IceHogs Tuesday: Week 25 Could Have Been Better

Brad Mills has been a solid addition for the IceHogs this season. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Brad Mills has been a solid addition for the IceHogs this season. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Week 25 brought about three games for the IceHogs. To keep in close contention with the rest of the Western Conference for a playoff spot, the Hogs needed to take at least 4 out of 6 points. Could the boys from RockVegas do it? Find out after the jump.

icehogs-vs-marlies-logos

Wednesday, March 27 vs. Toronto The IceHogs welcomed the Marlies into the BMO Harris Bank Center for the only time during the 2012-13 regular season on Wednesday night. Spencer Abbott opened up the scoring in favor of the visitors at the 12:06 mark of the first period as he got his 10th marker of the season by IceHogs netminder Carter Hutton. The Hogs had been pressing all period long before the Toronto goal and continued to do so after, although they were held off the scoreboard for the rest of the opening frame.

Once the second period started, the game took a turn in favor of Rockford. It began at 4:36 with a power play tally from none other than Jeremy Morin. His bomb of a shot from the right circle was able to beat Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre for Morin’s 26th goal of the season. Hutton had to make a few big saves for Rockford towards the middle of the period. He stopped an excellent Mike Zigomanis chance from the slot. Then, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native made a huge save on a shorthanded toe drag by Will Acton and the subsequent rebound. The Hogs did a good job of staying out of the box and didn’t receive their first minor of the game until 14:45 of the period when Byron Froese was called for hooking. That didn’t deter the Rockford offense though. At 16:16, Morin struck again with his second goal of the night as another one of his bombs found the back of the net, this time from the left circle. The shorthanded marker was Morin’s third shorty of the season.

The Hogs took their 2-1 lead into the third period and added to it at 4:06. Veteran defenseman Steve Montador’s shot from the left point was deflected by a Toronto stick and it got past MacIntyre to make it 3-1. Brandon Pirri had a chance to make it 4-1 Rockford later on in the frame. He was all alone in front of MacIntyre and tried to go high glove side on a backhanded shot, but he missed the net. The Hogs did get that 3 goal lead, and the win, with 22 seconds remaining in regulation as Brad Mills registered an empty net goal for his 4th tally of the year.

-Rockford outshot Toronto 30-20.

-The IceHogs went 1-for-5 on the power play and they killed off both of Toronto’s man advantages.

-IceHogs forwards Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri led the team with 4 shots on goal each.

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

Kyle Beach – Martin St. Pierre – Rostislav Olesz

Steve Montador – Adam Clendening

Ben Smith – Brad Mills – Brandon Pirri

Jeremy Morin – Shawn Lalonde

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

Rostislav Olesz – Brandon Pirri – Jeremy Morin

Martin St. Pierre – Adam Clendening

Joakim Nordstrom saw a brief amount of power play time in the first period after the 5-on-3 power play expired.

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Brad Mills, Ben Smith, Dylan Olsen and Ryan Stanton; Jeremy Morin, Brandon Svendsen, Klas Dahlbeck and Steve Montador; Martin St. Pierre, Brandon Svendsen, Dylan Olsen and Ryan Stanton; Brad Mills, Kenndal McArdle, Dylan Olsen and Ryan Stanton.

-The three stars were:  1 – Jeremy Morin (2 G, +1, 4 SOG) 2 – Brandon Pirri (3 A, +2, 4 SOG) 3 – Drew MacIntyre (26 saves).

-IceHogs center Brandon Pirri registered his 100th AHL assist with his helper on Steve Montador’s third period goal.

-IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin recorded his 100th AHL point with his power play goal in the second period.

-IceHogs forward Brad Mills tallied his 100th AHL point with his empty net goal.

-IceHogs defenseman Steve Montador was +3 on the evening.

-The scratches for Rockford were:  Philippe Paradis (upper body), Joe Lavin, Wade Brookbank, Terry Broadhurst and Rob Flick (all healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Rostislav Olesz – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

Ben Smith – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills

Mathieu Beaudoin – Joakim Nordstrom – Brandon Svendsen

Kenndal McArdle – Byron Froese – Kyle Beach

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Steve Montador

icehogs-vs-milwaukee-admirals-logos1

Friday, March 29 vs. Milwaukee This contest against the Admirals was essentially a must win for Rockford, considering both teams’ positions in the chase for the playoffs. The first period almost ended up a scoreless one at the BMO Harris Bank Center, but the Ads spoiled the party. Ryan Ellis tallied with 2 seconds left in the period to give the visitors the lead.

