 16, 2009. Credit: Jane Rickard



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Rockford IceHogs fans on opening night, October 16, 2009. Credit: Jane Rickard

Wolves v Rockford IceHogs

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

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Credit: Jane Rickard

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Credit: Jane Rickard



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Chicago Wolves mascot Skates in pre-game activities. When one paw misfires, as it did in this photo, some fans believe it is a portent of a loss. It is called a hot paw. Credit: Jane Rickard

A quick update, we'll update further into the day with a complete discussion.

The Chicago Wolves won their first game of the season, a 5-4 come from behind victory over the Rockford IceHogs at the Allstate Arena. The game was marked by four power play goals and a number of breakaway runs at either end. With the score passing back and forth, Rockford took a two goal lead in the second period. But Chicago was able to come back in the final period for the victory.

Chicago was the last team in the American Hockey League to mark a win. This was Manny Legace's first time in net for the Wolves.

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