IceHogs Tuesday: Fiery Week 23 For Rockford

Jeremy Morin waits for the Brandon Pirri feed that will lead to him scoring the game winning, shorthanded goal on Friday night against the Chicago Wolves. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Jeremy Morin waits for the Brandon Pirri feed that will lead to him scoring the game winning, shorthanded goal on Friday night against the Chicago Wolves. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

For the second straight weekend, the IceHogs faced a three-games-in-three-nights situation. This time in week 23, they faced the Chicago Wolves twice and the Peoria Rivermen. With these big Midwest Division games, the Hogs needed to take, at the bare minimum, 4 out of the 6 points to be right on the cusp of making it into the playoffs; with 6 out of 6 points, they could be in the top 8.

icehogs-at-chicago-wolves-logos

Friday, March 15 vs. Chicago – The IceHogs came out of the gate fast on Friday, but weren’t able to get on the scoreboard.  Brandon Pirri hit the inside of the bottom of the left post within the first couple of minutes of the game, but didn’t score. Terry Broadhurst did score for the IceHogs though at 15:16 of the first period. His 5th goal of the season went high blocker side on Wolves netminder Joe Cannata from the slot off of a Pirri feed.

Nicklas Jensen tied the game up for Chicago 34 seconds into the second period with a power play goal from the bottom of the right circle for his second goal of the season. At 8:39 of the middle frame, the Wolves took their first lead of the night with a tally from Andrew Gordon. Gordon’s bad angle, backhanded shot from below the left circle somehow beat IceHogs goaltender Henrik Karlsson for the Chicago forward’s 16th goal of the season. IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin answered back for Rockford at the 12:41 mark. He took a cross-ice feed from captain Martin St. Pierre and fired one home from the left circle for his 23rd marker on the season. With 1:02 left in the period, Darren Archibald scored on a rebound while on a power play to give the Wolves the 3-2 lead going into the third period.

At the 5:45 mark of the final frame, Pirri took a shot from the left circle and it deflected in and across the goal line off of Brad Mills, who was lying in the crease. The goal was Mills’ second of the season and tied the game at three.  Late in the period, the Hogs were forced to kill off a Wolves power play, and they did more than just that. Pirri led a 2-on-1 rush in the Chicago zone and he had Morin with him. From the left side, he sent a cross-ice pass over to Morin and Morin tapped it into the net for his second shorthanded goal in as many games and to give the Hogs the 4-3 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game. The Hogs hung on for the victory to improve their record to 31-27-1-1 (64 points).

-Both teams fired 29 shots on net.

-The IceHogs failed to convert on any of their four power plays and the Wolves scored on two of their five man advantages.

Terry Broadhurst, Brad Mills, Jeremy Morin, and Ryan Stanton led the IceHogs with 4 shots on goal.

-The three stars of the game were:  1 – Jeremy Morin (2G, +2, 4 SOG) 2 – Brandon Pirri (3A, +2) 3 – Darren Haydar (1A, -2, 1 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Ben Smith

Brad Mills – Shawn Lalonde

Terry Broadhurst – Martin St. Pierre – Kyle Beach

Steve Montador – Adam Clendening

-2 sets of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Kenndal McArdle, Mathieu Beaudoin, Ryan Stanton and Klas Dahlbeck; Brad Mills, Brandon Svendsen, Ryan Stanton and Klas Dahlbeck.

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre skated in his 500th AHL game on Friday.

-IceHogs forward Brandon Svendsen played in his 200th AHL game on Friday night.

-IceHogs forward Byron Froese played in his first game in a Rockford sweater this season on Friday night and defenseman Steve Montador also made his IceHogs debut.

-The scratches were:  Philippe Paradis (upper body), Rostislav Olesz, Rob Flick and Joe Lavin (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

Wade Brookbank – Byron Froese – Kyle Beach

Kenndal McArdle – Brandon Svendsen – Mathieu Beaudoin

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck—Steve Montador

icehogs-vs-rivermen-logos

Saturday, March 16 vs. Peoria – It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Rockford where nothing went their way early on, and it stayed like that the whole game. Early on, Jeremy Morin danced around half of the Peoria team and wasn’t able to tuck the puck in behind Rivs netminder Mike McKenna. Then, Ben Smith just missed Steve Montador’s stick for an easy tap-in. With 4:53 left in the opening frame, Andrew Murray found himself on a breakaway for the Rivs and he was able to slip one by IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.

