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Pigs in Zen: Hopes Slip-Sliding Away

Week 28 of the AHL schedule was a week to forget for the IceHogs—and at this time of the year, that isn’t something that needs to happen. After falling to Milwaukee earlier in the week, the Hogs dropped 2 of their 3 contests over the weekend to set themselves very far back in the playoff race.

The IceHogs hosted the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Milwaukee got on the board early in the first period and never looked back. The closest the IceHogs got to tying the game was cutting the deficit to one, courtesy of Teuvo Teravainen’s first AHL goal at the 9:44 mark of the third period. He brought the score to 2-1, but Milwaukee added 2 more goals before the period ended to make the final score 4-1.

-The Admirals outshot the IceHogs 29-27; Jason LaBarbera was in net for the IceHogs.

-The IceHogs failed to convert on all 3 of their power plays and they killed off 3 of the Admirals’ 4 man advantages.

-Defenseman Adam Clendening led the IceHogs with 4 shots on goal.

-The 3 stars of the game were:  1 — Marek Mazanec (26 saves) 2 – Austin Watson (G, +1, 2 SOG) 3 – Teuvo Teravainen (G, 2 SOG).

-The IceHogs’ scratches were:  Viktor Svedberg (injured), Bobby Shea (suspended), Wade Brookbank, Mac Carruth, David Gilbert, Philippe Lefebvre, Jared Nightingale and Brett Skinner (healthy).

-The IceHogs’ lines and D pairs were:

Brandon Mashinter – Teuvo Teravainen – Mark McNeill

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Brad Mills

Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Phillip Danault – Ryan Hartman

Pat Mullane – Drew LeBlanc – Terry Broadhurst

Klas Dahlbeck – Stephen Johns

Theo Peckham – Adam Clendening

Brian Connelly – Mathieu Brisebois

The following night, the IceHogs hosted the Iowa Wild. With a fantastic second period, the IceHogs were able to grab the 2 points in a must-win game. The Wild got on the board first in the opening frame, but the Hogs stormed back in the middle stanza with goals from Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brandon Mashinter and Mathieu Brisebois. Despite giving up a goal in the third period, Rockford was able to hang on for the 3-2 victory.

-Both the IceHogs and the Wild fired 25 shots on net; Jason LaBarbera was in net for the IceHogs.

-The IceHogs failed to convert on all 3 of their power plays and they killed off all 4 of the Wild’s man advantages.

-Forward Mark McNeill led the IceHogs with 5 shots on goal.

-The 3 stars of the game were:  1 – Mathieu Brisebois (G, A, +1, 2 SOG) 2 – Jason LaBarbera (23 saves) 3 – Phillip Danault (A, 4 SOG, 2 PIMs).

-The IceHogs were forced to kill off a 5-on-3 Iowa power play at one point during the game. It could have been a huge turning point where the IceHogs fell behind, but with the outstanding play of Brad Mills, Mark McNeill and Klas Dahlbeck, the IceHogs were able to kill off the 1:49 2 man advantage.

-The IceHogs’ scratches were:  Viktor Svedberg (injured), Bobby Shea (suspended), Mac Carruth, Brian Connelly, Philippe Lefebvre, Pat Mullane, Theo Peckham and Brett Skinner (healthy).

-The IceHogs’ lines and D pairs were:

Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Phillip Danault – Ryan Hartman

Brandon Mashinter – Teuvo Teravainen – Mark McNeill

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – Brad Mills

Terry Broadhurst – Drew LeBlanc – David Gilbert

Klas Dahlbeck – Stephen Johns

Adam Clendening – Mathieu Brisebois

Wade Brookbank – Jared Nightingale

The IceHogs tried to carry their momentum into the following afternoon when they traveled down I-90 to Rosemont to take on the Wolves. They got on the board first in the opening frame with Alex Broadhurst’s 15th goal of the season. The Wolves tied the game in the second and then scored twice in the third to give themselves a 2 goal lead. The third goal was an unfortunate turnover by Jason LaBarbera. He came out to the trapezoid to play the puck, but turned it over to  Yannick Veilleux, who found Tyler Shattock in the slot and Shattock had a wide open net to shoot in to. Broadhurst brought the Hogs to within one, but the Wolves tacked on an empty net goal later to make the final score 4-2.

