The IceHogs rolled into week three coming off of a thrilling win in Abbotsford on the 16th. They looked to keep the momentum going as they took on the Chicago Wolves in a weekend home-and-home series and then a Tuesday night showdown with Texas to begin week four.
Friday, October 21 @ Chicago – Before the puck even dropped Friday, the Hogs had to be expecting the Wolves to play a good game since they were still winless on the season; their record was at a lowly 0-2-0-2. The Hogs had two early power plays in the first period, but weren’t able to convert. At 13:36, Jeremy Morin was sent to the box for interference, giving the Wolves their first man advantage of the night. The Wolves struck seven seconds in with Darren Haydar’s second goal of the season. Just over a minute after the goal, the Hogs received their last power play of the night and failed to convert. Kevin Connauton tacked on another power play tally for Chicago at the 1:47 mark of the second period. Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack held on for the rest of the game to record his first shutout of the season and to give the Wolves their first “W” on the year.
-Rockford outshout Chicago 35-30.
-The Hogs’ power play went 0-3 and the Wolves went 2-6 on their man advantages.
-Philippe Paradis made his return to the lineup after missing the first four games of the season. Ben Smith also played in his first Hogs game of the year after suffering a concussion in NHL preseason action.
-Brandon Bollig, Joe Lavin, and Byron Froese were the healthy scratches.
-Morin led the team with 6 shots on goal.
-The lines were switched up a bit from the first couple of games: The line of Rob Klinkhammer – Brett McLean – Brandon Segal remained in tact. Brandon Pirri centered Kyle Beach and Ben Smith. Chris DiDomenico centered Paradis and Jimmy Hayes. The defense pairings were still the same: Brian Connelly with Brian Fahey, Ryan Stanton with Shawn Lalonde, and Ben Youds with Dylan Olsen. Alexander Salak made his first start in net and had a solid game overall.
Saturday, October 22 vs Chicago – The Hogs had a chance at redemption the next night, but they let it slip through their hands. The Wolves got on the board first at 5:50 of the first period with a goal from Yann Sauve. Chicago added to their lead to make it 3-0 with goals from Bill Sweatt and Dustin Friesen in the second and third periods respectively. At 11:20 of the third, Paradis managed to break Matt Climie’s shutout. He was able to poke the loose puck behind Climie into the back of the net after a scramble out front. Chicago added an empty net goal from Mike Duco at 17:55 to make it 4-1 and to seal the game.
-Rockford outshot Chicago 48-17.
-The Wolves’ power play went 0-4 while the Hogs only converted on one of their eight opportunities.
-Stanton left the ice for awhile in the second period with an injury, but returned at the beginning of the third.
-Olsen was boarded in the second period and didn’t play in the third period.
-The healthy scratches were Bollig, Youds, and Hayes.
-The lines were jumbled a bit more on Saturday. LeBlanc moved up to left wing on the McLean line and Klinkhammer moved down to be the left winger on the DiDomenico line. With Froese back in the lineup, he centered Paradis and Shaw. Lavin was paired with Olsen on defense.
-Beach and Connelly both had a team high 6 shots on goal.
-Salak started in net for the second straight night.
Tuesday, October 25 vs Texas – “Sell-Out Night” sponsored by WIFR-TV started out much like the two previous games with the opponent getting on the board first. Ryan Garbutt scored his first goal of the season for the Stars at 5:43 of the first period. The Hogs tied it up at 17:55, four seconds into their first power play of the night. Lalonde’s blast from the point beat Stars goalie Tyler Beskorowany with Smith providing traffic out front. The tie game didn’t last long. 31 seconds later, Mathieu Tousignant regained the Stars’ lead. The second period looked like it was going to be a scoreless one, until the Stars cashed in on the power play. Travis Morin, no relation to Jeremy, sent a pass from the left circle over to Matt Fraser in the right circle. His one timer got by Alec Richards with 38 seconds left in the period. Smith was able to cut Rockford’s deficit to one at 11:47 of the third. He, once again, provided the screen out front and was able to tip in Beach’s shot, which came from just inside the blue line. The momentum the Hogs had built up was soon crushed with Fraser’s second of the night on the power play just over three minutes later. Texas added two more goals, the last one coming on the power play, to make the final score 6-2.
-Rockford and Texas each had 35 shots on goal.
-Rockford went 1-3 on the power play; Texas went 3-5.
-The scratches were Olsen (upper body), Hayes, LeBlanc, and Simon Danis-Pepin (healthy).
-Paradis was on left wing on the McLean line and Bollig was the left winger on Froese’s line. On D, Stanton was paired up with Youds and Lavin was paired up with Lalonde for most of the game.
-Segal paced the team with six shots on goal.
–Monday, October 24 – Danis-Pepin was recalled from Toledo due to the injury to Olsen.
-The IceHogs announced the Blackhawks’ roster for the alumni game on November 12th. (icehogs.com)
-The Hogs announced today that Segal was named the fifth team captain in the franchise’s AHL history. Connelly, McLean, and Fahey will wear the A’s.
-Friday, October 28 at Peoria at 7:00 p.m.
-Saturday, October 29 vs Peoria at 7:05 p.m.