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

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.

The game itself seemed  evenly matched between the IceHogs and the Rivermen. Even the penalties handed out by Referee Shaun Davis were even in number and minutes at the end of the evening, with each team receiving 20 minutes for 7 infractions. Kyle Hagel received a rude welcome to Rockford by fighting with Peoria's Mitch Love early in the 1st period. The IceHogs signed Hagel to a Professional Try Out contract earlier in the week and this was the 1st game in IceHogs colors. During the fight he received cuts above and below his right eye that required medical attention off the ice. He returned to the ice later in the game, a bit worse for wear.

During regulation play, both teams managed to score only once each. Those goals were scored by Bracken Kearns for Rockford and Barry Tallackson for Peoria. Sudden death overtime resulted in no goals, thus sending the game to a shoot out. During the shoot out, both Akim Aliu and Matt Keith were able to light up Peoria's Hannu Toivonen. Corey Crawford for Rockford was not able to stop Rivermen's Nicholas Drazenovic's shot, but it was not enough for Peoria. IceHogs take the win and the Rivermen board their  bus home with heavy weight of the loss. The Rivermen continue to hold down last place in the Western Division, while the IceHogs remain in 2nd place.

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Visiting their roots former IceHogs Colin Fraser, Troy Brouwer and Niklas Hjalmarsson. They all are currently playing in Chicago for the Blackhawks.

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Rockford's Adam Hobson wides up a punch aimed for Peoria's Ryan Reaves during the 2nd period.

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IceHogs netminder Corey Crawford is seen getting ran over by Peoria's Cam Paddock late in the 3rd period.

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Rockford's Jack Skille takes a sudden turn.




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1 Comment

IHF said:

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I would like to see your photos from Blackhawk night and possibly purchase some of them.

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