IceHogs Tuesday: What A Grand Look From The Top

Mr. Ben Smith tallied two game winning goals in week 8. (Photo Credit:  Kim Wrona)

After their home game against the Texas Stars on November 27th, the IceHogs found themselves on a three game road trip that started in Chicago and finished in the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Wednesday, November 28 at Chicago The IceHogs didn’t have to go far to start their three game road trip. With a quick trip down I-90, they faced the Midwest Division rival Chicago Wolves on Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena. The home team got on the board 1:13 into the contest as Zach Kassian’s turn-around shot from the slot beat Rockford goalie Carter Hutton. The action came fast and furious as 27 seconds later, Wolves left winger Darren Archibald ran Hutton and cross-checked IceHogs defenseman Brett Lebda into his netminder as well. Rockford defenseman Shawn Lalonde didn’t take too kindly to that and dropped the mitts with the 6-foot3, 212 pound forward. With 3:35 left in the first period, the fisticuffs weren’t finished with quite just yet. IceHogs right winger Kyle Beach fought Wolves right winger and notable tough guy Zack Kassian. Kassian got some good pops in on Beach early, but the Hogs’ Kelowna, British Columbia native finished strong in the spirited bout.

In the second period, the Hogs had chances to tie the game up at one with shots from forwards Andrew Shaw and Brandon Pirri, but Chicago goaltender Matt Climie was able to make the big glove saves. Jordan Schroeder made it 2-0 Wolves with a power play goal at 13:48. From right out in front, Schroeder blew a one-timer by Hutton’s blocker side for his seventh goal of the year. Just over a minute later, the Hogs answered back with their first tally of the night to cut the Wolves’ lead to one. With Shaw driving to the front of the net, Brandon Saad carried the puck deeper into the Wolves’ zone in the right circle and found captain Martin St. Pierre coming down the left circle. Saad dished it over to the Ontario native and St. Pierre fired it home for his fifth goal on the 2012-13 campaign.

The Hogs had a 5-on-3 power play to close out the second period and to start the third period with the Wolves’ Kassian in the box for holding and Kevin Connauton in the box for delay of game, but they couldn’t convert on it. They did convert on their next power play though. Jeremy Morin tallied from right out in front after a pass from Saad at 4:59 to tie the game at two. The goal was the Auburn, New York native’s eighth goal of the season. Beware of the IceHogs’ power play:  Rockford continued to be hot on the man advantage with a tally on their next opportunity. This time,  it was Ben Smith at the front of the net who lit the lamp after he deflected in a Lebda shot from the left point at 7:12 for his seventh goal of the year to give the Hogs their first lead of the night. The Wolves pulled Climie with about a minute left in the game and that allowed Shaw to score his fifth goal of the year as he put home the empty netter and sealed the 4-2 win for Rockford.

-Rockford outshot Chicago 47-37.

-The IceHogs went 2-for-7 on the power play and the Wolves were held scoreless on their five man advantages.

Andrew Shaw led the IceHogs in shots on goal with six.

-The three stars of the game were:  1 — Ben Smith 2 — Brandon Saad 3 — Jordan Schroeder

-Some of the power play units that were used were:

Brandon Saad — Martin St. Pierre — Jeremy Morin

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Andrew Shaw — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Brett Lebda — Ryan Stanton

-On the 5-on-3 power play, the Hogs used:

Ben Smith — Martin St. Pierre — Brandon Pirri

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Martin St. Pierre, Brandon Bollig, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck; Jimmy Hayes, Philippe Paradis, Nick Leddy, and Shawn Lalonde; Martin St. Pierre, Andrew Shaw, Klas Dahlbeck, and Ryan Stanton; Ben Smith, Philippe Paradis, Ryan Stanton, and Nick Leddy; Andrew Shaw, Jeremy Morin, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck.

Andrew Shaw was suspended for one game as a result of a boarding call on Wolves forward Brett Sterling which wasn’t a bad hit considering he got Sterling in the shoulder and Sterling went down like he got shot in the head but whatever. Shaw missed the Saturday game in Charlotte on December 1st.