The lack of puck luck continued for Rockford in the second as Brandon Pirri set up Terry Broadhurst, who had a golden chance to score, but wasn’t able to. At 9:02 of the period, Andre Bouvet-Morrissette sent a wicked shot from the right hashmarks past Hutton’s glove for his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 Peoria. The Hogs had a nice three way passing play in the second that gave them a good chance to score. Broadhurst sent a cross-ice pass to Shawn Lalonde who sauced the puck over to Pirri in the slot. Pirri got a good shot off, but McKenna was able to glove it down.

The frustration built up even more early in the third when Brad Mills was deep in the offensive zone and he rang a hard shot off of the crossbar. T.J. Hensick made it look easy at 8:05 of the third as he got in behind the Rockford defense and scored on a breakaway to make it 3-0 Rivs. Hensick struck again just under two minutes later with a power play backhanded tally, giving the Rivs a 4-0 lead. Pirri had a shorthanded breakaway not long after Hensick’s second of the night. He tried going five-hole on McKenna, but the netminder made the save. The frustration finally all boiled over with less than five minutes to go in the period. After a McKenna save, Morin tried fighting just about every Rivs player on the ice and, as a result, caused a big ol’ ruckus. Lalonde tried protecting Rockford’s most offensive player as of late, Pirri got knocked down and was sitting on the back of the Peoria net. Morin received 6 minutes in minors and a ten minute misconduct because of his actions. Lalonde also was handed a ten minute misconduct. The Hogs dropped the contest, but had the opportunity to bounce back the next day against Friday night’s opponent.

-Rockford outshot Peoria 37-35.

-The IceHogs didn’t convert on both of their power plays and the Rivs went 1-for-6 on their man advantages.

-IceHogs forwards Martin St. Pierre and Jeremy Morin led the team with 5 shots on goal each.

-The three stars of the game were:  1 – Mike McKenna (37 saves, shutout) 2 – T.J. Hensick (2 G, +2, 2 SOG) 3 — Sergey Andronov (3 A, +2, 7 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Ben Smith

Brad Mills – Shawn Lalonde

Terry Broadhurst – Martin St. Pierre – Kyle Beach

Steve Montador – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Brad Mills, Ben Smith, Klas Dahlbeck and Ryan Stanton; Martin St. Pierre, Mathieu Beaudoin, Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen; Brad Mills, Brandon Svendsen, Klas Dahlbeck and Ryan Stanton; David Gilbert, Byron Froese, Dylan Olsen and Shawn Lalonde.

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

-The lines and D pairs were:

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

David Gilbert – Byron Froese – Kyle Beach

Kenndal McArdle – Brandon Svendsen – Mathieu Beaudoin

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Steve Montador

icehogs-at-chicago-wolves-logos1

Sunday, March 17 at Chicago – The IceHogs looked to earn another big two points against the Wolves on Sunday afternoon. As they tried to do so, they were the first team to crack the scoresheet in this contest. With 0.7 seconds left in the first period and while Rockford was on a power play, IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre one-timed a cross-ice feed from Jeremy Morin for his 20th tally on the 2012-13 campaign.

At 8:01 of the second period, the Wolves tied the game up with a goal from defenseman Kevin Connauton. Connauton’s shot from the left point beat IceHogs goaltender Henrik Karlsson on the Wolves’ 7th shot of the game; it was Connauton’s 5th goal of the year. The Hogs put up another power play goal at the 14:26 mark of the middle frame. Morin grabbed a Brandon Pirri rebound that went off of Ben Smith out in front and his shot was able to get by Wolves netminder Matt Climie’s stacked pads for Morin’s 25th goal of the season.

