Call Of The Wild

Gallery 150 - 'Hogs End Season on High Note

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The videotron announced to the sellout crowd the IceHogs' new attendence record for a single season.

The IceHogs hosted their last home game for the season this past Saturday night in Rockford. The night ended on several high notes for the team. The 'Hogs set a new season high attendance record of 174,418 fans. The team also capped a 6 game home winning streak with Saturday night's win against the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2. Of their last 11 scheduled games, the IceHogs notched 10 victories. This total also included the IceHogs' win against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday afternoon in Rosemont.

Even with their hot streak during the last stretch, the IceHogs still finished the season in last place in the West Division of the AHL. A mere 2 points separated them from the San Antonio Rampage who finished 2 points under the Chicago Wolves. All 3 teams are now scrambling for tee times in their home towns while the remaining 5 teams in the West division are ramping up for post season playoffs. The probability of the majority of the current IceHogs roster returning next season is high, given that over half the roster is made up of Chicago Blackhawk prospects.

On Monday the Blackhawks announced the recall of Hannu Toivonen, Jassen Cullimore, Garnet Exelby and Jeff Taffe. They will be kept on the sidelines for the Blackhawks as the Black Aces during the Blackhawks' post season defense of the Stanley Cup. Forward Ben Smith is still currently on recall to the Blackhawks, having been recalled last week prior to the end of the IceHogs' season.

Smile. Remember...Prospect Camp is just a short 3 months away.

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The IceHogs' Fire & Ice Girls featured 2 new members to their Ice Crew on Saturday night, much to the delight of the fans.

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Netminder Alex Richards showed his playful side to fans and teammate Wade Brookbank after the IceHogs skated to a 4-2 victory over the Griffins Saturday night.

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Gallery 149 - IceHogs Year End Team Awards

The Rockford IceHogs announced the Team Awards for the Season this past Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 6,153. For a change of pace, the IceHogs had Season Ticket Holders present the players with their awards.

Winger Ben Smith was named the IceHogs Rookie of the Year. Smith was not present to receive his award as he is currently recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks. On Friday evening, Smith scored his first career NHL goal while playing for the Blackhawks in a game against the Detroit Red Wings.

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The IceHogs named defenseman Ryan Stanton "Most Improved Player" for the 2010-2011 Season.

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Jeff Taffe was named "MVP" and "Leading Scorer" for 2010-2011 by the IceHogs.

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Kyle Hagel was named the IceHogs "Man of the Year" and "Unsung Hero" for his involvement within the Rockford community.

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Named the Team's "Heavy Hitter" was team Captain Garnet Exelby.

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"Best Defenseman" honors for 2010-2011 went to Brian Connelly.

Gallery 148 - IceHogs Scare Off Monsters 4-2

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Julien Brouillette and David Gilbert during the action in front of the Monster's goal.

The IceHogs returned home after a successful 2 week long road trip. As the season winds down, additional players have been added to the roster. Prospects for the Chicago Blackhawks, Philippe Paradis, David Gilbert and Jimmy Hayes all joined the IceHogs while the team was still on the road. Friday night marked their Rockford debut in front of the hometown crowd.

Photo highlights from this past Friday night's 4-2 win against the Lake Erie Monsters.

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Pictured Matt Generous and Jimmy Hayes just after a whistle is blown.


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Gallery 147 - Manic Attackers vs. Hell's Belles

Saturday night at the UIC Pavillion featured what was easily the best roller derby match of the entire season. The Hell's Belles took on the Manic Attackers in an attempt to create a tie for second place in the division and give them a shot at the Ivy King championship.  You could tell that both teams knew what was on the line, fighting hard for every point.

To read about the match, see the photos, and follow future coverage of the Windy City Rollers, please check out the Welles Park Bulldog.  The blog will feature coverage of not only the Rollers, but also Chicago Force football, high school sports and more.  

Gallery 146 - Fury vs. Double Crossers

The Windy City Rollers have entered the home stretch for the home season with just two games left until the Ivy King Cup showdown for 2011.  The first of this week's matches pitted the dominant Fury against the rebuilding Double Crossers.  As expected, the Fury won, but the Double Crossers put up a solid fight with a final score of 135-87.

Though it's been a rough season for the Crossers, they can take comfort in the fact that their newer players are developing well.  There was a much better sense of team cohesion, and some of the newer players have been showing hints of future greatness.  Only time will tell, but the Crossers might be able to play the spoiler in the last two weeks for the Belles or the Attackers.

