IceHogs Thursday: Hogs’ Hot Start Continues

Mark McNeill winds up for a shot--a shot which will turn into the game winning goal on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

Mark McNeill winds up for a shot–a shot which will turn into the game winning goal on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Kim Wrona)

The IceHogs wrapped up week 4 of the AHL schedule with two games at the BMO Harris Bank Center this past weekend. The Hogs were riding on momentum from their 3 point Canada trip from earlier in the week into their contests with Charlotte and Texas on Saturday and Sunday.

icehogs-vs-charlotte-checkers-logos1Saturday, October 26 vs. Charlotte – The IceHogs took on the Charlotte Checkers for the first time in 2013-14 on Saturday afternoon at the BMO. Antti Raanta got the start in net for the home team and made 22 saves for Rockford during the first two periods. Out of those 22, only one got by him and it was a Mark Flood power play goal from the point that came at the 17:37 mark of the second period.

Jimmy Hayes tied the game up at 1 with a wrap-around goal at 9:18 of the third period. Hayes was able to slip the puck past Checkers netminder Allen York’s left skate for his 3rd marker of the season. The game went into overtime and eventually a shootout.

The Hogs shot first and York stacked the pads on Terry Broadhurst’s attempt and Raanta stopped a Victor Rask shot. Maxim Shalunov couldn’t convert for Rockford in the second round, but Raanta was able to make the save on Justin Shugg. The Checkers’ Chris Terry was able put a backhanded shot over Raanta’s glove in the third round after Hayes wasn’t able to score for Rockford. Viktor Svedberg pulled a similar move to Terry’s in the fourth round and tied the shootout up at 1 for the Hogs; Raanta came up big at the other end as he stopped Aaron Palushaj. In the fifth round, Garret Ross put the Hogs up 2-1 and it was up to Raanta to make a save on Zach Boychuk in order to get the 2-1 win, and he did just that.

-Both Rockford and Charlotte fired 30 shots on net.

-The IceHogs didn’t convert on any of their 5 power plays, while the Checkers went 1-for-6 on the man advantage.

-IceHogs forward Jimmy Hayes led the team with 5 shots on goal.

-The power play units for Rockford were:

Jimmy Hayes – Drew LeBlanc – Maxim Shalunov

Klas Dahlbeck – Adam Clendening

Terry Broadhurst – Alex Broadhurst – Mark McNeill

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

-Some of the penalty killing units that the IceHogs used were:  Byron Froese, Pat Mullane, Klas Dahlbeck and Jared Nightingale; Byron Froese, Jimmy Hayes, Viktor Svedberg and Theo Peckham; Mark McNeill, Garret Ross, Klas Dahlbeck and Jared Nightingale.

-The 3 stars were:  1 – Antti Raanta (29 saves on 30 shots) 2 – Allen York (28 saves on 29 shots) 3 – Jimmy Hayes (1 G, +1, 5 SOG).

-The scratches for the IceHogs were:  Joakim Nordstrom (lower body), Kyle Beach (not in town yet), and Joe Gleason (healthy).

-Saturday was defenseman Adam Clendening’s 21st birthday.

-The lines and D pairs were:

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Terry Broadhurst

Jimmy Hayes – Drew LeBlanc – Maxim Shalunov

Brad Winchester (A) – Phillip Danault – Mark McNeill

Byron Froese – Pat Mullane – Wade Brookbank (A) (His season debut)

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Klas Dahlbeck – Jared Nightingale (A)

Viktor Svedberg – Theo Peckham

icehogs-vs-texas-stars-logos

Sunday, October 27 vs. Texas – Antti Raanta was back in-between the pipes for Rockford the following afternoon against the Texas Stars at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Chris Mueller’s shot from in front of the crease beat Raanta at the 1:20 mark of the first period to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. Texas then added their second of the night from Francis Wathier on a one timer from his knee below left circle just under 4 minutes later.

The IceHogs started running around a little bit towards the end of the frame when Adam Clendening took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a strong scoring chance for Rockford. The Hogs killed the penalty off, but when Clendening came out of the box, he hit Stars right winger Austin Smith; it could have been called interference, but nothing was called. Maxime Fortunus jumped Clendening to defend his teammate and was given 4 minutes for roughing; Clendening received two. That was the last of the ice that Clendening saw until the third period though as head coach Ted Dent apparently benched him during the 2nd period.

On the resulting power play from the extra minor to Fortunus, the Hogs lost another defenseman, but this time it was to injury. Viktor Svedberg collided with a Stars player in the Texas zone and went down favoring his right arm. He left for the dressing room during the next stoppage of play and never returned to the game.

The Hogs were able to cut the Stars’ lead to one at 16:36 of the second period. While on a power play, Jimmy Hayes sent a cross-ice pass over to Drew LeBlanc, who was able to tap it home for his 3rd goal of the season; it was LeBlanc’s first marker since October 11th when he scored twice against the Lake Erie Monsters.

The IceHogs found their offensive stride during the latter half of the third period. At 10:40, Alex Broadhurst tied the game up with a breakaway goal for his 3rd tally of the season. Less than 2 minutes, later, Mark McNeill’s bomb of a shot from the right circle found a way to beat Texas netminder Cristopher Nilstorp high glove side to give the Hogs their first lead of the game. Klas Dahlbeck was able to add an empty net goal with 52 seconds remaining in regulation to make it 4-2 and to give the IceHogs their third consecutive win.

-Texas outshot Rockford 48-34.

-The IceHogs went 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off both Texas man advantages.

-Forwards Jimmy Hayes and Terry Broadhurst led the IceHogs with 4 shots on goal each.

-The power play units for Rockford were:

Terry Broadhurst – Alex Broadhurst – Mark McNeill

Dylan Olsen – Joe Gleason

Maxim Shalunov – Drew LeBlanc – Jimmy Hayes

Klas Dahlbeck – Viktor Svedberg (before his injury)

-Two of the penalty killing units were:  Byron Froese, Joakim Nordstrom, Klas Dahlbeck and Jared Nightingale; Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill, Viktor Svedberg and Dylan Olsen.

-The 3 stars were:  1 – Antti Raanta (46 saves on 48 shots) 2 – Mark McNeill (1 G, +2, 1 SOG) 3 – Alex Broadhurst (1 G, 1 A, +2, 2 SOG).

-The scratches for Rockford were:  Kyle Beach (not in town yet), Pat Mullane and Theo Peckham (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs were:

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Terry Broadhurst

Joakim Nordstrom (no. 23; season debut) – Drew LeBlanc – Jimmy Hayes

Brad Winchester (A) – Phillip Danault – Mark McNeill

Wade Brookbank (A) – Byron Froese – Maxim Shalunov

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Klas Dahlbeck – Jared Nightingale (A)

Viktor Svedberg – Joe Gleason

Roster Transactions

Friday, October 25—The Blackhawks recalled winger Jeremy Morin, signed forward Brad Mills to a one year NHL contract and then recalled him.

Monday, October 28—The IceHogs recalled defenseman Bobby Shea from the Toledo Walleye (ECHL).

Upcoming Games

Thursday, October 31 vs. Charlotte at 7 pm

Friday, November 1 at Milwaukee at 7 pm

Sunday, November 3 vs. Grand Rapids at 4 pm

Wednesday, November 6 at Grand Rapids at 10 am CDT

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