Philippe Paradis fought Chicago’s Zach Miskovic in the second period after he was challenged by Miskovic after he boarded Brad Hunt. It looked like a relatively clean check though…

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Joe Lavin (out 6-8 weeks with a wrist injury), Dylan Olsen (lower body), Marcus Kruger (sick), Wade Brookbank (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Andrew Shaw — Brandon Pirri — Kyle Beach

Brandon Saad — Martin St. Pierre — Jeremy Morin

Ben Smith — Jimmy Hayes — Peter LeBlanc

Philippe Paradis — Rob Flick — Brandon Bollig

Ryan Stanton — Klas Dahlbeck

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

Saturday, December 1 at CharlotteThe force was not with the IceHogs at the beginning of their contest with the Charlotte Checkers on Star Wars night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Checkers defensive-defenseman Brett Bellemore scored his first goal of the season at 1:57 of the first period to give the home squad the early lead. At 11:26, Checkers star forward Zach Boychuk walked around IceHogs’ skaters Brandon Saad and Ryan Stanton to score his 13th goal of the year as his shot blew by Carter Hutton.

The tide changed at 4:37 of the second period when IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre scored sixth goal of the season to cut the Charlotte lead to 2-1. 2:11 later, Saad tapped home a Jeremy Morin pass to tie the game at two. The Checkers couldn’t stop the Rockford train once it got started with those two goals. Ben Smith added his eighth goal of the season as he deflected in a Brandon Pirri shot at 9:41 while on a power play to give Rockford its first lead of the night. St. Pierre then added his second tally of the night at 15:35. Morin tacked onto the Rockford lead at 10:28 of the third period with his team leading ninth goal. It was a power play goal that he put home from out front after a Marcus Kruger set-up from below the goal line. That concluded the five unanswered goals that Charlotte gave up and Rockford held on for the 5-2 win.

-Rockford outshot Charlotte 38-36.

-The IceHogs went 2-for-6 on the power play and the Checkers went 1-for-4 on the man advantage.

-IceHogs forwards Martin St. Pierre and Jimmy Hayes led Rockford as they both fired five shots on net.

-The three stars were:  1 — Martin St. Pierre 2 — Jeremy Morin 3 — Ben Smith

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Joe Lavin (wrist), Dylan Olsen (lower body), Andrew Shaw (suspended), Wade Brookbank (healthy).

Sunday, December 2 at Charlotte The IceHogs came into Sunday afternoon’s game looking to finish strong on their three game road trip and sweep the Checkers in their own rink. They got started on the game plan in the first period as IceHogs rookie defenseman Adam Clendening tallied a power play goal at the 11 minute mark. Kyle Beach added to the Rockford lead at 15:56 of the second period with a wicked shot from the right side that was set up by Andrew Shaw for his seventh goal on the 2012-13 campaign. Charlotte finally got one by Hogs netminder Carter Hutton at 7:23 of the third period with captain Brett Sutter’s seventh goal of the year. He was set up by Jerome Samson and Drayson Bowman. Hogs centerman Brandon Pirri gave the Hogs their two goal lead back at 13:36 of the period with a sick breakaway goal. It was the Toronto, Ontario native’s seventh tally of the season. The Hogs outplayed Charlotte throughout the whole contest and Martin St. Pierre put an exclamation point on the game with an empty net goal at 18:39 to make the final score 4-1 in Rockford’s favor. With their win and sweep of the Checkers, the IceHogs now sit atop the Midwest Division standings, just one point in front of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

-Charlotte outshot Rockford 31-27.

-The IceHogs went 1-for-2 on the power play and the Checkers were held scoreless on all three of their power plays.

Brandon Saad led Rockford as he fired seven shots on goal.

-The three stars were:  1 — Carter Hutton 2 — Brandon Pirri 3 — Brett Sutter

-The power play units the IceHogs used were:

Brandon Saad — Marcus Kruger — Jeremy Morin

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Martin St. Pierre — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

-Some of the penalty killers were:  Andrew Shaw, Peter LeBlanc, Klas Dahlbeck, and Ryan Stanton; Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig, Dylan Olsen, and Shawn Lalonde; Martin St. Pierre, Jimmy Hayes, Klas Dahlbeck, and Ryan Stanton. While the Hogs were killing a 5-on-3 Charlotte power play, they threw Marcus Kruger, Ben Smith, and Ryan Stanton out there.

