Week 20 of the AHL schedule featured three games for the IceHogs against two Midwest Division opponents.
Friday, February 14 vs. Chicago – The Valentine’s Day contest at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford saw the IceHogs jump out to a great start. 1:27 into the game, Jeremy Morin tallied a sweet goal to give Rockford a 1-0 lead. Just over five minutes later, Morin beautifully set up defenseman Klas Dahlbeck for his ninth goal of the season. Dmitrij Jaskin brought the Wolves to within a goal at the 10:46 mark of the opening frame. Mark Mancari tied the game up for Chicago just about six minutes later with his ninth goal of the season.
The Wolves grabbed the lead in the opening minutes of the second period as Shane Harper tallied his sixth goal of the season.
The IceHogs rallied back in the third period. Brandon Pirri was able to tally his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at the two minute mark and Mark McNeill recorded his fourteenth goal of the year 7:41 later.
The IceHogs appeared to be on their way to a 4-3 victory, but Keith Aucoin was able to tie the game up for the Wolves with four seconds remaining in regulation.
The overtime time frame was scoreless, so the game went into a shootout. Despite the IceHogs leading the shootout 2-1 after two rounds—courtesy of goals from Joakim Nordstrom and Pirri—the Wolves tied it in the third round. Terry Broadhurst and Mancari scored in the sixth round for Rockford and Chicago respectively. In the eighth round, Viktor Svedberg was not able to score and Alexandre Bolduc tallied for the Wolves, which gave the visitors the 5-4 win.
-Rockford outshot Chicago 42-37.
–Kent Simpson was in net for the IceHogs.
-Rockford did not convert on any of its four power plays and Chicago went 2-for-4 on its man advantages.
-IceHogs center Brandon Pirri led the team with eight shots on goal.
-IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening took a puck to the face during the second period and left the ice for repairs, but returned to the game despite having a swollen cheek and stitches. He played with his normal half-shield and not a cage on his helmet
-IceHogs forward Brad Mills returned to the line-up after being injured. The last game he played in a Rockford sweater was on October 23rd in Toronto against the Marlies.
-The three stars were: 1 – Jeremy Morin (1 G, 2 A, +1, 2 SOG) 2 – Adam Clendening (2 A, +2, 6 SOG) 3 — Dmitrij Jaskin (1 G, -1, 4 SOG).
-The scratches for Rockford were: Wade Brookbank, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Theo Peckham.
-The lines and D pairs for Rockford were:
Brandon Mashinter – Brandon Pirri – Garret Ross
Brad Winchester – Joakim Nordstrom – Jeremy Morin
Terry Broadhurst – Alex Broadhurst – Mark McNeill
Phillip Danault – Drew LeBlanc – Brad Mills
Klas Dahlbeck – Zach Miskovic
Viktor Svedberg – Adam Clendening
Brett Skinner – Jared Nightingale
Saturday, February 15 at Iowa – The IceHogs were in Iowa on Saturday night for a match-up against the Wild. The visitors got on the board first with Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s first goal in an IceHogs uniform at the 18:27 mark of the first period.
The IceHogs extended their lead to 2-0 at the 1:10 mark of the second period as Mark McNeill recorded his fifteenth goal on the 2013-14 campaign. Erik Haula cut the Iowa deficit to one as he tallied 2:24 later. At 13:05, Alex Broadhurst restored the Rockford lead with his twelfth goal of the year; his brother Terry Broadhurst recorded the primary assist on the goal. Iowa tied the game up at three with goals from Stephane Veilleux and Justin Mercier before the end of the sandwich stanza.
The IceHogs wouldn’t let this divisional game slip away. Defenseman Adam Clendening scored at the 12:44 mark of the third period to put the IceHogs up 4-3. With 32 seconds remaining in regulation, Brad Winchester added an empty net goal to give the IceHogs a 5-3 win.
-Rockford outshot Iowa 39-36.
–Jason LaBarbera was in net for the IceHogs.
-The IceHogs went 0-for-3 on the power play and killed off Iowa’s lone power play.
-IceHogs center Brandon Pirri led the team with seven shots on goal.
-IceHogs defensemen Theo Peckham and Zach Miskovic were both +3 on Saturday night.
-The three stars of the game were: 1 — Erik Haula (1 G, 2 A, 5 SOG) 2 – Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) 3 – Alex Broadhurst (1 G, 1 A, +1, 2 SOG).
-The scratches for Rockford were: Viktor Svedberg (injured), Wade Brookbank and Brad Mills (healthy).
Sunday, February 16 at Iowa – The IceHogs were in Iowa once again for Sunday’s contest against the Wild. The IceHogs got on the board first with Jeremy Morin’s seventeenth goal of the season at the 14:53 mark of the first period. Brandon Pirri added his seventh goal of the season with under two minutes to go in the opening frame to put the IceHogs up 2-0.
With twelve seconds to go in the first period, Curt Gogol scored to bring the Wild within one and Jonathon Blum scored in the third period to tie the game at two.
About five minutes after Blum’s goal in the final frame, Pirri added his second of the game to give Rockford a 3-2 lead. Brandon Mashinter recorded an empty net goal with 26 seconds left in the game to give the IceHogs the 4-2 victory.
-Iowa outshot Rockford 34-30.
–Jason LaBarbera was in net for Rockford.
-The IceHogs went 0-for-1 on the power play while the Wild went 1-for-3 on the man advantage.
-IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin led the team with five shots on goal.
-The three stars of the game were: 1 – Brandon Pirri (2 G, +2, 3 SOG) 2 – Jeremy Morin (1 G, +1, 5 SOG) 3 — Curt Gogol (1 G, +1, 2 SOG, 5 PIMs).
-The IceHogs’ line-up on Sunday was the same as Saturday night.
-The IceHogs now have a record of 26-21-4-3 (59 points) and sit in sixth spot in the Western Conference standings.
Friday, February 14 – The Blackhawks reassigned forward Philippe Lefebvre to Toledo (ECHL) from Rockford and forward Byron Froese to Cincinnati (ECHL). The IceHogs loaned forward Pat Mullane to Toledo as well.
Friday, February 21 vs. Chicago at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 22 vs. Milwaukee at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25 at Iowa at 5:35 p.m.