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Gallery 145 - IceHogs Sink Admirals 3-2 in OT


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Rockford's Brian Connelly scoring the OT winning goal.

The Rockford IceHogs are experiencing a winning streak right now. While this past Saturday night's overtime win against the Milwaukee Admirals wasn't pretty, it was a win none the less. Brian Connelly was credited with the overtime game winning goal, with the assist to Jassen Cullimore.

Saturday night's opening ceremonies held a somber mood, as the night was dedicated to the those who lost their lives in the events of September 11, 2001. On display in the east lobby of the MetroCentre were 2 rather large twisted pieces of metal. Pieces of metal that had once been apart of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The pieces have been brought to Rockford to become a part of a memorial to First Responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

On Sunday, March 27, 2011 the IceHogs took a short bus ride to the east to Rosemont, IL to meet up against the Chicago Wolves. The IceHogs beat the Wolves 3-2. With that win, the IceHogs swept their week, winning 4 out of the 4 games scheduled. The IceHogs are currently on a road trip, returning to Rockford on April 7th when they host the

Today the AHL handed down a 7 game suspension to IceHogs' player, Evan Brophy for his actions during the March 25, 2011 game against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Brophy was suspended under AHL Rule 28.1 special provisions, according to the AHL website. The suspension will carry through the remaining games the IceHogs have to play in this season's schedule. On a upbeat note, Brophy set a IceHogs franchise record by appearing in his 299th career game on Sunday in Rosemont.

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The Honor Guard from local area Police, Fire and Sheriff departments stand watch of the flag draped twisted pieces of steel from the World Trade Center.

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Gallery 144 - 'Hogs Beat 'Dogs in OT 4-3

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Rockford's Jeff Taffe fires a shot through Drew McIntyre's five hole, scoring the game winning goal.

The Hamilton Bulldogs made their first and only appearance this season in Rockford this past Friday night. The BOB, or the Big Orange Box as the MetroCentre is affectionately called, was packed with 4933 fans looking forward to a night of exciting hockey.  

Rockford's center, Evan Brophy, was ejected from the game half way through the 3rd period. Brophy received a 5 minute Major penalty, Checking to the head and a Game misconduct for that same infraction. According to Brophy the hit was not intentional, as he was just leaving the penalty box after serving 2 minutes for a Tripping minor. He stated he was getting his body into position to take off and suddenly collided with Hunter Bishop. The collision knocked Bishop unconscious for several anxious seconds. Brophy, during a radio interview on Sunday, stated he "takes full responsibility", "it was not intentional", and "I have apologized".

After 60 minutes of regulation hockey, the score was tied 3-3. Rockford's Jeff Taffe fired a shot through Drew McIntyre's five hole at 1:56 into OT, scoring the game winning goal.

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Brian Connelly helps Hannu Toivonen defend the IceHogs' goal during the March 25, 2011 game against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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Gallery 143 - IceHogs Slam Rampage 5-1

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Netminder, Hannu Toivonen, was stellar in goal last night for Rockford.

The IceHogs mark two wins in a row with their big win over the San Antonio Rampage Wednesday night, by a score of 5-1. It was really nice to see the boys play as a team once again. Good jobs boys, let's keep the momentum going!

Defenseman Ryan Stanton scored twice last night and was named the Game's #1 Star and AHL's #2 Star of the Night.

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Ryan Stanton chats with a Linesman after having a difference of opinion with San Antonio's Alexandre Picard. Brandon Pirri is pictured with him.

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Game action featuring Jeff Taffe, Nolan Yonkman and Jeff May.


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Gallery 142 - IceHogs Shine for Sellout Crowd

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Action in the crease - pictured are Alec Richards, Evan Brohpy and Brett Sonne.

As the season winds down, the IceHogs find themselves solidly in last place in the West Division of the AHL. Despite this, the IceHogs put in a solid performance this past Saturday night in Rockford, when they defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-3 before a sellout crowd. Among the crowd, were a busload of Peoria Rivermen fans who could be heard cheering loudly throughout the game.

In a odd twist of fate, former IceHog & Chicago Blackhawks prospect, Akim Aliu, was suited up for Peoria. Aliu had been traded last year by the Blackhawks to the Atlanta Thrashers and is now currently on loan to the Rivermen. Aliu scored 2 goals for the Ricermen and was named 2nd Star of the Game for his efforts. Rockford's Igor Makarov was named 1st Star of the Game after scoring the game winning goal late in the 3rd period. 3rd Star of the Game was Rockford's Brandon Pirri, with 2 assists.