With the score at 2-1, Morin was looking for an empty net goal with 12.9 seconds to go when he was taken down by Wolves captain Darren Haydar. Haydar took a seat in the sin bin for the trip and the Hogs looked to finish the game on the power play. With four seconds left in the game, Guillaume Desbiens hit Smith along the IceHogs bench. The bench door wasn’t closed all the way and it opened, causing Smith and Desbiens to fall into the Hogs’ bench. Well, all heck broke loose—imagine that—afterwards. Morin either tried getting Desbiens off of Smith from the bench, or he started throwing punches at Desbiens (up to interpretation). Instead of describing everything that happened, just watch the madness here. Notice former Blackhawks defenseman Jim Vandermeer wound up in the IceHogs’ bench and was tussling with Wade Brookbank. Yeah, that was a thing. Well, here’s a look at the crazy boxscore.

Anyway, the IceHogs won the contest 2-1 and pulled even closer to getting to the elusive 8th place in the Western Conference standings.

-Rockford outshot Chicago 30-20.

-The IceHogs went 2-for-7 on the power play and killed off all 5 Wolves man advantages.

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre and defenseman Dylan Olsen led the team with 5 shots on goal each.

-The three stars were:  1 – Jeremy Morin (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) 2 – Ben Smith (2 A, 4 SOG) 3 – Kevin Connauton (1 G, +1, 2 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Ben Smith

Brad Mills – Shawn Lalonde

Terry Broadhurst – Martin St. Pierre – Kyle Beach

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Brad Mills, Brandon Svendsen, Joe Lavin and Klas Dahlbeck; Ben Smith, Byron Froese, Dylan Olsen and Ryan Stanton; Jeremy Morin, Brad Mills, Klas Dahlbeck and Joe Lavin; Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith, Dylan Olsen and Adam Clendening.

-IceHogs winger Kyle Beach played in his 150th professional game on Sunday afternoon.

-The scratches were:  Philippe Paradis (upper body), Kenndal McArdle (suspended), Steve Montador, Rostislav Olesz and Joakim Nordstrom (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Ben Smith – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

Mathieu Beaudoin – Byron Froese – Kyle Beach

Wade Brookbank – Rob Flick – Brandon Svendsen

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Joe Lavin

Roster Transactions

-Thursday, March 14 – The Blackhawks assigned forward Rostislav Olesz to the IceHogs after he cleared waivers.

Friday, March 15 – The Blackhawks reassigned forward David Gilbert to the IceHogs from Bloomington of the CHL.

Saturday, March 16 – The Blackhawks reassigned David Gilbert to Bloomington of the CHL from Rockford and they also reassigned center Joakim Nordstrom to the IceHogs from AIK of the Swedish Elite League.

Tidbits

-We’ll go in order of suspensions:  Kenndal McArdle was suspended for 2 games due to his actions during a scrum in Saturday’s game against Peoria; Jeremy Morin, Wade Brookbank, and Shawn Lalonde were all suspended for one game due to their actions during the brawl at the Rockford bench during Sunday’s game in Chicago. In other words, the IceHogs will be down 4 players in their next game against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday night.

-Check out this pretty awesome story on Jeremy Morin on the IceHogs’ website, written by Fritz Stillings.

-On Monday, March 25th IceHogs forwards Byron Froese and Joakim Nordstrom, along with a coach, will be the guests on Hog Talk. The taping of the show is from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at District Bar and Grill in Rockford and will be aired on channel 23.2 in Rockford on Tuesday from 7 p.m. – 8p.m.

Take a listen to IceHogs forward Brad Mills on the Stone and Double T show this morning on WXRX in Rockford.

-The IceHogs now have a record of 32-28-1-1 (66 points). They are tied for 3rd in the Midwest Division with Milwaukee, but the Ads hold the spot because they have two games in-hand. In the Western Conference standings, the Hogs are tied for 9th place with Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. They are just one point out of 8th place, which is held by Abbotsford. ***Before Tuesday’s game had gone final.

Upcoming Games

Friday, March 22 at Abbotsford at 9:00 CDT

Saturday, March 23 at Abbotsford at 9:00 CDT.

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