1-19-13 vs Grand Rapids 007--resized

Pigs In Zen: Bench-Clearing Brawls–A Common Occurrence For Rockford

The results on the scoreboard for week 15 of the AHL season for the Rockford IceHogs were overshadowed by a fight night on Saturday. And not just any fight night. This fight night was a full out, bench-clearing brawl, which is the second (and a half) bench-clearing brawl for the IceHogs in the last calendar year. (They had a bench-clearing brawl in Milwaukee on April 1, 2012 and on November 3, 2012, Andrew Shaw and Wade Brookbank left the bench to join an altercation against the Lake Erie Monsters).

Starting with Saturday’s tilt is necessary for obvious reasons. At 11:58 of the second period of Rockford’s game with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Kyle Beach tried to fight Griffins star forward Riley Sheahan off of a faceoff, and Sheahan turtled. Further back in the Grand Rapids zone, Wade Brookbank started a tussle with someone and, to put it bluntly, all hell broke loose. If you haven’t seen the video of the brawl yet, check it out here. The best part of it all was IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton beating the crap out of Griffins netminder Petr Mrazek.

Anyway, there were three Grand Rapids players that left the bench first before any of the Rockford guys left their bench. Unfortunately for Rockford, Rob Flick was given the only misconduct for leaving the bench to join the altercation. The Hogs ended up having 8 guys ejected from the game and the Griffins had 5 guys ejected. Rockford essentially played a period and a half of hockey with 11 skaters and Grand Rapids played with 12.

Not only was that whole game chippy, but add in the bench-clearing brawl and a total of 17 goals, and it just wasn’t pretty. Grand Rapids won that contest 11-6. Credit needs to be given to the IceHogs though. Once they were playing with 11 skaters, they kept their heads down and kept digging, trying to mount a valiant comeback. They came semi-close as they recorded a shorthanded goal by Jimmy Hayes, a power play goal by Ben Youds, and an even strength goal by Brandon Pirri, but Grand Rapids kept pulling away every time.

To see the insane boxscore, take a look here, courtesy of the AHL.

This is where a big shoutout goes to the three guys mentioned above, Jeremy Morin, Ryan Stanton, Martin St. Pierre, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Svendsen, Klas Dahlbeck, Peter LeBlanc, Terry Broadhurst, and netminder Alec Richards for working their tails off and keeping the game interesting.

That was the second game of week 15. The first game of week 15 was on Friday, January 18th as Rockford welcomed the Peoria Rivermen in to the BMO Harris Bank Center. Rockford took that game 3-1 as Carter Hutton made 31 saves and backstopped them to the win. Up front, the IceHogs were led by Martin St. Pierre, who recorded his 15th goal of the season, and Brandon Pirri, who tallied two goals in this contest. Philippe Paradis also chipped in with two assists as he had a solid game for Rockford.

The IceHogs began week 16 with a Monday afternoon game against the Texas Stars on January 21st. They got out to a roaring start with tallies from Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Hayes in the first period, and a breakaway goal from Hayes to start the second period. But, Rockford gave up 6 unanswered goals to the Stars and dropped the contest 6-3. Kent Simpson was in net for Rockford as Carter Hutton sat this game out with a hand injury; Alec Richards backed-up Simpson.

To some, it may look like the IceHogs lost this game because they had a goalie from Toledo in the crease, but that was far from the case. Simpson had a solid outing and if it weren’t for him, the game could have been uglier on the scoreboard. The team stopped playing defense in front of him during the second and third periods; there’s nothing Simpson could have done on some of the goals. Simpson deserves all the credit in the world for keeping the IceHogs in contention. (For the record, the sixth Texas goal was an empty-netter).

Observations

-Jeremy Morin continues to play some great hockey. He’s still being much more physical than he had been at the beginning of the season–even as late as December. He’s using his speed effectively, being smart with the puck, killing penalties well, and grinding in the corners to get the puck out to the front of the net.