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Peoria's Brett Sonne and Rockford's Ivan Vishnevskiy.


Goal action featuring Garnet Exelby, Graham Mink and Alec Richards.

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Gallery 141 - Barons Whomp IceHogs 5-1

Photos from last Friday March 18, 2011 Rockford IceHogs vs Oklahoma City Barons.

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Jeff Taffe brings the puck up ice as Bryan Helmer tries to block his way.

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Pictured along the boards are Kyle Hagel, Richard Petiot and Wade Brookbank.

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The gloves dropped as soon as the first puck of the game hit the ice. Kyle Hagel and Jess Gimblett squared off center ice.

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Simeon v Warren championship preview

Peoria, IL--- Simeon High School goes for its fifth state basketball title tonight. The high school has won three titles since 2006 in four title attempts.

Head Coach Robert Smith has amassed a record 196-36 since taking over the Wolverines in 2004-5.

Amassing a record this season of 29-2, the team presents a face of depth with juniors and sophomores being the key players, according to a write-up in the Peoria Journal Star.

"We have interchangeable parts," Smith told the PJStar, Different guys step up in different games."

One key player to watch tonight is Jabari Parker. A 6-7 sophomore, Parker has been the lead scorer in 18 games this season, notching 16 points in the semifinal win over Glenbard East on Friday. The AP selected the sophomore to its first team all state team.

Two other players are counted by Mike Helfgot of the PJStar as among the teams most talented players. One is Steve Taylor, a 6-8 junior. The other is sophomore Kendrick Nunn, a 6-2 sophomore, according to Helfgot.

Simeon is the most disciplined team in the Chicago Public League, according to John Montgomery, a hall of fame writer who directs The Bulldog's coverage of high school basketball. "If they bring their A-game tonight you're going to think you're watching a college team," he warns.

However, the leading thing Simeon is known for is number one draft pick Derreck Rose, currently on the Chicago Bulls.

Facing Simeon is Warren High School. The Warren Blue Devils are coached by 18 year bench vet Chuck Ramsey. Ramsey has a 376-137 record with one previous final appearance, in 1998-9.

The team was challenged by Normal Community High School in the semi-final round. Neither team was able to gain the upper hand in the first half. However a larger Warren ran down Normal, winning the game 55-43.

Size counts for the Blue Devils. Each of the team's regular starters is over 6-2. Only two of its players clock in at under 6'.

The tall men are credited with a tough defense. Junior Darius Paul has been lead scorer 15 times this season. The status of Brandon Ferguson is not known at this time. Ferguson left the semifinal Friday holding his elbow.

This will be the second time this season Warren and Simeon have met. In a Pontiac Holiday Tournament championship game they lost 58-50 to Simeon.

The Warren program is underrated, according to Montgomery. They aren't a push-over.

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Rock Island wins 2X OT for 1st state championship

Rock Island High School has won its first boys state basketball championship. In a double overtime win, the Rocks out ran the Centralia Orphans to take a 50-40 win.

Rock Island last appeared in the finals in 1910. They lost that game 32-25 to Bloomington High School.

Centralia has won the title three times:
  • 1918 over University High School of Normal, 35-29
  • 1922 over Atwood, 24-16
  • 1942 35-33 over Paris High School
Centralia has also appeared in the finals two other times:
  • 1946 lost to Champaign 54-48
  • 1963 lost to Carver High School 53-52
The 3A level has not seen a double overtime game since the 1989 triple overtime AA game between Lincoln High School of East St. Louis and Peoria High School. There have only been three championship games before that reached at least double overtime. The most recent being an A championship in 1990 between Trenton and Fairbury.

Warren moves on to finals, rolling over Normal 55-43

Peoria, IL --- The Warren Blue Devils will face Simeon in the finals. Warren dominated the Normal Community Ironmen 55-43 in sem-final action at the Carver Arena this evening.

With turnovers played a big role, Warren and Normal were locked in a two point game at the half.

But Warren broke the game open in the second half, then gave a strong performance to retain their lead.

The lead changed seven times in the first half, with a last second three point shot by Anthony Goodar giving Warren a two point lead.