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen (upper body), Joe Lavin (wrist), Wade Brookbank, Rob Flick, and Philippe Paradis (healthy).

-The IceHogs dressed seven defenseman in this tilt, but the lines and D pairs looked like:

Andrew Shaw — Brandon Pirri — Peter LeBlanc

Brandon Saad — Marcus Kruger — Jeremy Morin

Martin St. Pierre — Jimmy Hayes — Ben Smith

Brandon Bollig — x — Kyle Beach

Ryan Stanton — Klas Dahlbeck

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

Dylan Olsen — x

Roster Notes

Tuesday, December 4th The IceHogs reassigned winger Philippe Paradis to the Toledo Walleye today.


-The IceHogs now sit atop the Midwest Division standings with a record of 12-9-0-1 (25 points). Grand Rapids is second in the division with a record of 11-6-1-1 (24 points). They have three games in-hand on the Hogs though. But, as a result of being at top the division, the Hogs are now third in the Western Conference standings.

IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre is currently the leading scorer with 19 points (8 G, 11 A). In second, there’s a three-way tie among Brandon Pirri (7 G, 9 A), Ben Smith (8 G,8 A), and Adam Clendening (4 G, 12 A) with 16 points.

Jeremy Morin leads the IceHogs in goal scoring with 9 markers on the year. In second, there is a tie between Martin St. Pierre and Ben Smith with 8. Brandon Pirri and Kyle Beach both have 7. Jimmy Hayes has 6 and Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad have 5.

-Scoring breakdown from the backend along with their plus/minus ratings: 1 — Adam Clendening (4 G, 12 A) (+1) 2 — Shawn Lalonde (2 G, 5 A) (+5)  3 — Nick Leddy (1 G, 6 A) (+3)  4 — Brett Lebda (0 G, 7 A)  (-7) 5 — Joe Lavin (0 G, 6 A) (+2) 6 — Ryan Stanton (0 G, 6 A) (+6) 7 — Dylan Olsen (no points) (-3) 8 — Klas Dahlbeck (no points) (+4)

Jimmy Hayes was +4 over the weekend and it propelled him into the lead in regards to plus/minus ratings on the IceHogs with an overall rating of +8. Ryan Stanton is second in that category with a +6 rating. The lowest on the team is Peter LeBlanc, who is a -8.

Brandon Bollig leads the IceHogs in penalty minutes with 81. Kyle Beach is second with 53 penalty minutes.

Jeremy Morin leads the IceHogs in shots on goal with 73. Brandon Pirri has fired 62 shots on target and that is second best on the team.

-AHL league leaders:  Jeremy Morin is 7th in the AHL in power play goals scored with 5. He’s actually tied for 3rd with the likes of Grand Rapids’ Tomas Tatar, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Eric Tangradi, Charlotte’s Drayson Bowman, and Worcester’s Bracken Kearns. Morin is also 4th in the league in shots on goal (73). Adam Clendening is 11th in the AHL in power play assists with 7. He is also 8th in rookie scoring (16 points). Ben Smith is 13th in game winning goals with 3 of them. Brandon Bollig‘s 81 penalty minutes are 7th most in the league. Carter Hutton is 10th in the AHL in wins with 8. He is also 4th in minutes played with 954:23. Hutton also has the 6th best amount of saves in the AHL (412).

-Hog Talk is back on Monday, December 10th at District Bar and Grill in Rockford. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., one of the coaches, forward Kyle Beach and another player to be determined later since Philippe Paradis was reassigned to the ECHL will be the guests on the program. The show will be broadcast on Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on 23-2 in Rockford.

-IceHogs assistant coach Steve Poapst was named as a 2013 inductee to the ECHL Hall of Fame.

Upcoming Games

Friday, December 7 vs. Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m. CST

Saturday, December 8 vs. Chicago at 7:05 p.m. CST

Sunday, December 9 at Grand Rapids at 3:00 p.m. CST



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