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High On The Hog: Mashinter Shocks The World

The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, had another rough week on the offensive side of the puck. After a goal deficiency cost them all four games of their road trip, Rockford did ride a Brandon Mashinter hat trick to two points on Saturday night.

You read right, folks. A Brandon Mashinter hat trick.

Mashinter accounted for three of the four goals scored by Rockford in this weekend’s action. Sandwiched between a pair of losses to Grand Rapids and Ontario was a 3-0 win over Charlotte, breaking the losing streak at five games.

For those of you still trying to wrap your head around a Mashinter hat trick, it isn’t the sign of the apocalypse one might interpret it to be. Mashinter is a skater who earns his AHL keep near the blue paint. He’s good for 15-20 goals a season based on his career numbers-most of which are coming 10-15 feet away from the net.

In addition, Mashinter (who doesn’t kill penalties) is often used by Ted Dent late in games when the opposition has pulled its goalie. He’s had several multi-goals in his career; stands to reason that one day he’d hit the trifecta. Good for the Hogs; this past weekend Mashinter was responsible for 75 percent of Rockford’s offensive output.

The IceHogs have just six goals in six November games. That includes a 2-21 performance on the power play. It should come as no surprise that Rockford languishes at the bottom of the Western Conference with Iowa with a .393 points percentage after 14 games.

 

The Visitor

Sunday afternoon, after BMO security checked under my hat and allowed me to enter the building, I noticed that the folks sitting next to me were decked out in Devils gear. In an attempt to figure out what dog they had in this fight, I struck up a conversation.

Turns out, these folks are attempting to take in a game in every AHL arena, one trip at a time. Our visitors took in Rockford’s 3-0 loss in Grand Rapids Friday night. They then drove to America’s Dairyland to watch the Griffins beat Milwaukee in overtime Saturday.

Sunday, the pair was at the BMO to watch another Rockford defeat. Two games, one Hogs goal. They didn’t leave overly impressed by Rockford’s offense. For that matter, neither did I.

 

The Recaps

Friday, November 11-Grand Rapids 3, Rockford 0

The IceHogs were blanked for the second time this month, dropping their fifth straight game.

The Griffins would get the only goal they would need late in the opening period. Louis-Marc Aubry sent a shot off of the skate of Rockford’s Carl Dahlstrom that goalie Mac Carruth never had a chance to stop. Kyle Criscoulo added a power play goal midway through the contest and Matt Lorito tallied in the third.

Carruth stopped 39 of 42 shots and was no match for Jared Coureau, who denied all 30 Rockford attempts. Down two goals entering the third period, the Hogs could only send four shots to the net in the final 20 minutes.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Tyler Barnes-Jake Dowell (C)-Martin Lundberg

Brandon Mashinter (A)-Tanner Kero-Spencer Abbott

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Sam Carrick-Mark McNeill

Chris DeSousa-Luke Johnson-Jeremy Langlois

Cameron Schilling-Ville Pokka

Viktor Svedberg-Erik Gustafsson

Carl Dahlstrom-Robin Norell

Mac Carruth

Power Play (0-3)

McNeill-Kero-Abbott-Gustafsson-Pokka

Carrick-Mashinter-Lundberg-Svedberg-Schilling

Penalty Kill (Griffins were 1-4)

Dowell-McNeill-Schilling-Pokka

Labrie-Lundberg-Gustafsson-Svedberg

 

Saturday, November 12-Rockford 3, Charlotte 0

The offense was provided by Brandon Mashinter, who posted his first professional hat trick as the Hogs snapped the losing skid at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The big forward collected a rebound off a Sam Carrick shot at the left dot for a power play goal late in the first period. He struck again in the eighth minute of the middle frame.

The play was set up by a faceoff win by Mark McNeill. Nolan Valleau got control of the puck behind the Checkers net, fought off a defender, then slid a backhand pass to Mashinter at the post. Getting the best of former Hogs goalie Michael Leighton, Mashinter gave the Hogs a 2-0 advantage at 7:43 of the period.

Mashinter completed his trifecta in the waning minutes, skating down a Carrick pass and making a deposit into the Empty Net of Greater Charlotte. For his efforts, Mashinter was named the game’s first star. Lars Johansson, who posted his first AHL shutout, stopped 28 shots to claim second star honors.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Brandon Mashinter-Mark McNeill (A)-Spencer Abbott

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Kyle Baun

Jeremy Langlois-Tanner Kero-Martin Lundberg

Sam Carrick-Luke Johnson-Chris DeSousa

Erik Gustafsson-Viktor Svedberg

Cameron Schilling-Ville Pokka

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Lars Johansson

Power Play (1-5)

McNeill-Kero-Abbott-Gustafsson-Pokka

Carrick-Mashinter-Lundberg-Svedberg-Schilling

Penalty Kill (Checkers were 0-4)

Dowell-McNeill-Schilling-Pokka

Labrie-Lundberg-Gustafsson-Svedberg

Baun-DeSousa-Dahlstrom-Valleau

 

Sunday, November 13-Ontario 3, Rockford 1

Rockford’s first-ever meeting with the Reign wound up in the loss column.

In the final minute of the opening period, T.J. Hensick scored to give the visitors a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Hensick extended that lead to 2-0 with a power play tally midway through the second.

The Hogs offense was non-existent despite 32 shots on the night. They did, however, pull to within a goal with some persistence around the net of Andres Lindback. Kyle Baun wound up putting a third-chance rebound over the prone Ontario goalie 58 seconds into the final stanza.

Down 2-1, Rockford stayed in the contest until the 14th minute. Jonny Brodzinski brought the puck across the red line and into Hogs territory. Erik Gustafsson chose to back off the Reign forward, allowing Brodzinski to swoop in and beat Lars Johansson. The 3-1 Ontario lead held up through the final minutes.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Kyle Baun

Brandon Mashinter-Mark McNeill (A)-Spencer Abbott

Jeremy Langlois-Tanner Kero-Martin Lundberg

Sam Carrick-Luke Johnson-Chris DeSousa

Erik Gustafsson-Viktor Svedberg

Cameron Schilling-Ville Pokka

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Lars Johansson

Power Play (0-3)

McNeill-Kero-Abbott-Gustafsson-Pokka

Carrick-Mashinter-Lundberg-Svedberg-Schilling

Penalty Kill (Reign was 1-2)

Dowell-McNeill-Schilling-Pokka

Labrie-Lundberg-Gustafsson-Svedberg

Baun-DeSousa-Dahlstrom-Valleau

 

This Week

It’s a light workload for Rockford this week; Wednesday sees the Hogs in DesMoines to take on the Iowa Wild. After a few days off, Rockford hosts Texas Saturday night.

Follow me @JonFromi on twitter for occasional thoughts and news on the IceHogs all season long.

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