"It was a physical, tough game with ebb and flow," Warren Head Coach Chuck Ramsey said. Ramsey said he didn't know the extent of an injury to Brandon Ferguson.

Ferguson went down in the fourth quarter, at first clutching his side. But he left the court holding his elbow.

Ramsey said he hoped the injury was only a bruise, but he didn't know the extent of the injury at the time of the presser.

Ferguson played 29 minutes and scored 13 points in the contest.

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Warren, Normal Community in 2 pt semi-final

With turnovers playing a big role, Warren High School and Normal Community High School are locked in a two point game at the half.

The lead changed seven times in the first half, with a last second three point shot by Anthony Goodar giving Warren a two point lead. 

Darius Paul and Anthony Beane were in double digits at the end of the half. Beane was shooting five for nine in the half.

Warren was nine for nine on free throws in the half. 

Overall Warren is shooting 32 percent, Normal is shooting 45.8 percent.

Simeon advances to finals for 2nd year

Peoria, IL--- Simeon High School held on to win 56-53 over a Glenbard East team that wouldn't give up. With explosive scoring, Glenbard kept closing the gap on Simeon. 
Simeon's win means the school is headed to its second consecutive final appearance.
Simeon won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007 behind Derek Rose. It is the defending champ.
"We've won 30 games in a row," Simeon Head Coach Robert Smith said. "Sometimes we thought we would step on the court and win."
Smith credited the loss to Benet, late in the season, with waking the team up.
In the semi-final against Glenbard East Simeon moved out to a 15-0 lead in the first quarter. Glenbard replied with three for three on three point shots to make it 15-9 at the end of the quarter.
"They were a little shell-shocked early," Head Coach Scott Miller said of the Glenbard squad. But "when they settled down we start rolling."
Simeon came back in the second quarter. But they failed to put Glenbard away. The Rams ended the quarter with five unanswered points to put them within five of Simeon, 26-21.
Glenbard's explosive scoring was due to substitutions according to Smith. Who said his second string couldn't contain the Rams waves. 15 of the team's 21 first half points were from behind the 3-point line where they shot 33 percent.
In the second half Glenbard tied the game 36-36 with about two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The third quarter was Glenbard's best quarter. They outscored the Wolverines 15-10.
Head Coach Scott Miller credited Simeon with an excellent zone that took away a lot of his scoring shots. "We shoot a lot of threes," Miller said. "Their lanes forced us to take shots we didn't want," Miller said, but "we had better looks as the game went on."

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Centralia holds on to beat North Chicago in 3A semifinal

Centralia High came from a 1st quarter deficit to gain the lead, holding out against an eight point push that nearly toppled them, to continue to the IHSA 3A finals today in action at the Carver Arena in Peoria.
North Chicago gained an 18-14 lead in the first quarter behind excellent shooting. 
But the Downstate team came back strong, gaining a five point lead at the half.
North Chicago Head Coach Gerald Coleman asked about his decision to hold the ball in the first half said, "I was trying to bring them (Centralia) out in a man-to-man defense. I felt we were much quicker than they were and I thought if I ran off maybe a minute or minute and a half their coach would change his mind and switch to the man defense."
Tyler Obermeier and R J Kwiatkowski both scored in double digits in the first half for Centralia. Aaron Simpson was in double digits for North Chicago.
The lead changed four times in the third quarter as Jaylin Linson and Maurice Gordon led efforts by North Chicago to catch Centralia. 
Centralia, however withstood the North Chicago attacks, holding a final effort in the final three minutes that saw the Warhawks score eight points and pull within one.
"Tyler and RJ hitting shots early changed the complexity of the game," Centralia Head Coach Lee Bennett said after the game.
"We had bad composure a couple of time late, but we had good composure several times," Bennett said.
"Centralia ran their offense very well and they were well coached," Coleman said.
"We didn't play with a high intensity. The intensity we normally play at wasn't there in the game."

IHSA 3A Semifinal: Rock Isl 55, v Brooks 36


Justin Rabb of Brooks Academy goes up for a rebound in the IHSA 3A Semifinal loss to Rock Island.

Justin Rabb of Brooks Academy (Chicago) makes a rebound in the IHSA 3A Semifinal game against Rock Island High School, Friday, Mar. 18 at the Carver Arena, Peoria, IL. Credit: Jane Rickard

Peoria, IL--- Brooks Academy has lost in its first appearance in the IHSA boys basketball semifinals 55-36.