-Jimmy Hayes has woken up as of late, too. In his last three games, he has 5 points (3 G, 2 A). He’s actually been getting to the front of the net, something he has struggled with in the past despite his size. He has even become a tad more physical. Hayes was hit late in the Monday game against Texas and might have possibly gotten his leg banged up (he was in obvious pain going to the bench), but he played on it. He was not out on the ice for the post-game Skate with the Hogs though. That could indicate something, or that could indicate nothing. We’ll find out when it comes to Friday’s game against the Wolves.

-Ever since being put on a line with Brandon Pirri, Philippe Paradis has become a new man. For those that don’t know, Paradis plays a physical game–the kid hits anything that will move. And he hits hard. But, he has not been previously known as an offensive guy. But in his last three games, Paradis has 4 assists, and is +3. He’s been seeing more ice time and has even been used as a penalty killer. Paradis is one of the hardest workers on the team so it’s nice to see him playing well.

-This really doesn’t affect Blackhawks fans at all, but Rockford signed forward Kenndal McArdle to a PTO and he saw his first three games in action in an IceHogs sweater this week. He’s a very physical player and has a decent set of hands on him. IceHogs head coach Ted Dent has shown early confidence in the Toronto native and has been using him on the penalty kill and the power play.

-Brandon Pirri‘s offensive game had a fire lit under it. In the last three games, Pirri has 7 points (3 G, 4 A) and has been a serious threat every time he touches the puck. Pirri seems to play some of his best hockey when he stars throwing the body around a little bit, and that’s what he’s been doing as of late. Don’t take that the wrong way–Pirri’s not gonna lay someone out like a Paradis or McArdle, but he’s finishing his checks and that’s key to helping his game out.

News

-IceHogs captain Martin St. Pierre recorded his 600th professional point on Monday with his secondary assist on Jeremy Morin‘s first period tally.

-Brandon Pirri became the IceHogs’ all time AHL leading scorer on Saturday with his secondary assist on Peter LeBlanc‘s first period goal. He surpassed Jack Skille for first place. Pirri now currently sits at 132 career points after Monday’s game against Texas. Pirri’s game winning goal on Friday night against Peoria was his 11th career game winner, which is a Rockford record.

-Jimmy Hayes recorded his 50th professional point with his primary assist on Ben Youds‘ third period power play goal on Saturday.

-The IceHogs became the first team to reach and exceed the 1000 penalty minute mark in 2012-13 in the AHL on Saturday night. After Monday’s game, they currently sit at 1118 PIMS. The closest team to that mark is the Syracuse Crunch with 961 PIMS.

-Rob Flick was suspended for six games, head coach Ted Dent was suspended for two games, and Kyle Beach, Wade Brookbank and Kenndal McArdle were suspended for one game each due to their actions in the bench-clearing brawl on Saturday.

-Martin St. Pierre and Adam Clendening were named to the AHL All Star Game.

-Saturday night was Pink in the Rink for Rockford as they raised awareness for breast cancer. The pink jerseys were auctioned off in a blind silent auction and they raised a total of $22,875.

-The IceHogs currently sit in third in the Midwest Division standings with a record of 20-19-1-1 (42 points). They are 8 points behind division leading Grand Rapids, who has two games in-hand. They are also currently in 11th in the Western Conference standings. They are one point out of 8th place, which is occupied by the Chicago Wolves, who have 3 games in-hand and a 19-14-3-2 record.

What’s Next For Rockford?

Friday, January 25th vs. Chicago at 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, January 26th vs. Oklahoma City at 7:05 p.m.

 

 

 

 

  • red palace

    Here come the Hogs
    The fighting I-ice Hogs!

    • kimwrona

      ^^^^

  • justforkicks

    Really love your breakdown of what’s going on with the Hogs – since the Hawks are back I’ve gone back to not really keeping track so this is great. Gotta say I’m really glad Beach ended up ok after the collapse in the tunnel.