Any momentum the Hogs had going into the second period was now gone and they never even had a chance to catch their breath at the beginning of the middle frame. 11 seconds in, Kevin Henderson gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead with his 14th goal of the season. Jeremy Morin had a chance to cut the deficit to one with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle after a nice Brandon Pirri pass, but Ads goalie Jeremy Smith was able to make the save. At 12:31 of the period, Michael Latta gave Milwaukee a 3 goal lead with his 8th goal of the season while the Ads were on a power play. Brandon Svendsen broke Smith’s shutout bid with 2:01 left in the period. Adam Clendening found Svendsen all alone in front of Smith’s crease and with the netminder facing Clendening towards the right circle; Clendening sent a pass over to Svendsen who hammered one in to the wide open net for his 3rd goal of the year.

56 seconds into the third period, the Hogs found themselves on the power play with Brad Winchester in the box for holding. Morin had another chance to score on this man advantage, after he took a fancy between-the-legs pass from one of his teammates, but he fired it over the net. On one particular shift a little later on in the period, the Hogs had several good scoring chances to cut Milwaukee’s lead down, but they missed the net a ton—literally around 5 or 7 times. They were able to cash in at 9:14 of the final frame when captain Martin St. Pierre was left all alone in the offensive zone. He walked in and used some pretty moves to slip the puck around Smith’s right pad for his 22nd goal on the 2012-13 campaign to make it 3-2. Hogs goalie Carter Hutton kept Rockford close with a big save while he was down and out. That momentum then led to another Morin chance not too long after. Morin’s one-timer went wide of the Milwaukee cage, but he was able to get the puck back and get a solid shot off, but once again, Smith was there to close the door. The Hogs weren’t able to mount a comeback though, and dropped a heartbreaker of a tilt.

-Milwaukee outshot Rockford 44-37.

-Rockford didn’t score on any of their 4 power plays and the Admirals converted on 1 of their 5 man advantages.

Martin St. Pierre, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Beach and Steve Montador all fired 5 shots on goal for Rockford.

-The three stars were:  1 – Michael Latta (1 G, 2 A, 7 SOG) 2 – Carter Hutton (41 saves) 3 – Ryan Ellis (1 G, +1, 4 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Kyle Beach – Martin St. Pierre – Rostislav Olesz

Steve Montador – Adam Clendening

Jeremy Morin – Brandon Pirri – Kenndal McArdle

Brad Mills – Shawn Lalonde

-Some of the penalty killers Rockford used were:  Brandon Svendsen, Brad Mills, Ryan Stanton and Klas Dahlbeck; Mathieu Beaudoin, Joakim Nordstrom, Klas Dahlbeck and Shawn Lalonde; Brandon Pirri, Mathieu Beaudoin, Dylan Olsen and Ryan Stanton; Martin St. Pierre, Jeremy Morin, Steve Montador and Klas Dahlbeck.

-IceHogs forward Jeremy Morin skated in his 150th AHL game on Friday night.

-The scratches for the IceHogs were:  Ben Smith, Philippe Paradis (both upper body), Joe Lavin, Rob Flick and Wade Brookbank (all healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Rostislav Olesz – Martin St. Pierre – Jeremy Morin

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Brad Mills (wearing an ‘A’ in Smith’s place)

Mathieu Beaudoin – Brandon Svendsen – Joakim Nordstrom

Kenndal McArdle – Byron Froese – Kyle Beach

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Dylan Olsen – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Steve Montador

icehogs-vs-okc-barons-logosSaturday, March 30 vs. Oklahoma City The IceHogs looked to bounce back with a win the following night against the Barons. Rockford got out a fabulous start as Brandon Svendsen put home a backhanded shot from right out in front of OKC goalie Yann Danis at 8:02 of the opening frame. The goal was Svendsen’s 4th goal of the season and his 2nd in as many games. At 11:50 of the period, two big things happened for Rockford. The first was that Brad Mills banged home a loose puck to the left of Danis to give Rockford a 2-0 lead and the second was that Brandon Pirri left the ice and went to the dressing room with the trainer as the Hogs’ leading scorer held his left wrist area. Fortunately for Rockford, Pirri made his return at the beginning of the second period and seemed to be just fine. Before Pirri’s return though, Barons forward Anton Lander cut the lead to 2-1 at 16:37 of the first.

