IceHogs Tuesday: They’re Still Tied For First…?

Former teammates Kyle Hagel and Brandon Bollig duke it out during Saturday’s game. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

There were only two games scheduled for the IceHogs in week ten and if they wanted to gain sole possession of first place in the Midwest Division, they had to win both of them. Well, that didn’t go as planned.

Friday, December 14 at MilwaukeeThe IceHogs rolled into Milwaukee on Friday night for their first contest at the BMO Harris Bradley Center this season. Rockford set the tone 40 seconds into the game as Nick Leddy tallied his second goal of the season to give the IceHogs the 1-0 lead. The home team answered back at 7:04 as Gabriel Bourque scored his sixth goal of the year as the Admirals were on the power play. Four minutes and thirty seconds later, Bourque came calling again as he scored another on the power play to give Milwaukee its first lead of the night.

Things quieted down for both teams until 11:02 of the second period when Michael Latta registered his fourth goal on the 2012-13 campaign to give the Ads a two goal lead. IceHogs forward Brandon Saad cut the Milwaukee lead back down to one as he deflected in a Brandon Pirri shot for his sixth professional goal with eight seconds to go in the period. At 4:04 of the third period, IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre tied the game up at three as he scored his tenth goal of the year. St. Pierre was the second Hogs skater this season to reach the double digit mark in goals; Ben Smith was the first to reach the ten goal plateau. The game would go into overtime where Kevin Henderson scored the game winning goal for Milwaukee at 1:45, resulting in the IceHogs’ third straight loss. The bright side is that they at least got a point out of this game.

-Rockford and Milwaukee both fired 33 shots on goal.

-The IceHogs went 0-for-2 on the power play and the Admirals went 2-for-5 on their man advantages.

-IceHogs defenseman Nick Leddy fired a team high seven shots on goal in Friday evening’s game.

-All five of Milwaukee’s power plays came in the first period.

Carter Hutton was in net for the IceHogs.

-The three stars were:  1 — Gabriel Bourque 2 — Kevin Henderson 3 — Taylor Beck

-The scratches were:  Brandon Svendsen, Joe Lavin (injured), Brett Lebda, and Peter LeBlanc (healthy).

Saturday, December 15 vs. Hamilton The Hamilton Bulldogs came into the BMO Harris Bank Center for the only time this season on Saturday night. Both teams got the crowd fired up at 2:58 as current IceHogs forward Brandon Bollig and former IceHogs forward Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves in one of the most spirited and best bouts of the 2012-13 season. The IceHogs couldn’t run with all the energy in the BMO though in order to score first. Instead, Joonas Nattinen capitalized on a turnover behind the Rockford net at the four minute mark to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead. Two seconds short of eight minutes later, Ben Smith tallied from the slot after Brandon Saad set him up for his 11th goal of the year to tie the game at one. Unfortunately for the IceHogs, Hamilton was back out in front 31 seconds after Smith’s goal. Mike Blunden was the goal scoring culprit and it was his fifth goal of the year. The crazy period continued as Adam Clendening‘s shot from the top of the right circle was tipped in by captain Martin St. Pierre at 12:41–12 seconds after Blunden’s goal–to tie the game at two and for his 11th of the year as well. The see-saw scoring continued as the Bulldogs regained the lead at 13:38. Hamilton’s third goal was scored by Brendan Gallagher on its only power play of the game–Jeremy Morin was in the box for high-sticking–and it also came on its seventh shot on goal. Marcus Kruger evened things up again as he scored from the bottom of the right circle with a power play goal of his own at 18:01.

In the second period, Hamilton continued to throw goals up on the board. Defenseman Morgan Ellis scored at 1:44 to make it 4-3 and then Blunden scored his second of the game after he picked up the puck and walked in after a Bollig/Brett Lebda miscommunication as they were trying to move the puck out of the IceHogs’ zone up the right wall. Carter Hutton was pulled from the IceHogs’ crease after Hamilton’s fifth goal and back-up netminder Alec Richards took his place. At 12:55, St. Pierre cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 5-4 as he tallied his second goal of the night from right out in front. The score stayed like that until there were 13 seconds left in regulation. That’s when Gabriel Dumont sealed the Hamilton victory as he made it 6-4 with an empty net goal, giving the IceHogs their fourth consecutive loss.

-Hamilton outshot Rockford 34-26.

-The IceHogs went 1-for-4 on the power play and Hamilton scored on their lone man advantage of the game.

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre led Rockford with five shots on goal.

-All of the IceHogs skaters fired at least one shot on goal Saturday night besides Andrew Shaw and Rob Flick.

-The three stars were:  1 — Mike Blunden 2 — Martin St. Pierre 3 — Michael Bournival

-The power play units that the IceHogs used on Saturday were:

Jeremy Morin — Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Brandon Saad — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

-The scratches were:  Joe Lavin (injured), Wade Brookbank, Peter LeBlanc, and Brandon Svendsen (healthy).

-The IceHogs used seven defensemen in this contest. The lines and D pairs looked something like this:

Brandon Saad — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger — Jeremy Morin

Rob Flick — Andrew Shaw — Jimmy Hayes

Brandon Bollig — [no official center] — Kyle Beach

Klas Dahlbeck — Ryan Stanton

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

Dylan Olsen —

Roster Notes

Monday, December 17 Forward Philippe Paradis was recalled to Rockford from Toledo and forward Brandon Svendsen was loaned to the Walleye for a rehab stint as he comes back from his upper body injury.

Tidbits

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre shaved his head after Saturday’s game against Hamilton for Locks of Love. Read the pre-event press release here.

-IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening was on WXRX in Rockford his morning. Check out this interview on the Stone & TT podcast.

-There will not be another Hog Talk until January 7th. The guests have yet to be announced.

-Currently, the IceHogs are still tied for first in the Midwest Division with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The IceHogs have a record of 13-12-1-1 (28 points). Grand Rapids has three games in-hand. If the Rivermen win tonight, they will also be tied for first in the division. They have the same amount of games played as Rockford though (27).

-As a result of being tied for first in the Midwest, the IceHogs are eighth in the Western Conference standings.

-IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton will turn 27 on Wednesday. Happy birthday, Hutts!

Upcoming Games

Wednesday, December 19 at Milwaukee at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 21 at Milwaukee at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 22 vs. Abbotsford at 7:05 p.m.

 

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