    • kimwrona

      Thanks! :) I’m glad I can help keep ya updated about the boys in Rockford haha. And omg, yes. Me too. That was extremely scary. I knew something was wrong when he left the melee by himself and then the collapse happened :S

      • Joe Banks

        Who was the player who was choking him? I was watching on hockeystreams.com and could not tell who it was.
        You could see teammates and officials were desperately trying to separate them, I guess he “snapped”…

        • kimwrona

          It was Grant. #23. As soon as the gang in 113 in Rockford figured it out, we were beyond pissed off. And for him to only get a game suspension just makes me shake my head in disbelief.

          Brookbank did the chicken dance after a fight with him earlier this month, too.

          • Joe Banks

            The Chicken dance? – That’s hilarious

          • kimwrona

            Yup. Flapped those wings coming off of the ice. The BMO loved it.

  • Joe Banks

    Great article Kim, very detailed and very accurate.
    Kent Simpson was exceptional in the Dallas game, and it’s a shame because it sure doesn’t look that way in the boxscore.
    I’m also curious how the Hogs do on Friday, since they will clearly be short handed. I have seen conflicting reports as to how short handed, but it won’t be easy, that’s for sure.

    • kimwrona

      Thanks! :) And definitely. I was impressed with him, especially considering it was only his 2nd career AHL start. And me too. That game’s worrying me already. I would think they would dress all 8 Dmen but we’ll see. They signed Adam Hobson to a PTO this afternoon, so there’s that haha.

      • Joe Banks

        I think on third man in they guessed that the best they could do (other than new signings) was 8 d men and 9 forwards.

        • Joe Banks

          Griffins pre-game, announcers whining that the perpetrators (Rockford?) were not penalized heavily enough.
          Grand Rapids coach said Mracek has two black eyes and looks like a raccoon in net.

          • kimwrona

            Well, there’s still all of tomorrow for Bernie get to people signed to PTOs, so hopefully some more temps roll in. and omg, are you serious?! Dear Griffins announcers please explain to me how Rockford got off too easy when they have more guys suspended than you and your guys left the bench first. Ugh. And, hahahah, there ya go Hutts. Leavin’ his mark on Mrazek~

          • Joe Banks

            Hutton wailed on him… I’ve never seen a goalie fight like that.

          • kimwrona

            Me either. Hutts was a man on a mission apparently.

  • girlphoenix

    Oh Hogs, why are you like this? One thing I think that might be why Hayes has been scoring a lot recently is him not playing a position he doesn’t play.

    • kimwrona

      Haha, amen to that. and I feel like that’s definitely a reason why Hayes hasn’t been on the scoresheet as often as he should be. He seems to be adapting to it now (thankfully). He’s been back at center for the last 5 games. I wish the AHL made faceoff stats available, because I would love to see how he’s doing.

      • girlphoenix

        There are sooooooooooo many stats I wish the AHL kept.

        • kimwrona

          ^^THIS. So much. It would make things so much better.

  • Mo Caraher

    The “best part” was Carter Hutton fighting Mrazek, who was probably just standing there, staring off? Was that the “best part” when Hutton injured his hand? Come on down to Chicago and pick up that irrelevant idiot Bollig; y’all probably need him more in Rockford.

    • kimwrona

      Um, no. Mrazek was trying to get involved in the Brookbank deal in the corner and then came out to greet Hutton when Hutts made his way down the ice. And no, it’s not good that Hutts hurt his hand, but ya know what? It’s hockey. It happens. Ben Smith hurt his hand in a fight. What can you do? This new goalie, Karlsson, seems like he’ll be a good guy in net and if Richards flops, they can call Simpson up again. Yes, Bollig might be more of a heavy weight in the AHL than the NHL, but he fills the enforcer roll in Chicago when there’s really no one else to do it. Do you really want Seabrook in the box for five minutes every night as he stands up for a teammate? I didn’t think so.

      • Mo Caraher

        Kim, I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that score.

        Almost all the fights I’ve seen in recent memory have been thug vs. thug fights. This is in the NHL, mind you, and I’m prepared to accept the possibility that the situation may be different in the AHL.

        So, Bollig and, before him, John Scott, talk about ‘taking care of pests’ and ‘standing up for my teammates’ but all they ever seem to do is fight with other guys who also log 3 or 4 minutes of icetime per game. (altho’ the Chris Stewart event, last night, was a bit strange).