Brooks had made a surprising entry into the tournament with a win over Whitney Young in the Chicago Public League.

The Rocks outscored the Eagles in every quarter. Brooks threatened in the second and the third quarters but was unable to catch the Rocks.

Brooks coach, Bobby Locke, said the deficit the team battled from the beginning of the game was new to the team. "We never had to do anything like that before," he said after the game.

Locke was quiet in the post-game presser, "I've been in this situation before," he said of the team's dejection over losing. "I'm proud we got here. All I care about right now is these guys."

Brooks Academy stumbled through the first quarter of the Illinois High School Association 3A Semifinal, ending the frame with a single point against 12 for Rock Island.

Brooks came back in the second quarter, however, outscoring Rock Island 8-4 in the first five minutes of the quarter.

The Rocks came back in the final three minutes to outscore the Eagles 7-4, retaining the lead and also extending their lead to 12 points from 11.

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Gallery 140 - Fury vs. Hell's Belles

It's increasingly looking like the Fury are on the fast track to back to back victories in the Ivy King Cup.  They have a number of veteran all-star players on the team and seem to have only built on the momentum they created last season.  The Belles went into the match as the clear underdogs, but they showed a lot of heart and kept the game interesting throughout.

The match started off with the Fury jumping out to an early 32-0 lead, but the Belles gave the Fury a run for the money quickly making up the gap, 32-22.  Unfortunately for the Belles that's as close as they would get for the rest of the evening.  Still, the Belles kept having solid jams that made the Fury work for their victory with a final score of 145-101.  

The Belles are really becoming the story this season.  After a very difficult 2010 season, in bout 2, they started to show signs of really gelling as a team as they went on to defeat the favored Double Crossers.  Bout 4, on April 9th, will pit the Belles against the Manic Attackers and it's shaping up to be a lot more competitive then their encounter in bout 1.

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Gallery 139 - Manic Attackers vs. Double Crossers

Saturday night, the Windy City Rollers finished up the the first half of their intramural season with matches starting with the Manic Attackers and the Double Crossers and finishing with the Hell's Belles and the Fury.  

In the first match, the Double Crossers, after a stinging defeat at the hands of the Hell's Belles last match, tried to break their losing streak.  It's been a difficult season for them, having lost key veteran players, they find themselves in the position that the Belles were last season.  Unfortunately for the Crossers, the Manic Attackers weren't in a generous mood.

The Attackers broke out to an early 36-5 lead and never looked back, reaching 74-14 by halftime.  Often a team can go into half-time, regroup, and come out strong, but the second half was just more of the same with a final score of 168-39.  Worrying for the Double Crossers is that this is the biggest loss they've had this season, even after facing the top ranked Fury in the first bout of the season.

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Gallery 138 - Three Hills Rodeo - Great Family Entertainment

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Dusti Crain during her Roman Riding performance on March 5, 2011.

It was family entertainment at it's best. Three Hills Rodeo Inc, from Bernard, Iowa, is owned and operated by the Morehead family. They produce rodeo shows with non-stop action from the always entertaining Rodeo Clown, to the Trick Riders, the bucking Bulls & Broncs, Barrel Racing and the Cowboys & Cowgirls themselves.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to the show, so that they could attend a free backstage tour of the Rodeo. Fans were allowed to wander about the dirt covered arena floor to mingle with the Cowboys, pony rides for the kids, autographs, roping lessons, photograph opportunities, a up close peek at the horses & bulls, a beauty queen and even a live bull to sit on. The most popular of all the areas featured appeared to be the opportunity to sit on a live bull named Midnight and the autograph table where fans could meet the cowboys and Miss Rodeo Illinois, Brooke M'lynn Owen.

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Miss Rodeo Illinois, Brooke M'lynn Owen, signed autographs for fans during the pre-show tour.

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Fans were able to pose for photographs with these cowboys during the pre-show tour.

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Cowboys prepare backstage for their rides before the show.

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Heading fast into a turn around a barrel.


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Gallery 137 - World's Toughest Broncs

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Shawn Minor of Camden, OH rode "Peaches N Cream" to a 2nd place finish in the final go round Saturday night March 5, 2011.

Here are photo highlights for your enjoyment from this past Saturday night's World's Toughest Broncs & Bulls Rodeo in Rockford, IL. Final go round results from the Bareback riding were Jared Keylon, Kansas, taking 1st place and Shawn Minor, Ohio, placing in 2nd. Saddle Bronc winners from the 1st round were Casey McGooden and Ty Kennedy. Both riders failed to have a qualifying ride in the final go round of the night.

