IceHogs Tuesday: Back In The Hunt

Ben Smith scores a goal during Friday night's tilt against the Rivs. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Ben Smith scores his first goal of the night during Friday’s tilt against the Rivs. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Don’t look now, folks, but the IceHogs have strung some wins together and are smack-dab in the middle of a legitimate push for the playoffs. *Knocks on wood* Week 21 brought two more gargantuan Midwest Division games to the BMO Harris Bank Center in which the Hogs needed all of the points that they could get.

icehogs-vs-rivermen-logosFriday, March 1 vs. Peoria It appeared that it was going to be an all-too-common ugly night for the IceHogs on Friday evening against the Rivermen. At the 3:07 mark of the first period, Mark Cundari’s shot trickled past IceHogs netminder Carter Hutton and over the goal line for Cundari’s 4th goal of the season and to give the Rivs the 1-0 lead. Ben Smith tied the game up for Rockford at 8:27 of the period with a shot from out in front of the crease that went five-hole on Rivs goalie Jake Allen. The marker was Smith’s 16th of the year. Smith then gave the IceHogs the lead just over four minutes later with a power play goal. He was able to grab his own rebound and slip it by Allen to give the IceHogs their first lead of the night. Terry Broadhurst almost gave the IceHogs a two goal lead not too long after Smith’s power play tally. Broadhurst let a shot go from right out in front of Allen and it rang off of the crossbar and the right post. The goal light came on, but the ref signaled no goal. The play went through video review and it was deemed that it never crossed the goal line.

Jeremy Morin gave Rockford that two goal lead at 2:28 with a power play marker of his own. He one-timed a shot past Allen from the bottom of the left circle off of a Brandon Pirri feed for his 18th goal on the 2012-13 campaign. Not to be outdone by Smith, Morin tallied for a second time during the second period. At 14:53, while on a 4-on-3 power play, he put home another Pirri pass to make it 4-1 for the home team. There was a scary moment for the Hogs late in the second as Brandon Svendsen was sent head first into the boards by Chris Bruton. Svendsen went down in a heap and needed to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Bruton was given a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct as a result of his actions. After the hit happened, Ryan Stanton grabbed Cody Beach (yes, Kyle’s younger brother) and dropped the gloves with him.

Svendsen looked like he’d be out for a while, but it was the opposite of that. He returned to the ice with the team for the start of the third period and was even part of the penalty killing unit of him, Smith, and Stanton during a 5-on-3 Rivs power play. The Hogs killed off a total of four Peoria man advantages in the third, and with a Brad Mills fight with baby Beach, the Hogs took the game 4-1 for their sixth victory in a row.

-Rockford outshot Peoria 30-24.

-The IceHogs went 3-for-6 on the power play and killed off all 7 of the Rivermen’s man advantages.

Ben Smith led the IceHogs with 5 shots on goal.

Brandon Svendsen blocked around 3 or 4 big shots, by my count at least, during this contest, many of which came on the penalty kill.

-IceHogs defenseman Joe Lavin skated in his 100th professional game on Friday night.

-The three stars were:  1 – Ben Smith (2 G, 5 SOG) 2 – Jeremy Morin (2 G, 3 SOG) 3 – Brandon Pirri (3 A, 3 SOG).

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

Kyle Beach – Brad Mills – Brandon Pirri

Jeremy Morin – Shawn Lalonde

Terry Broadhurst – Jimmy Hayes – Martin St. Pierre

Adam Clendening – Ben Youds

4-on-3 pp:  Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Martin St. Pierre, and Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Brandon Svendsen, Brad Mills, Ben Youds, and Klas Dahlbeck; Mathieu Beaudoin, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton, and Joe Lavin; Jeremy Morin, Martin St. Pierre, Ben Youds, and Ryan Stanton; Kenndal McArdle, Brandon Pirri, Shawn Lalonde, and Joe Lavin.

-The scratches were:  Dylan Olsen, Philippe Paradis (injured), and Wade Brookbank (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Martin St. Pierre – Jimmy Hayes – Jeremy Morin

Kenndal McArdle – Rob Flick – Kyle Beach

Ben Smith – Brandon Svendsen – Mathieu Beaudoin

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Joe Lavin – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Ben Youds

icehogs-vs-milwaukee-admirals-logos1Saturday, March 2 vs. Milwaukee Much like the previous night, the opposition got on the board first against the IceHogs on home ice. Brad Winchester was left all alone in front of IceHogs netminder Henrik Karlsson and he slid the puck by the Swedish goalie’s left pad as he was falling to the ice at 7:57 of the first period. Unlike the night before, the Hogs didn’t tie it up, but there was hope for a brief moment. Ads goalie Jeremy Smith coughed the puck up, giving IceHogs forward Ben Smith a wide open net to shoot at. It looked like it went in, but it went to video review and it was deemed no goal. The Ads then made their lead 2-0 at 14:03 of the period with a goal from Daniel Bang.

