IceHogs Thursday: After Lone, Tough Game in Week 5, Hogs Get Back on Track to Start Week 6

Photo Credit: Kim Wrona

The IceHogs were looking to get back over the .500 mark in week five and the beginning of week six. They sat at a record of 4-5-0-0 going into Sunday and were last in the Midwest Division. But, they had played the least amount of games out of all of their divisional opponents.

Sunday, November 6 vs. Charlotte – The IceHogs and the Charlotte Checkers met for the first time ever on Sunday at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Charlotte was finishing up a three games in three nights set, whereas the Hogs hadn’t played a game since last Saturday. The Hogs didn’t get their legs under them in the first, despite being the fresher team, and Charlotte took advantage of it. They dominated the majority of the play and Checkers goalie Michael Murphy stopped every opportunity the Hogs threw at him, granted all weren’t of high quality. Jared Staal got Charlotte on the board first at 8:15 with his second career AHL goal. About eight minutes later, Checkers defenseman Michal Jordan’s shot from the high slot found its way into the back of the net for his second goal of the year. Charlotte wasn’t done yet in the first. At 17:53, while on a power play, Jerome Samson put a nifty backhander home to make it 3-0. It didn’t take long for the Hogs to get on the board in the second period. From the right side of the net, Jimmy Hayes shoveled the puck past Murphy’s pad for his first career pro goal at 3:40. The score stayed at 3-1 up until the waning moments of the period. Samson tallied yet another goal, his seventh of the season, with 54 seconds left, on the power play. The Hogs were faced with a tremendous hole to climb out of in the third, especially with Charlotte playing very well defensively. They did manage to put up a good effort. Brandon Pirri cut the lead to 4-2 at 4:35 of the period. His backhand flip from a sprawled out Murphy’s left side gave him his third goal of the season. Unfortunately for Rockford, Charlotte hung on for the victory, despite being outshot in the period 13-8. Murphy made great saves multiple times in the last half of the period to keep his team’s two goal lead in tact. The next time these two teams meet will be on November 18th in Charlotte.

-The Checkers outshot the IceHogs 33-30.

-Charlotte converted on two of their seven power plays. The Hogs went 0-4 on their man advantages.

-Brian Connelly fired a team high six shots on net.

-Dylan Olsen returned to the lineup Sunday after missing three games with an upper body injury.

-Kyle Beach remained sidelined with his shoulder injury. The healthy scratches were Chris DiDomenico and Ben Youds.

-The lines and D pairs from Sunday were:

Philippe Paradis – Brett McLean – Brandon Segal

Rob Klinkhammer – Pirri – Ben Smith

Peter LeBlanc – Andrew Shaw – Hayes

Brandon Bollig – Byron Froese – Jeremy Morin

Connelly – Brian Fahey

Ryan Stanton – Shawn Lalonde

Joe Lavin – Olsen

-Alexander Salak started in net.

Wednesday, November 9 at Grand Rapids – Going into Wednesday’s school day game with the Griffins, the Hogs hadn’t earned any points in the standings in two games. They  needed these two points that were on the line to at least get one game closer to .500. Despite all this, Grand Rapids got on the board first at the 16:19 mark with Doug Janik’s second of the year. Rockford managed to tie it up in the last minute of the period on Shaw’s second tally of the year.  The Hogs kept the momentum they had gained going in the second period. Segal gave Rockford their first lead of the game with his sixth goal of the year; Segal leads the team in that category. Under 12 minutes later, the Hogs made it 3-1 on Hayes’ second goal in as many games. David Gilbert’s primary assist on the goal was his first point of the year in his first game with the Hogs this season. Smith gave Rockford a three goal lead on the power play with two minutes left in the period. 37 seconds later, Louis-Marc Aubry scored for the Griffins to make it 4-2. Grand Rapids made the ending interesting by closing the gap to one at 9:41 of the third period. McLean sealed the game for Rockford with an unassisted empty net goal at 19:14 to make it 5-3.

-Grand Rapids outshot Rockford 42-34.

-The IceHogs went 1-4 on the power play and they killed off all three Griffins power plays.

-McLean led the team with seven shots on goal.

-Connelly was +3.

-The scratches for Wednesday were: Beach (shoulder), DiDomenico, LeBlanc, and Klinkhammer (healthy).

-The new top line left winger was Morin.

-Salak started for the second straight game.

Tidbits

-The IceHogs announced today that on Friday, November 11th at 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., upper bowl sideline seats to any of the rest of the home games will be on sale for $11.11.

-Saturday is Heritage Night at the BMO. Before the IceHogs-Rivermen tilt, there will be a game between Hog and Blackhawk alumni beginning at 4 p.m. The gates will open at 3:30 p.m.

-On Monday, November 14th, Olsen, Hayes, and assistant coach Ben Simon will be on Hog Talk at Granite City Food and Brewery. It will be broadcast on 1330 AM WNTA and wnta.com from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Roster Notes

-Tuesday, November 8 – Gilbert was recalled from the Toledo Walleye.

Wednesday, November 9 – Gilbert was reassigned to Toledo after the game.

Upcoming Games

-Friday, November 11 at Peoria at 7:00 p.m.

-Saturday, November 12 vs Peoria at 7:05 p.m.

-Wednesday, November 16 vs Oklahoma City at 7:05 p.m.

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