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Casey McGooden, from Doniphan, NE, is seen riding "Prom Night" in the Final go round in the Saddle Bronc division. McGooden failed to stay on for the full 8 seconds it takes to have a qualifying ride.

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Jared Keylon, from Kansas, riding a horse named "Cooter" to a score of 84 in the first round of Bareback Riding on Saturday.


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Gallery 136 - World's Toughest Bulls

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Matt Pojanowksi in his winning ride on a bull named "Shake N Bake" in the Final go round Saturday night.

The Rockford MetroCentre was filled with fans from toddlers to seniors, all cheering on their favorite cowboys in the World's Toughest Bulls & Broncs Rodeo, held March 4 & 5th, 2011. Of the twelve contestants entered in the Bull Riding event on Saturday night, only eight were able to complete their ride for the full 8 seconds. Matt Pojanowski of Missouri finished in 1st place with his rides scoring 89 and 92, with Brad Check of Wisconsin taking 2nd with scores of 87 and 90 for his rides.

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Brad Check scrambles to get away from the bull "Guilty as Charged", while the Bullfighter tries to distract the bulls attention away from Check.

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The bull "Guilty as Charged" continues to go after rider, Brad Check.

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Bullrider Brad Check is seen tumbling along the ground after the bull runs over him.

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Gallery 134 - A Ride Gone Wrong

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Jason Clemons' hand gets caught up in the rope as he gets tossed off of the bull named "Don't mess with the Zohan".

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Bullfighter, Ben Meyer, steps in to help Jason Clemons free his hand from the rope while also trying to distract the bull.

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Bullfighter Ben Meyer is seen starting to be lifted up into air by the bull, after the bull suddenly turns and goes after him while Meyer was trying to help a rider free his hand from the rope.

The World's Toughest Bulls & Broncs Rodeo was in Rockford, IL this past weekend for performances on both Friday and Saturday night, March 4 & 5, 2011. Saturday night, Jason Clemons of Winterstreet, Iowa was slated to ride a bull named "Don't mess with the Zohan". Clemons was tossed off Zohan fairly early into the ride, but his gloved hand became caught up in the rope, causing him a few frightening seconds of desperately trying to free himself from the rope and the bull. He managed to keep upright while the bull continued to buck and toss about the arena trying to dislodge both him and the ropes that were tied to him.

One of the show's Bull Fighters, Ben Meyer, jumped to Clemons' rescue, trying to help Clemons get free. The bull suddenly charged Meyer, hitting him with his broad flat head, tossing him up high into the air. Meyer landed hard onto his back on the dirt floor. The bull immediately turns and puts his head down as he tries to get to Meyer again. The show's other bullfighter quickly tries to distract the bull while another member of the Three Hills Rodeo staff tried to distract him from the other side. With the bull's attention distracted, Meyer was able to crawl away to safety. Clemons was then finally able to free his hand and was able to get safely away too. Meyer is next seen standing and checking himself for injury while looking up to watch the video replay. Meyer was not apparnelty injured and was able to finish the show.

Bull Riders use several items to prepare their rope for a ride. According to Bruce Brock, CSRA's 2010 Bull Riding Champion, riders prepare their ropes before a ride using Glycerin, also known as Saddle Soap and Rosin. He prefers using alot of Saddle Soap, to make the Rosin stickier. He states "I pinky too", adding spit to his gloved fingers. There apparently is 3 kinds of Rosin...white, black and super black and they go from not so tacky to good & tacky. The riders first brush any loose dirt off the rope with a wire brush, then they apply the Saddle Soap over the areas of the rope they want tacky. Then they take a rock of Rosin, crumbling it in their gloved hand and briskly rub or "burn" the Rosin into the rope, making it quite tacky to touch.

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Zohan the bull tossed Bullfighter Ben Meyer high into the air, while the rider Jason Clemons is still caught up in the rope.

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Gallery 133 - IceHogs Win and Bobby Hull makes a Special Appearance

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The Golden Jet, Bobby Hull, made a special appearance in Rockford Saturday night at the MetroCentre during the IceHogs' game opening ceremony.