Jeremy Smith was on his game at the same time that he wasn’t—if that makes sense. During the second period while the Ads were on a power play, he coughed the puck up again and Mathieu Beaudoin took it and tried a wrap-around shot from behind the net, but he wasn’t able to make it happen as Smith game back over into his crease and made the right toe save. Later in the period, Smith stopped a good opportunity from Brandon Svendsen as he one-timed a puck on net from the top of the right circle. At 15:14 of the period, Patrick Cehlin picked the corner over Karlsson’s right shoulder for his 8th tally of the season and to make it 3-0 Milwaukee. Less than a minute later at 16:08, Kyle Beach got Rockford on the board with a goal from bottom of the left circle for his 14th goal of the year.

The Hogs had a chance to close to gap to within one at the beginning of the third when Ben Smith was parked out in front of Jeremy Smith. Ben grabbed a Dylan Olsen rebound and tried to stuff it home on his backhand, but Jeremy was able to make the right toe save. The Hogs did in fact cut their deficit to one with 6:36 to go in regulation as Jimmy Hayes scored from below the left circle on a pass from captain Martin St. Pierre. That was as close as the Hogs would come and they dropped the contest 3-2.

-Milwaukee outshot Rockford 27-24,

-Both the IceHogs and Admirals went 0-for-5 on the power play.

Kyle Beach led the IceHogs with 5 shots on goal.

-The puck was bouncing like crazy at the BMO on Saturday night. That’s not an excuse, but it still needs to be noted.

-The three stars were:  1 – Brad Winchester (G, A) 2 – Patrick Cehlin (GWG, 3 SOG) 3 – Jimmy Hayes (G, 1 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Ben Smith

Brad Mills – Shawn Lalonde

Terry Broadhurst/Kenndal McArdle – Jimmy Hayes – Martin St. Pierre

Mathieu Beaudoin – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Kenndal McArdle, Brandon Pirri, Dylan Olsen, and Klas Dahlbeck; Brandon Svendsen, Brad Mills, Joe Lavin, and Ryan Stanton; Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen, and Klas Dahlbeck; Brad Mills, Ben Smith, Ryan Stanton, and Joe Lavin; 5-on-3 PK:  Brad Mills, Brandon Svendsen, and Ryan Stanton; Martin St. Pierre, Joe Lavin, and Ryan Stanton.

-The scratches were:  Philippe Paradis (injured), Wade Brookbank, and Ben Youds (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Martin St. Pierre – Jimmy Hayes – Jeremy Morin

Kenndal McArdle – Rob Flick – Kyle Beach

Ben Smith – Brandon Svendsen – Mathieu Beuadoin

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Joe Lavin – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Dylan Olsen

Roster Transactions

Wednesday, February 27 – IceHogs forward David Gilbert was reassigned to Bloomington of the CHL from Rockford.

Thursday, February 28 – The IceHogs released defenseman Kevin Quick from his PTO.

Tidbits

-Next Monday, March 11, IceHogs forward Jeremy Morin and defenseman Joe Lavin will be the guests on Hog Talk. The taping of the show takes place at District Bar and Grill from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the show will be aired on Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on channel 23.2 in Rockford.

-Check out IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton‘s interview on the Stone and Double T show this morning.

-The IceHogs currently have a record of 28-26-1-1 (58 points). They are tied for third in the Midwest Division with Milwaukee, but Rockford holds the spot because they have two more wins than the Ads. In the Western Conference, the Hogs are in a tie with Milwaukee for 11th. Rockford is 3 points out of 8th place, which is held by Rochester. Rochester is in a 4-way tie for 7th with Chicago, Oklahoma City and Lake Erie. **This was written before Tuesday’s games had gone final.

-On Sunday, March 10th, IceHogs defenseman Shawn Lalonde turns 23. Happy birthday, Shawn!

Upcoming Games

Friday, March 8 at Oklahoma City at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 at Oklahoma City at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 at Chicago at 4:00 p.m.

 

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