Teemu Hartikainen was up to his usual on-ice, pretty stick-handling antics to open up the second period. At 2:48, he scored a pretty goal from right out in front of IceHogs goalie Carter Hutton to tie the game up at 2. Lander struck again at 12:27 to give the Barons their first lead of the night as he snuck one by Hutton’s left toe and the post after a defensive zone breakdown. That was all she wrote for the Hogs though as OKC took control of the game and blew the doors off of the home team. Jonathan Cheechoo tallied at 14:13 to make it 4-2 Barons, and that ended Hutton’s night as Henrik Karlsson then came in to replace him. Hartikainen and Taylor Fedun both tallied for OKC before the period was over to make it 6-2.

In the third, the Barons added to their lead with Lander’s 3rd goal of the night—and his 6th point of the contest. The Hogs got a late period goal from defenseman Shawn Lalonde to only change the final score to 7-3. Otherwise, it was all Barons, all the time. This loss put Rockford at an even bigger disadvantage in terms of 8th place in the Western Conference standings. With that loss, the Hogs dropped to 11th.

-OKC outshot Rockford 34-27.

-The IceHogs didn’t score on their 2 power plays and the Barons went 2-for-5 on their man advantages.

-Forward Brandon Svendsen led Rockford with 4 shots on goal.

-The three stars were:  1 – Anton Lander (3 G, 3 A, +4, 3 SOG) 2 – Teemu Hartikainen (2 G, 1 A, +3, 4 SOG) 3 – Taylor Fedun (1 G, 2 A, +1, 1 SOG).

-The power play units that the IceHogs used were:

Kyle Beach – Martin St. Pierre – Rostislav Olesz

Steve Montador – Adam Clendening

Kenndal McArdle – Brad Mills – Brandon Pirri

Terry Broadhurst – Shawn Lalonde

-Some of the penalty killers that the IceHogs used were:  Brandon Svendsen, Brad Mills, Ryan Stanton and Klas Dahlbeck; Brandon Pirri, Byron Froese, Steve Montador and Joe Lavin; Brandon Pirri, Rostislav Olesz, Ryan Stanton and Steve Montador.

-The scratches for Rockford were:  Ben Smith, Philippe Paradis (both upper body), Rob Flick and Wade Brookbank (both healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Rostislav Olesz – Martin St. Pierre – Brandon Svendsen

Terry Broadhurst – Brandon Pirri – Kyle Beach

Kenndal McArdle – Brad Mills – Mathieu Beaudoin

X — Byron Froese – Joakim Nordstrom

Ryan Stanton – Adam Clendening

Joe Lavin – Shawn Lalonde

Klas Dahlbeck – Steve Montador

Dylan Olsen – X

Roster Transactions

-Friday, March 29th –The Blackhawks recalled forward Jeremy Morin after the Hogs’ game against Milwaukee.

Sunday, March 31st —  The Blackhawks reassigned center Mark McNeill from Prince Albert of the WHL to Rockford. The Blackhawks also reassigned center Phillip Danault to Rockford from Moncton of the QMJHL.

Monday, April 1st — The Blackhawks reassigned forward Brandon Bollig to Rockford.

Tidbits

On Monday, April 8th, forwards Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault and assistant coach Ben Simon will be on Hog Talk. Come out and watch the taping of the show at District Bar and Grill in Rockford from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Watch the airing of the episode on Channel 23.2 in Rockford from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

In the last two games, Rockford has gone 0-for-6 on the power play. In the 4 games before these last 2 where the Hogs went 3-0-1-0 (7 of 8 points), they went 6-for-20 on the power play. This goes to show that a big part of Rockford’s success is due to the power play, which is ranked first overall in the AHL. This also indicates that Rockford hasn’t been doing what they need to in order to draw penalties and get power play time; if you double the power plays they had in the last two games, it still doesn’t come close to the 20 they had in a 4 game span.

-In the Western Conference standings, the Hogs sit in 11th place with a record of 34-30-2-1 (71 points). They are 3 points out of 8th place, which is held by the Barons. Here’s a look at the standings:

3-31-13

Upcoming Games

Tuesday, April 2 vs. Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m.

Friday, April 5 at Milwaukee at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 6 at Peoria at 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, April 7 vs. Peoria at 5:05 p.m.

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