The IceHogs squeaked past the Milwaukee Admirals in a OT win Saturday night in Rockford, 4-3. Ben Smith was credited with the OT game winning goal, with a redirect from a shot fired by Shawn Lalonde. Evan Brophy put the 'Hogs on the board a mere 42 seconds into the 1st frame and Rob Klinkhammer scored twice during regulation play. Milwaukee goals were scored by Kelsey WIlson, Ryan Flynn and Mike Bartlett. 

Rockford IceHogs fans were treated to a special guest at Saturday's game, former Chicago Blackhawk Bobby Hull. After dropping the puck, Hull was seen giving a quick rousing pep talk to the players as he walked off the ice. The always smiling Hull, 72, was on hand the entire evening to greet 400 lucky fans for autographs and dropped the puck in the opening ceremony of the game. Not one to be rushed, Hull was seen still visiting and signing autographs late into the night, long after the game had ended.

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Rockford's Ben Smith with the game winning redirect past Milwaukee's Anders Lindback.

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This young fan's game day attire is a winning combination. Go Hogs!


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Gallery 132 - Rivermen Flood IceHogs 6-3

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Huge pileup in front of the net.

Monday afternoon before a crowd of 2946, the IceHogs lost to the Peoria Rivermen 6-3. Peoria's Graham Mink scored a career high of 4 goals during the game.

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Dylan Olsen and Ryan Reaves.

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Alec RIchards was in net for the IceHogs on Monday afternoon.


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Gallery 131 - IceHogs lose to Wolves 4-3

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IceHogs Head Coach, Bill Peters, apparently trying to get his point across.

Photo highlights from this past Friday night's game.

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Alec RIchards.

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Drew McIntyre.

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Gallery 130 - 'Hogs Sink Rivermen 2-1

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Pictured is Rockford's Ben Smith and Peoria's Ben Bishop.

The IceHogs' rivals, the Peoria Rivermen, were back in Rockford last night. The 'Hogs met them head on and went home victorious, winning 2-1. Netminder Alec Richards was stellar in net, turning away 34 of 35 SOG the Rivermen sent his way. Richards was robbed of a shutout a mere 2 seconds to go in the game when Peoria's Graham Mink got one past him. Richards was named the 1st Star of the Game for his efforts.

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Gallery 129 - Monster Jammin'

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El Matador, driven by Daron Basl.

Monster Jam came roaring into the Metro Centre this past Friday night, featuring 3 performances in 2 days. Family entertainment at it's best, for sure. This photojournalist was able to attend her very first Monster Truck Show ever on Saturday night. While the sport isn't entirely unknown to me, it's just something I haven't had the opportunity to view in person. Nothing can beat the rumble of those powerful trucks, when seeing them in person.

The Metro Centre stands were full of happy fans of all ages, cheering on their favorite drivers as they competed. While the floor layout in the Metro Centre is small and limits the trucks somewhat, it didn't seem to hamper the trucks in their movements. At the west end of the arena there were 12 cars lined up in 3 rows for the trucks to perform over. By the end of the night, those cars were mostly unrecognizable flat mangled pieces of scrap metal. Also featured throughout the night was several races by Quad ATV's and a amazing show put on my some very talented BMX riders.

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Mechanical Mischief is owned & driven by Jim Burns of Rockford.

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Performing for the first time at the Metro Centre was Captain's Curse, driven by Alex Blackwell.

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Gallery 128 - Manic Attackers vs. Fury

In the second match of the night, the Fury once again proved that they are the team to beat in the Windy City Rollers home season.  The match could best be summarized by this photo of the mascots from the respective teams before the match:

The Fury got out to an early lead and then proceeded to dominate through most of the match getting out to an early lead of 69-8.  The Attackers managed to recover a little towards the end of the first period narrowing the score to 79-44, but they were never able to make it a close match.  

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Gallery 127 - Hell's Belles vs. Double Crossers

The second bout of the Windy City Roller's 2011 season kicked off with a match between the Double Crossers and the Hell's Belles.  The Belles, after having many key members of the team retire prior to the 2010 season have been struggling to rebuild since.  It seems though that they've finally managed to find a winning formula as they managed to beat the Crossers 128-84.  

Though the Belles started strong and  finished with a comfortable margin, the match was actually pretty close with the Crossers coming to within a solid power jam of catching up.  But as the second period ground on, the Crossers faded.  The Belles put on a really strong showing with Pomanatrix winning the MVP, and some really great jamming work by Zombea Arthur.  

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