        Alls I’m saying is that the dedicated Enforcer role should be done and dusted by now; there are plenty of guys around who can skate and shoot the puck who can also chuck knuckles when required. Wasting a spot in the lineup on Bollig et al shouldn’t have to happen.

        • Joe Banks

          Hey, Moe! I see you’re bugged about Bollig, but it’s hardly appropriate to “bully” Kim about it.
          I think she defended her points very well, but she shouldn’t of had to. She graciously has offered to visit this site and provide valuable information about the Icehogs.

          Until the NHL bans fighting, there will be enforcers. Get over it. And quit picking on girls.

          • justforkicks

            and really lets face it, everyone can bug out about enforcers as much as they want to but at the end of the day that decision comes down to Q. So people can agree or disagree as much as they want but none of these calls are up to us

          • Waylon

            I’d much rather see Mayer in there than another empty suit like Bollig. Mayer can play and takes no shit from anyone.

          • kimwrona

            This is true about 22. I’ve been surprised that Jamal’s been a scratch in all three games. But I guess that’s just the nature of the numbers game.

          • justforkicks

            I don’t dislike Bollig the way many do, though I am critical of him. I’d rather see Mayers as well tbh, but not our call, and again Bollig is not quite the dumb beast people keep calling him out as.

          • Joe Banks

            I’m not trying to elect Bollig for MVP or anything, but unlike John Scott before him, he actually can play a little Hockey. 5 goals and 4 assists in the Rock, Scott could never have done that.
            Kruger and Leddy look night and day different (better) than last year, with “seasoning”, I’m hoping to see much more from Shaw, Saad, and Bollig.

          • justforkicks

            Agree. I think he’s even show some good stuff up here with the minimal time he’s gotten. I think he has potential (and I remember Chris Block saying something along those lines) and idk who knows maybe he feels like fights are something he has to do to stay up there, which is an issue with what the hawks are telling him. be nice to see him with the hogs longer and having the chance to do more.

          • kimwrona

            Bollig was used a lot on the PK this year in RFD, much more than before. So there’s that. Also, I think one of the biggest things for Leddy and Kruger was just regaining confidence, especially for Leddy.

          • kimwrona

            ^^Solid point.

          • kimwrona

            Thanks for backing me up, Joe. :) Especially since I’m new to this site and all.

          • DesertHawk

            Plus also, no matter how much I hate the scripted enforcer fight… Goalie Fights are awesome sauce.

          • Mo Caraher

            Awwww, nothin’ personal.
            And quit being sexist, Joe. Kim can obviously handle herself ; )

          • kimwrona

            It must be because I’ve watched the Hogs goon it up for too long ;)

  • Waylon

    Let’s see Morin up here – granted I’m completely biased towards the kid, but the brief glimpse we got of him up at the big club he went hard into the corners and had the kind of energy level that’d be ideal for a 4th liner. Pair him up with Chickenhawk and watch the other team driven slowly insane.

    • kimwrona

      Don’t be worried about bias towards Morin. I’m about the biggest Morin fan alive haha. I wish he’d be given a shot with the team as well. P.S. Who’s Chickenhawk?

      • justforkicks

        shaw

        • kimwrona

          Ohhhhhh. Okay. Thanks!

          • Waylon

            Sorry about that one, Kim. No more nicks will be used until you post a few more juicy items here.

          • kimwrona

            Haha, it’s all good, no worries :)

  • flavius

    Nice report….much appreciated

    • kimwrona

      Thanks!

  • RLWiener

    You should have changed the title on this one to pigs in the pen…alty box

    • kimwrona

      LOL. I like that!

  • Joe Banks

    Update: Phoenix vs BJs, Mike Smith left 9 minutes into the scoreless game. They believe it’s an injury, but no one knows at this time why he left. one minute left in the first.

    • RLWiener

      did he lay on the ice for 10 minutes before he left?

      • Joe Banks

        Nope. Maybe he sharted his drawers?

        • RLWiener

          That’s no reason to leave a game, I do that all the time…