The IceHogs had two games left on the slate before their Christmas break arrived and they were both very important games as they took on 2 Midwest Division opponents.
Friday, December 20 at Grand Rapids – The IceHogs were in Grand Rapids on Friday night and the game didn’t get off to a good start against their rivals. Jeff Hoggan got the home squad on the board at 5:52 of the 1st period with a power play goal to make it 1-0 Griffins. Philippe Lefebvre was able to tie the game up for Rockford at 16:31 with his 3rd goal of the season.
Hoggan struck again for Grand Rapids early in the 2nd period as he recorded his 2nd power play marker of the evening to give the Griffins the lead back. The IceHogs were able to battle back and tie the game up in the 3rd with a power play tally from Brad Winchester which sent the game into overtime. Unfortunately for Rockford, Mitch Callahan tallied for the Griffins at 1:21 to give Grand Rapids the 3-2 victory.
-Grand Rapids outshot Rockford 35-33. Kent Simpson was in net for the IceHogs and Tom McCollum was in net for the Griffins.
-The IceHogs went 1-for-7 on the power play while the Griffins went 2-for-5 on the man advantage.
-IceHogs defensemen Klas Dahlbeck and Adam Clendening both recorded a team high 5 shots on goal.
-IceHogs center Phillip Danault made his return back into the line-up after missing 4 games with an injury; he was sporting a full cage on his helmet.
-IceHogs defenseman Klas Dahlbeck played in his 100th AHL game on Friday night.
-The 3 stars of the game were: 1 – Mitch Callahan (1 G, +1, 4 SOG) 2 – Jeff Hoggan (2 G, 6 SOG, 4 PIMs) 3 – Tom McCollum (31 saves).
-The scratches for the IceHogs were: Brad Mills, Viktor Svedberg (injured), Wade Brookbank, Byron Froese and Allen York (healthy).
Saturday, December 21 vs. Milwaukee – The IceHogs had a few chances to get on the board early against the Admirals. Scott Darling made a nice glove save on a good Jeremy Morin chance early and then stopped Terry Broadhurst as he tried to go five-hole on a breakaway not too long afterwards. Joakim Nordstrom did get the IceHogs on the board at 11:24 of the opening frame with a power play goal as he grabbed a rebound in the slot and fired it home for his 8th goal of the season.
Miikka Salomaki tied the game up for Milwaukee at 1 with 49.1 seconds to go in the 2nd period as he cleaned up a rebound and got it by IceHogs netminder Kent Simpson. The Ads then took the lead at the 52 second mark of the 3rd period when Scott Ford’s shot from the point found a way into the back of the net as Simpson was beautifully screened; he never saw the shot. At 8:24, Simon Moser scored on the power play to give the visitors a 3-1, and that is how the final stood at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.
-Rockford outshot Milwaukee 35-31.
-The IceHogs went 1-for-6 on the power play and the Ads went 1-for-7 on the man advantage.
-IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin led the team as he recorded 5 shots on goal.
-IceHogs defenseman Jared Nightingale played in his 350th AHL game on Saturday night.
-The IceHogs’ power play units were:
Brandon Mashinter – Brandon Pirri – Jeremy Morin
Klas Dahlbeck – Adam Clendening
Brad Winchester – Joakim Nordstrom – Garret Ross
Bobby Shea – Brett Skinner
-Some of the IceHogs penalty killing units were: Phillip Danault, Brad Winchester, Wade Brookbank and Adam Clendening; Joakim Nordstrom, Philippe Lefebvre, Jared Nightingale and Klas Dahlbeck; Mark McNeill, Terry Broadhurst, Adam Clendening and Wade Brookbank; Brandon Pirri, Joakim Nordstrom, Adam Clendening and Wade Brookbank.
-The scratches for the IceHogs were: Brad Mills, Viktor Svedberg (injured), Byron Froese and Theo Peckham (healthy).
-The lines and D pairs for Rockford were:
Garret Ross – Brandon Pirri – Jeremy Morin
Brandon Mashinter – Drew LeBlanc – Philippe Lefebvre
Brad Winchester – Phillip Danault – Joakim Nordstrom
Terry Broadhurst – Alex Broadhurst – Mark McNeill
Klas Dahlbeck – Adam Clendening
Wade Brookbank – Jared Nightingale
Brett Skinner – Bobby Shea
-The IceHogs currently have a record of 15-13-3-0 (33 points) and are in 6th in the Western Conference standings.
–Thursday, December 19 – The IceHogs loaned forwards Pat Mullane and Maxim Shalunov to the Toledo Walleye (ECHL). The Blackhawks reassigned goaltender Kent Simpson to the IceHogs and recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera.
–Saturday, December 21 – The IceHogs released goaltender Allen York from his PTO. After their game on Saturday night, the Hogs recalled forwards Pat Mullane and Maxim Shalunov from Toledo
Thursday, December 26 at Iowa at 7:05 pm
Friday, December 27 vs. Grand Rapids at 7 pm
Monday, December 30 vs. Charlotte at 7 pm