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Pigs in Zen: Hogs Weekend Sweep

The IceHogs had 2 more games in week 4 of the AHL schedule and they both came on home ice as they welcomed the Charlotte Checkers and Texas Stars into town. These games came after a successful road trip to Ontario, Canada earlier in the week where they took 3 of 4 points from Hamilton and Toronto.

On Saturday, October 26th, the IceHogs took on the Charlotte Checkers at the BMO Harris Bank Center. This contest was a low scoring affair for both sides as it was 1-1 after regulation; winger Jimmy Hayes tallied the lone goal for the IceHogs. The game went into a shootout and the Hogs didn’t crack the scoresheet until the 4th and 5th round when defenseman Viktor Svedberg and winger Garret Ross tallied. Goaltender Antti Raanta had to stop Checkers winger Zach Boychuk in the 5th round to secure the 2-1 victory for the home squad, and he did just that.

The following day, the IceHogs were right back on the ice, but this time their opponent was the Texas Stars. The visitors got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Hogs battled back to score 4 unanswered goals to take the contest 4-2. Drew LeBlanc, Alex Broadhurst, Mark McNeill and Klas Dahlbeck tallied for Rockford as Antti Raanta made 46 saves in the win.

Observations

-Goaltender Antti Raanta was outstanding in net for the IceHogs this past weekend. He made 29 saves on Saturday afternoon (not counting the shootout where he made 4 saves) and then 46 stops on Sunday. He was named the first star in both games as well.

-Dylan Olsen is like a whole new defenseman this season. He has looked much more confident when making decisions with and without the puck. He is also tied for 3rd in assists on the team with 5 (Adam Clendening leads the team with 8, Alex Broadhurst is 2nd with 6 and Phillip Danault also has 5) and is tied for 2nd on the team in plus/minus ratings with a +5 (Clendening leads with a +7 and Broadhurst and Mark McNeill are also +5). Olsen has also been paired up with Clendening on the blue line for the majority of the young season.

-Joakim Nordstrom made his IceHogs season debut on Sunday against the Stars. He is now wearing no. 23 instead of 32 like he wore last year. He didn’t stand out, but he was fairly steady in all 3 zones.

-The line of Garret Ross-Alex Broadhurst-Terry Broadhurst is a speedy line and is great at generating scoring chances. There was instant chemistry between these three when they were put together this weekend.

-Klas Dahlbeck is having himself a heck of a 2013-14 season so far. Not only does he have 3 goals already—which is 2 more than last season—but he also has 2 assists and is +2. Dahlbeck has been super solid in his own end and the IceHogs can rely on him in all situations, whether it’s clearing pucks and blocking shots on the penalty kill or at even strength or providing a shot from the point on the power play. He has really developed into a steady and reliable defenseman for the organization.

-Defenseman Viktor Svedberg was hurt in the first period of Sunday’s game against Texas. He went down after a collision with a Star in the offensive zone and was favoring his right arm. He left for the dressing room and never returned to the game.

-Mark McNeill continues to play very well for the IceHogs. He’s responsible in all three zones, is a good penalty killer—especially when paired with Phillip Danault—and has been using his good shot effectively; he has 5 goals on the season.

-The lines and defense pairs from Saturday looked like this:

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Terry Broadhurst

Maxim Shalunov – Drew LeBlanc – Jimmy Hayes

Brad Winchester (A) – Phillip Danault – Mark McNeill

Byron Froese – Pat Mullane – Wade Brookbank (A) (first game of the year for Brookbank)

Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening

Klas Dahlbeck – Jared Nightingale (A)

Viktor Svedberg – Theo Peckham

-Sunday’s line-up was:

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Terry Broadhurst

Joakim Nordstrom – 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. The Hawks also 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). This doesn’t look good for the status of defenseman Viktor Svedberg, considering the Hogs were already carrying 7 D on the roster when his injury happened.

News

-IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening turned 21 on Saturday. Also regarding Clendening, he was benched on Sunday during the 2nd period after he took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first period and then a roughing minor after he made a hit on a Stars player as he came out of the penalty box.

What’s Next For Rockford?

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

  • Joe

    What’s the poop on Kyle Beach?

    • jordyhawk

      Poop on poop. Hopefully is given his outright release if that’s possible.

      • Joe Banks

        And on to Buffalo…

    • kimwrona

      He got back into town earlier this week. I’m sure he’ll be in the line-up at some point in the next few games.

    • cliffkoroll

      I think it came from the foo bird.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      Your regular reminder that the following players were selected in the 1st round of the 2008 entry draft after the ‘Hawks took Beach 11th:
      Erik Karlsson
      Jake Gardiner
      Luca Sbisa
      Michael Del Zotto
      Jordan Eberle
      Tyler Ennis
      John Carlson

      • https://twitter.com/robondacob CitizenKaner

        Only two of those names stick out in a good way

        • Joe Banks

          I’ll have to check my milk cartons.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Any one of those names would be infinitely preferable Kyle Beach, who I believe is the only remaining first round draft pick from that class to have not suited up for a single NHL game.

  • mazer_rackham

    A 10 am game on a Wednesday? Hell, on ANY day?

    • kimwrona

      It’s one of those school day matinees where the rink is just filled with screaming children lol.

  • red palace

    Yay pipeline!

    On a side note, injury notwithstanding, why do I feel so pessimistic about Viktor Svedberg’s chances with the Hawks?

    • kimwrona

      Because he’s hurt? lol :) There’s a lot of depth in front of him anyway, so he wouldn’t be one of the first call-ups if something were to happen.

  • Bob Lanz

    Kim, I know it’s there first full year in the rock but, since your there can you educate us on why Denault and McNeil are on the third line? And I am a big fan of Ross has he been two way player so far? Glad to hear Olsen is playing better hate to have another first round pick be a bust. Thanks for the updates Kim keep them coming.

    • kimwrona

      It’s just where they fit right now. All the lines have jump offensively and have been pretty good defensively, so it’s more like a 2-B line roll instead of a 3rd line. So far, so good with Ross. He’s a +4 on the season, so he’s definitely been responsible in both ends of the ice.
      Also, thank you! :)

  • Joe Banks

    Kim, as always, great job!
    That was a great come from behind win on Sunday. Raanta totally kept them in the game until they got their act together.
    The Jimmy Hayes to Drew LeBlanc pass was reminiscent of the Oduya to Toews pass vs Ottawa last night.
    Lots of good chemistry on this team, they are jelling.

    • kimwrona

      Thank you, Joe! And it really was! It’s always a come-from-behind adventure when they play the Stars it seems haha. Yes, there is a lot of good chemistry on this team; it’s fantastic to see, especially early on in the season.

  • VerStig

    4 unanswered goals! That sounds familiar :D

  • Charles Miller

    Didn’t Beach get sent to Europe?

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      He did, Europe sent him back

  • 815Sox

    Have to admit, I left after the first period Sunday. I was mainly there to see the cup (only to later find out it appeared at the Olympic Tavern which is a great bar in Rockford).

    Hogs haven’t looked this good early since the UHL days…