IceHogs Tuesday: The Preseason Comes To A Close

Jimmy Hayes anticipates a Peter LeBlanc pass. And makes a Toews face. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

The IceHogs’ preseason schedule lasted for less than a week, but packed in three contests all against Midwest Division rivals, which provided for some entertaining games. The Hogs never once had to leave Illinois to play them all, either.

Wednesday, October 3 at Chicago — The IceHogs kicked off the preseason with a match-up against the Wolves in Rolling Meadows. The game didn’t start so well for the visitors as defenseman Ryan Stanton took a penalty for holding very early on, which led to a breakaway power play goal by Brett Sterling. Steven Anthony made it 2-0 for the Wolves as he finished with a shot from the slot. The Wolves extended their lead to 3-0 as Darren Archibald shoveled a backhander over Hogs netminder Alec Richards’ glove from a tough angle. The Hogs had their first opportunity on the power play after Kyle Beach drew an interference penalty, but they were unable to convert. The Wolves had another chance on the power play not long after that–and it was a 5-on-3 power play for a minute and six seconds. Patrick Mullen made it 4-0 as he picked the high glove corner from the left circle.

During the second period, Andrew Gordon scored an awkward goal where the puck hit the bottom of the post, didn’t cross the goal line, then was shoveled in to make it 5-0. Kent Simpson replaced Richards in goal with 10:38 left in the second period, which was planned, not due to injury. Beach finally got the IceHogs on the board in the third period after he lobbed a shot at the net from the right halfwall with Wolves netminder Matt Climie caught behind the net at 1:31. That was a close as the Hogs would get though. Yann Sauve gave the Wolves their five goal lead back with a rocket from above the right circle. The shot went high glove side on Simpson. And 6-1 was the final score.

-Chicago outshot Rockford 30-23.

-The Hogs went 0-for-3 on the power play and the Wolves went 2-for-5.

-Ryan Stanton and Ben Smith were the alternate captains.

-The Hogs had a tough time clearing the puck out of their own zone while on the penalty kill. The Wolves did a much better job of that.

-Some of the power play units used were:

Philippe Paradis – Rob Flick – Kyle Beach

Joe Lavin – Ben Youds

Ben Smith – David Gilbert – Travis Novak

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Philippe Paradis – David Gilbert – Terry Broadhurst

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

-Some penalty kill units that were used were:  Ben Smith, David Gilbert, Dylan Olsen, Adam Clendening; Rob Flick, Travis Novak, Ben Youds, Joe Lavin; Terry Broadhurst, Jake Trask, Ryan Stanton, Shawn Lalonde. 5-on-3 penalty killers:  Byron Froese, Ben Youds, Joe Lavin; Ben Smith, Dylan Olsen, Adam Clendening; David Gilbert, Dylan Olsen, Ben Youds.

-Scratches from Wednesday include:  Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Bollig, Andrew Shaw, Carter Hutton, Mac Carruth, Peter LeBlanc, Klas Dahlbeck, Martin St. Pierre, Brandon Svendsen, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Brandon Pirri, Wade Brookbank, and Brett Lebda

-Lines and D pairs from Wednesday:

Brandon Saad – Byron Froese – Jeremy Morin

Ben Smith – David Gilbert – Travis Novak

Philippe Paradis – Rob Flick – Kyle Beach

Jake Trask – Chris DeSousa – Terry Broadhurst

Ryan Stanton – Shawn Lalonde

Ben Youds – Joe Lavin

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Thursday, October 4 vs. Milwaukee — Thursday night featured the only home game of the preseason for the IceHogs and Carter Hutton got the start in between the pipes. Admirals goalie Jeremy Smith was in net for Milwaukee. Early on, Hogs forward Brandon Bollig got the home crowd going with a fight with Ads defenseman Jeff Foss. Not long after, the Hogs had a 5-on-3 power play for 49 seconds. They generated some chances, but nothing came of the opportunity. Milwaukee struck first on the scoreboard with 12:30 to go in the first period courtesy of center Jani Lajunen. Milwaukee added to their lead later in the period with a power play goal. The shot went high glove on Hutton from a tough angle.

Hogs center Marcus Kruger cut the Ads’ lead in half at the 6:23 mark of the second period. His shot from the top of the left circle beat Smith for his first goal of the preseason. With 10:30 to go in the second, Mac Carruth replaced Hutton in net for Rockford and Magnus Hellberg replaced Smith for Milwaukee. The IceHogs had another 5-on-3 power play opportunity with 2:02 left in the second as Victor Bartley was in the box for roughing and Taylor Beck was in there for delay of game. Ben Smith took advantage of the power play as he shoveled the puck in from the doorstep and tied the game at two. The Hogs had yet another two man advantage early in the third period. They threw everything at Hellberg, but the 6-foot-5, 183 pound netminder managed to stop everything that came at him. Hellberg continued to block everything away throughout the third period and into overtime. The game went into a five round shootout–unlike last year’s 16 rounder on October 1, 2011.

Defenseman Nick Leddy got the Hogs on the board in the first round with a shot that went high blocker side on Hellberg, but Beck tied it for Milwaukee in the same round as he went high glove on Carruth. Center Brandon Pirri sent a backhander over Hellberg’s glove in the second round to make it 2-1 Hogs and Carruth stoned Milwaukee center Michael Latta. Bollig came up for Rockford in the third round and made it 3-1 with a shot that got by Hellberg low blocker side, but right winger Juuso Puustinen sent a slow roller past Carruth to make it 3-2. Andrew Shaw was up for Rockford in the fourth round to try and extend the lead, and used some fancy moves during his attempt, but just missed the net. Carruth stood tall for the Hogs and stopped Jack MacLellan to preserve the lead. Kruger tried to go five-hole on Hellberg in the fifth round, but came up blank. Patrick Cehlin tried to extend the shootout for Milwaukee, but Carruth made the huge save to win the game, 3-2, for Rockford in front of the BMO Harris Bank Center faithful.

