The end of week 21 featured two games in Canada for the IceHogs. They faced North Division leader Toronto and then the Bulldogs, who are battling for their playoff lives, like Rockford.
Friday, February 17 at Toronto – The final meeting between the Marlies and IceHogs saw the home team get on the board first. At 9:28 of the opening period, Marcel Mueller scored his 12th goal of the season to give Toronto the lead. Ryan Hamilton tallied a shorthanded goal at 7:05 of the second period and Matt Frattin extended the Marlie lead to 3-0 3:20 later. The Hogs finally got on the board at 18:16 of the period with Jeremy Morin’s 10th goal of the year, and his first since January 16th. Peter LeBlanc cut the lead to one at 7:06 of the third period with his 17th marker on the 2011-12 campaign. Morin struck again at 13:50 to tie the game up and push it into overtime. The Hogs came up with the short end of the stick as Joe Colborne scored at the 2:13 mark of overtime to give Toronto the 4-3 win.
-Rockford outshot Toronto 28-27.
-The IceHogs went 0-2 on the power play while Toronto went 0-4.
-Brandon Pirri led the Hogs in shots on goal as he fired five shots on Marlies goalie Mark Owuya.
-Morin, LeBlanc, and Rostislav Olesz were all +2.
-Ugly stat of the night: Captain Brandon Segal was -3 on the evening.
-The scratches were: Kyle Beach (shoulder), Byron Froese, and Brandon Svendsen (healthy extras).
-Alexander Salak got the start in net for Rockford.
Saturday, February 18 at Hamilton – Saturday night started out much better for the IceHogs. Brandon Segal tallied at 10:43 of the opening period, breaking a long drought for the captain. Hamilton answered back less than two minutes later with Joonas Nattinen’s fifth goal of the season. Brandon Pirri got the lead back for Rockford at 15:41 of the middle frame. The IceHog collapse began at 15:27 of the third period. Blake Geoffrion, making his Bulldog debut after being traded from Nashville to the Montreal organization, tallied an unassisted goal, which was followed by goals from Gabriel Dumont and Garrett Stafford, all in a matter of 38 seconds. The onslaught didn’t last long, but the damage was done and the Hogs couldn’t recover. Phil DeSimone added an empty netter at 19:14 to make the final score 5-2 Bulldogs.
-Hamilton outshot Rockford 39-29.
-The Bulldogs tallied on one of their five power plays and the Hogs failed to convert on all three of their man advantages.
-Ben Youds fired a team high five shots on goal for Rockford.
-Andrew Shaw, in his second game back with the Hogs since being reassigned to Rockford from the Blackhawks, accumulated 13 penalty minutes. ( 2 for boarding, charging, slashing, goaltender interference, and 5 for fighting)
-Alexander Salak started in net, but pulled himself in favor of Carter Hutton after Hamilton’s fourth goal.
-The scratches were: Kyle Beach (shoulder), Chris DiDomenico, and Wade Brookbank (healthy).
–Friday, February 17 – Jimmy Hayes was recalled to the Blackhawks and Andrew Shaw was reassigned to the IceHogs.
–Tuesday, February 21 – Brandon Segal was recalled and traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Matt Fornataro, who was immediately sent to Rockford.
–Thursday, February 23 – Carter Hutton is apparently going to sign a two-way deal with the Blackhawks soon. (See Bob McKenzie’s tweet here.)
-On Monday, February 27th, Hog Talk will featured head coach Ted Dent and forwards Peter LeBlanc and Andrew Shaw. Catch the broadcast on 100.5 NTA FM, online at nta.fm, or in person at Granite City Food and Brewery in RockVegas.
-The Hogs currently are back in last place in the Western Conference standings.
Friday, February 24 at Chicago at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 25 vs Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, February 26 vs Chicago at 5:05 p.m.
Wednesday, February 29 vs Abbotsford at 7:05 p.m.