-The IceHogs outshot the Wolves 26-25.

-The IceHogs did not convert on either of their 2 power plays and killed off 4 of the Wolves’ 5 man advantages.

-Forward Mark McNeill led the IceHogs with 5 shots on goal.

-The 3 stars of the game were:  1 – Alex Broadhurst (2 G, +2, 4 SOG) 2 – Jake Allen (24 saves) 3 – Alexandre Bolduc (2 G, +1, 4 SOG).

-The IceHogs’ scratches were:  Viktor Svedberg (injured), Brad Mills (assuming his left eye was too swollen to play from a fight the night before against Iowa; it was pretty much all swollen during the rest of Saturday night’s contest), Mac Carruth, Brian Connelly, Philippe Lefebvre, Pat Mullane, Bobby Shea and Brett Skinner (healthy).

-The IceHogs’ lines and D pairs were:

Brandon Mashinter – Teuvo Teravainen – Mark McNeill

Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Phillip Danault – Ryan Hartman

Garret Ross – Alex Broadhurst – David Gilbert

X – Drew LeBlanc – Terry Broadhurst

Klas Dahlbeck – Stephen Johns

Adam Clendening – Mathieu Brisebois

Wade Brookbank – Jared Nightingale

Theo Peckham – x

TRANSACTIONS

Thursday, April 10 – The Blackhawks assigned Teuvo Teravainen to Rockford.

OBSERVATIONS

-Mathieu Brisebois continues to play well for Rockford on the blue line. He has been very steady and his heavy, low shot is normally on target. He’s been used on both the penalty kill and the power play as well. It’s obvious that head coach Ted Dent has confidence in his new defenseman.

-Stephen Johns is also impressive for a player right out of college. He still needs some developing as he tends to get out of position sometimes in his own zone, but otherwise, he’s been great for Rockford on the back end. He’s been used a lot on the penalty kill and hasn’t been afraid to throw his big body around. He’s also smart in the offensive zone.

-Teuvo Teravainen looked good in his first 3 games with Rockford. He needs to put muscle on so he doesn’t get knocked off the puck, but he is very responsible defensively. His shot is also very good, when he shoots. He tends to pass more than he should, but he should grow out of that once he develops more.

-The IceHogs now have a record of 34-31-5-4 (77 points) and are in 10th place in the Western Conference. They’re essentially out of it, but not mathematically eliminated. They’re going to need two wins in their last two games and get help from other teams. Here’s how the standings look:

4-16-14

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROCKFORD?

Friday, April 18 vs. Chicago at 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 19 vs. Charlotte at 7 p.m. – last game of the regular season

  • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

    So … we have to win our final two while Charlotte can gain 3 points max in their two, and Oklahoma can gain only 2 points through their final three.

    Well. Win two, boys.

    Interesting, too, that your observations tell you the exact same general sentiments about what Johns and Dragonboy need to be doing.

    • kimwrona

      Essentially. It’s crazy. These AHL playoff pushes, man. *shakes head in disbelief*

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Carrurh recalled? Guess labarbera is shouldering the load

    • Joe Banks

      What’s up with Carruth? Witness relocation program?

  • jordyhawk

    Hi Kim: interesting comments on Johns. Every time I have seen him (and it’s only a few) he has made positioning errors–bad pinches, caught up ice, leaving his man to go after the puck, etc. I hope he can learn to play more under control. If he does he can be our Johnny Boychuk. If not, he’s going to get exposed. Look forward to future editions of “The Johns Report.”

  • Joe Banks

    Kim, thanks for a great season. I’ve really enjoyed your writing, and your insight into all things Icehogs.
    I am continually baffled how Rockford always finds themselves in the same situation in the last week of the season. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.