IceHogs Tuesday: Oh-For-Ontario

Ben Smith continues to be a consistent piece in the IceHogs’ line-up. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

The end of week 13 brought the IceHogs’ only trip into Ontario for the 2012-13 season. In theory, the games should have been on total opposite sides of the spectrum considering the Hamilton Bulldogs sat near the bottom of the Western Conference and the Toronto Marlies sat atop the Western Conference. But, both games had similar outcomes, which weren’t in the Hogs’ favor.

Friday, January 4 at Hamilton Normally, it’s been the IceHogs who have allowed early goals in games. This time though, they were the ones doing the early period scoring. At 1:53, IceHogs forward Ben Smith picked up a Shawn Lalonde rebound and got it by Hamilton goalie Robert Mayer for his 14th goal of the season. IceHogs goalie Alec Richards was strong for Rockford throughout the contest and made some nice saves in the first period to maintain the lead. Richards especially shined in net when defenseman Nick Leddy turned the puck over to Michael Bournival in the slot and he had to bail Leddy out. Richards also made a spectacular save later on in the period when he fought off a shot with his glove from an attempt at the top of his crease. There was nothing Richards could do to stop the last second deflection of a point shot that tied the game up at the end of the first period. When the puck went into the net, the clock appeared to be at zero, but the referee called a good goal on the ice. The officials couldn’t review it because the video replay equipment wasn’t in operation. The replay did, in fact, show that time had expired but the call on the ice had to stand and Hamilton had all of the momentum going into the second period.

Things spiraled completely out of control for the Hogs with 3:53 to go in the second period. Mayer made a huge glove save on a Kyle Beach shot from the right circle and on one of the next shifts, Jimmy Hayes took a tripping penalty to give Hamilton a power play. Gabriel Dumont took advantage of the opportunity and gave Hamilton the 2-1 lead as he deflected in a shot from the point with 2:49 left in the frame. Rockford couldn’t recover and at 5:51 of the third period, Olivier Fortier slammed home a rebound to give the Dogs some insurance and the 3-1 Hamilton lead held as the final.

-The IceHogs outshot the Bulldogs 36-28.

-Rockford went 0-for-3 on the power play and Hamilton went 1-for-5 on its man advantages.

Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith led the IceHogs with 5 shots on goal each.

-The 3 stars were:  1 — Gabriel Dumont 2 — Robert Mayer 3 — Patrick Holland

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Brandon Saad — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger — Jeremy Morin

Dylan Olsen — Shawn Lalonde

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

-The scratches were:  Joe Lavin (wrist), Wade Brookbank, Brett Lebda, and Peter LeBlanc (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Brandon Saad — Brandon Pirri — Ben Smith

Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger — Jeremy Morin

Brandon Bollig — Andrew Shaw — Kyle Beach

Jimmy Hayes — Rob Flick — Philippe Paradis

Ryan Stanton — Klas Dahlbeck

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen — Shawn Lalonde

Saturday, January 5 at Toronto After an odd 7:30 p.m. EST start in Hamilton, the IceHogs were back at it less than 24 hours later at 3:00 p.m. EST at Ricoh Coliseum to take on the Marlies. The game got off to a rough start for Rockford as defenseman Nick Leddy got the gate for tripping at 2:20, which resulted in a power play goal from the left point by Paul Ranger to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead at 3:46. Turnovers in the defensive zone seemed to be a theme his weekend and they continued as Ryan Stanton lost the puck in his own zone to Mike Zigomanis. Initially, IceHogs netminder Carter Hutton made a great pad save on Zigomanis, but the veteran picked up the rebound and fired it home for his third goal of the season. The Marlies absolutely dominated the first half of the period. With 10:18 still to go in the opening frame, Toronto was leading the shots on goal by 11-1. The IceHogs were able to cash in on a power play of their own at 10:31. Center Marcus Kruger‘s shot from the left hashmarks got by Ben Scrivens for the Stockholm, Sweden native’s 8th goal on the 2012-13 campaign. By the end of the period, the shots on goal board read 16-10 in favor of Toronto.