-The Hogs outshot the Ads 35-18.

-Chris DeSousa, who was on a PTO for the Hogs, was very physical in this contest.

-Some of the power play units that were used were: Jimmy Hayes, Ben Smith, Brandon Pirri, and Adam Clendening and Nick Leddy on the points (5-on-4); Jimmy Hayes, Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw, and Brandon Pirri and Nick Leddy on the points (5-on-3).

-Some of the penalty kill units were: Jimmy Hayes, Marcus Kruger, Ben Youds, Joe Lavin; Peter LeBlanc, Brandon Bollig, Nick Leddy, Ben Youds; Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw, Joe Lavin, Shawn Lalonde.

-Brett Lebda and Wade Brookbank donned the A’s on Thursday night.

-Adam Clendening left the ice for awhile in the first period, came back for a bit, then left again for good during the second period.

-Milwaukee’s Jack MacLellan attended Blackhawks prospect camp in 2011.

-The scratches were: Rob Flick, Jeremy Morin, Ryan Stanton, Kyle Beach, Brandon Svendsen, Klas Dahlbeck, Kent Simpson, Brandon Saad, David Gilbert, Alec Richards, Terry Broadhurst, and Dylan Olsen.

-Lines and D pairs from Thursday:

Ben Smith – Brandon Pirri – Andrew Shaw

Jimmy Hayes – Martin St. Pierre – Peter LeBlanc

Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger – Byron Froese

Philippe Paradis – Chris DeSousa – Wade Brookbank

Nick Leddy – Shawn Lalonde

Joe Lavin – Ben Youds

Brett Lebda – Adam Clendening

Saturday, October 6 at Peoria — The IceHogs got off to another slow start during their final preseason game. Adam Cracknell got the Rivermen on the board first as he fired a shot over Carter Hutton’s shoulder from the slot at 3:53 of the first period. Jimmy Hayes tied it for the Hogs as he drove to the net and put a Marcus Kruger pass by Rivs goalie Jake Allen. With 12:27 to go in the second period, Jeremy Morin was sent to the box for hooking, giving the Rivs a power play. The Hogs did work on this penalty kill though. Kruger gave the Hogs the lead with a shorthanded goal that was set up by Hayes. Just as the penalty expired, Brandon Saad gained control of the puck and brought it into the Peoria zone on a breakaway. Saad faked Allen out, got him leaning to his right, and slipped it by him blocker side. Derek Nesbitt cut the Hogs’ lead to one as he scored on the power play from right out in front of Hutton.

The Hogs had many chances in the third period to get their two goal lead back. They didn’t get their wish until late in the period when Brandon Bollig picked up a Joe Lavin rebound and fired a shot over Allen. Phil McRae made things interesting–as he always does when he plays the Hogs–by cutting the lead back to one with 1:29 left as he grabbed his own rebound and put it past Hutton. Peoria then pulled Allen for the 6th attacker, but Hayes was able to add an empty net tally to make it 5-3 Hogs and give the visitors the victory.

-The Hogs outshot the Rivs 29-16.

-Martin St. Pierre and Nick Leddy were the alternate captains.

-Nick Leddy and Ryan Stanton were paired up with each other during Saturday’s contest and they worked very well together. They compliment each other’s games as Leddy is the more offensive, finesse blueliner and Stanton is a stay-at-home, physical, shot-blocking defenseman.

-Some of the power play units used were:

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Peter LeBlanc

Jeremy Morin – Nick Leddy

Jimmy Hayes – Marcus Kruger – Kyle Beach

Dylan Olsen – Brett Lebda

-One of the penalty kill units was: Marcus Kruger, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Stanton, and Nick Leddy.

-The scratches were: Brandon Svendsen, Klas Dahlbeck, Philippe Paradis, Wade Brookbank, Shawn Lalonde, and Adam Clendening.

-Lines and D pairs:

Ben Smith – Brandon Pirri – Andrew Shaw

Jeremy Morin – Martin St. Pierre – Peter LeBlanc

Jimmy Hayes – Marcus Kruger – Brandon Saad

Brandon Bollig – Rob Flick – Kyle Beach

Nick Leddy – Ryan Stanton

Joe Lavin – Brett Lebda

Dylan Olsen – Ben Youds

Alec Richards was the back-up goalie to Carter Hutton

Tidbits

-Marcus Kruger and Jimmy Hayes both tallied three points during the preseason (2 G, 1 A).

-Brandon Bollig led the team in penalty minutes with seven. Jeremy Morin was second with six.

-The Hogs finished the preseason with a record of 2-1-0 in three games.

Enjoy these videos from Blackhawks TV:

Expectations are running high for the IceHogs:

Ben Smith mic’d up from the game against the Wolves:

Carter Hutton interview:

Here are some videos courtesy of IceHogs Films on Youtube.

Post game interviews from the Milwaukee game:

IceHogs Minute – “It All Starts Here”:

Ted Dent’s take on the preseason:

Upcoming Games

Saturday, October 13 at Chicago at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 14 at Chicago at 3:00 p.m.

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