IceHogs Thursday: Hogs Finish January On A Winning Note

Photo Credit: Kim Wrona

To close out January and the stretch before the All-Star break, the IceHogs were slotted to play two games against Midwest Division rivals Charlotte and Milwaukee.

Friday, January 27 at Charlotte – The Hogs played their last regular season game of the year in the Queen City Friday night and were looking for revenge on the Checkers after their 4-3 shootout loss to them the night before. Bobby Sanguinetti opened up the scoring at 13:15 of the first period, while on the power play. It was the Checkers’ defenseman’s fourth tally of the season. Rasmus Rissanen added to Charlotte’s lead at 9:59 of the second period with his second goal of the year. Peter LeBlanc cut the deficit to one 1:01 later on the power play. LeBlanc then struck again at 9:10 of the final frame to tie the game up at two with his 15th of the year. That was also LeBlanc’s fourth goal in the last two games against the Checkers. 2:37 later, Dylan Olsen fired one past Charlotte goaltender John Muse for his third career professional goal and the Hogs wouldn’t look back after that, holding on for the 3-2 win.

-Rockford outshot Charlotte 30-25.

-The Hogs went 1-4 on the power play while the Checkers went 1-3.

Jeremy Morin led the Hogs with five shots on goal.

-Ben Smith and Rostislav Olesz were both +2 on the evening.

-Alec Richards got the start in net for the first time since January 11th in Chicago.

-Kyle Beach (shoulder), Alexander Salak (lower body), Brian Connelly, and Rob Flick (healthy) were the scratches. Connelly was a late scratch and the announcement that he was traded to the Calgary Flames for center Brendan Morrison came during the second intermission.

Saturday, January 28 vs Milwaukee – The IceHogs got off to a quick start back on home ice Saturday night. 4:15 in, Joe Lavin’s shot from the left point was deflected in by Rostislav Olesz who was parked out in front of Admirals goaltender Jeremy Smith. Milwaukee evened the score at 12:44 of the period as he tipped in Joel Champagne’s pass on the doorstep past Hogs netminder Carter Hutton. All-Star Brandon Pirri almost gave the Hogs the lead back in the final seconds of a power play with Tyler Sloan in the box for interference. Pirri’s dump-in took a funny hop off of a stanchion and almost got past Smith, but he flashed out the left pad at the last second. Lavin tallied his second goal of the year with a rocket of a shot from the left point as he entered Milwaukee’s zone at 10:34 of the second period. At 18:12 of the second, and with 27 seconds left on a power play, Brian Fahey sent an absolute bomb past Smith from the right circle to give the Hogs the 3-1 lead. Ben Smith set the Hogs’ alternate captain up very nicely. That was all the Hogs needed for the victory and to go 7-1-0-1 in their last nine games.

-Saturday night was Pink in the Rink night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

-The IceHogs outshot the Admirals 30-28.

-Rockford went 1-5 on the man advantage and Milwaukee went 0-4 on their power play opportunities.

-Lavin, Shawn Lalonde, Jeremy Morin, and Brandon Pirri were all +2 on the night.

-Peter LeBlanc and Olesz each had a team high four shots on goal.

-The scratches were essentially the same, except Jimmy Hayes was also a healthy extra as he was recently reassigned to RockVegas.

-Lines and D pairs:

Morin – Pirri – Brandon Segal

Olesz – LeBlanc – Smith

Brandon Bollig – Byron Froese – Chris DiDomenico

Paul Zanette – Brandon Svendsen – Philippe Paradis

Ryan Stanton – Fahey

Dylan Olsen – Ben Youds

Lavin – Lalonde

Roster Notes

Friday, January 27 – Brian Connelly was recalled to Chicago in order for the trade with Calgary to go down.

Saturday, January 28 – Jimmy Hayes was reassigned to Rockford from Chicago.

Sunday, January 29 – Paul Zanette was reassigned to Toledo from Rockford.

Thursday, February 2 – The IceHogs signed defenseman Wade Brookbank to a PTO. The 34-year-old returns to Rockford after playing 56 games and registering 2 goals last season with the club. He mainly played as a forward for most of the 2010-11 campaign and he played in his 700th professional game on March 19th against Peoria.


-The IceHogs are now 20-21-1-4 with 45 points. They’re still last in the Midwest Division, but are only a point behind Milwaukee and two behind Peoria, who holds the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings. The Admirals have four games in-hand on Rockford and Peoria has one game in-hand. These standings are before tonight’s games have gone final.

-Former IceHogs defenseman Brian Connelly won the fastest skater award in the AHL Skills Competition with a time of 13.851 seconds. The West took the event 18-10 from the East.

-The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 8-7 in a shootout in the AHL All-Star Game in Atlantic City, New Jersey. IceHogs center Brandon Pirri and former Hogs d-man Brian Connelly each registered an assist. Peoria Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop was named the game’s MVP.

-Hog Talk returns on Monday! This week’s guests are forwards Chris DiDomenico, Brandon Svendsen, and assistant coach Ben Simon. Catch the game on 100.5 NTA FM, online at, or in-person at Granite City Food and Brewery.

Upcoming Games

Friday, February 3 at Chicago at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 8 vs Lake Erie at 7:05 p.m.


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