Hutton kept the Hogs in contention all game long. Early in the second period, he stopped a Marlies 3-on-1 chance after Klas Dahlbeck turned the puck over at the blue line. Hutton really couldn’t do anything on the goal that made it 3-1 Marlies. Kenny Ryan  walked around Leddy and showed off some nifty moves for his fourth goal of the year that brought the Toronto faithful to its feet. Brandon Bollig closed the gap to one goal again at 4:18 after Kruger won a faceoff. From the high slot, Bollig sent a rocket of a shot by Scrivens for his fifth tally of the year. The Marlies two goal lead was restored as the Hogs gave up a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush to Toronto. Hutton made the initial glove save, but lost his crease and gave up a rebound, which allowed Ryan Hamilton to tap it home.

The Hogs pushed to get some more goals on the board, and even pulled Hutton with 2:55 left in the third period for the sixth attacker, but couldn’t put any biscuits in the basket. They dropped this contest 5-2 after Joe Colborne tallied the empty net goal with 1:41 left in regulation.

-The IceHogs outshot the Marlies 35-31 when all was said and done.

-Rockford went 1-for-5 on the power play and Toronto went 1-for-6 on the power play.

Ryan Stanton, Adam Clendening, and Jimmy Hayes led Rockford with 4 shots on goal.

-The 3 stars were:  1 — Mike Kostka 2 — Kenny Ryan 3 — Mark Fraser

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre tallied his 500th AHL point with his primary assist on Marcus Kruger‘s first period goal. St. Pierre became the 83rd player in AHL history to reach the milestone.

-The power play units the IceHogs used were:

Andrew Shaw — Brandon Pirri — Jeremy Morin

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening / Shawn Lalonde — Brett Lebda

Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger — Ben Smith

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers the IceHogs used were:  Jimmy Hayes, Marcus Kruger, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck; Brandon Bollig, Peter LeBlanc, Shawn Lalonde, and Brett Lebda; Andrew Shaw, Philippe Paradis, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck; Jeremy Morin, Marcus Kruger, Shawn Lalonde, and Nick Leddy; Brandon Bollig, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck; Ben Smith, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Stanton, and Klas Dahlbeck.

-The scratches were:  Joe Lavin (wrist), Dylan Olsen, Wade Brookbank, and Rob Flick (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Brandon Bollig — Brandon Pirri — Jeremy Morin

Martin St. Pierre — Marcus Kruger — Ben Smith

Brandon Saad — Andrew Shaw — Jimmy Hayes

Philippe Paradis — Peter LeBlanc — Kyle Beach

Ryan Stanton — Klas Dahlbeck

Nick Leddy — Adam Clendening

Brett Lebda — Shawn Lalonde

Transactions

Monday, January 7 — Forwards Terry Broadhurst, Byron Froese, and David Gilbert were reassigned by the Blackhawks to the IceHogs. Broadhurst and Froese (who is currently injured) were reassigned from Toledo (ECHL) and Gilbert was reassigned from Bloomington (CHL). In addition, forward Brandon Svendsen and defenseman Ben Youds were recalled by the IceHogs.

-These aren’t official transactions, but forwards Brandon Bollig, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger, and defenseman Nick Leddy have gone up to play with the big boys in Chicago.

Leddy obviously had a day off since he wasn’t on that list from today’s skate.

Tidbits

-Hog Talk is back next Monday at Onyx Bar and Grill in Machesney Park from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The guests had not been announced.

-With their current slump, the IceHogs have fallen to 3rd place in the Midwest Division with a record of 17-16-1-1 (36 points/35 games played). They are two points behind second place Milwaukee (34 games played) and 7 points behind first place Grand Rapids (33 games played). They are also only one point up on the Wolves (32 games played). Peoria is in last in the division, 4 points behind Rockford (35 games played).

-In the Western Conference, the IceHogs sit in 11th place, 3 points out of 8th place. Currently Lake Erie sits in 8th with a record of 18-15-2-1 (39 points/36 games played).

-Check out this video of the IceHogs’ New Year’s Resolutions.

Listen to Rob Flick on Stone and Double T from this morning on the radio.

Upcoming Games

Wednesday, January 9 vs. Grand Rapids at 7:05 p.m.

Friday, January 11 vs. Grand Rapids at 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, January 12 at Milwaukee at 7:00 p.m.

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