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Pigs in Zen: Productive Weekend

The IceHogs faced a three games in three days set this past weekend to wrap up week 20 of the AHL schedule. For that reason alone, it was a big weekend for Rockford as the team has the most games played in the Western Conference, so they needed to pick up as many points as possible. To add to the enormity of the weekend, all three games came against Midwest Division opponents.

The IceHogs faced off against the Chicago Wolves on Valentine’s Day at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The Hogs got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period courtesy of Jeremy Morin and Klas Dahlbeck, but gave up two goals before the end of the period and one early in the second period to see their lead vanish and be down by a goal. The Hogs stormed back in the third period with tallies from Brandon Pirri and Mark McNeill to take the lead 4-3. The Hogs looked like they were on their way to a victory when the Wolves tied the game up with four seconds left in regulation.

Overtime ensued but neither team scored before the five minute mark, so a shootout was needed to decide the winner. After eight rounds, it was the Wolves who came away victorious.

-Joakim Nordstrom, Brandon Pirri and Terry Broadhurst were the three IceHogs skaters to score in the shootout. Ty Rattie, Sebastian Wannstrom, Mark Mancari and Alexandre Bolduc scored for the Wolves in the skills competition.

-The IceHogs outshot the Wolves 42-37; Kent Simpson was in net for Rockford.

-The IceHogs were not able to convert on any of their four power plays. The Wolves scored on two of their four man advantages.

-Center Brandon Pirri led the IceHogs with eight shots on goal.

-Forward Brad Mills returned from injury on Friday night. The last game he played for Rockford was on October 23rd in Toronto against the Marlies.

-Defenseman Adam Clendening took a puck to the face during Friday’s contest. Despite the swelling and stitches that resulted from it, he returned and played the rest of the game.

-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 the IceHogs were:  Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Theo Peckham and Wade Brookbank (healthy).

-The lines and D pairs for the IceHogs 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 night’s contest against the Iowa Wild was a bit similar to Friday night’s against the Wolves as the IceHogs grabbed a 2-0 lead by the 1:10 mark of the second period. Pierre-Marc Bouchard tallied in the first period and then Mark McNeill got on the board in the second period for Rockford. Iowa cut their deficit to one but Alex Broadhurst tallied about ten minutes later to restore the Rockford lead.

The Hogs couldn’t hold on to their lead though as Iowa tied the game up before the second intermission. Adam Clendening broke the tie at the 12:44 mark of the third period with his seventh goal of the season to put the Hogs up 4-3. With an empty net goal from Brad Winchester, the Hogs took the 5-3 victory.

-The IceHogs outshot the Wild 39-36; Jason LaBarbera was in net for Rockford.

-The IceHogs did not convert on any of their three power plays and they killed off the Wild’s lone man advantage.

-Center Brandon Pirri led the IceHogs with seven shots on goal.

-Forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard tallied his first goal in an IceHogs uniform on Saturday night.

-Defensemen Theo Peckham and Zach Miskovic were both +3 on the 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 the IceHogs were:  Viktor Svedberg (injured), Brad Mills and Wade Brookbank (healthy).

Sunday’s contest against the Iowa Wild, once again, saw the IceHogs have an early 2-0 lead. The visitors got tallies from Jeremy Morin (now on a seven game point streak) and Brandon Pirri. The Wild cut the lead to one before the end of the period and tied the game at two just after the halfway mark of the second period.

Pirri came up with a clutch goal with about five minutes left in the contest to put the Hogs up 3-2 and Brandon Mashinter added an empty net goal to make the final score 4-2 Rockford.

-The Wild outshot the IceHogs 34-30; Jason LaBarbera was in net for Rockford.

-The IceHogs were not able to score on their one power play of the game while the Wild converted on one of their three man advantages.

-Winger Jeremy Morin led the IceHogs 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—fought Klas Dahlbeck in the second period).

-The line-up was the same as Saturday night.

TRANSACTIONS

Friday, February 14 – The IceHogs loaned forward Pat Mullane to the Toledo Walleye (ECHL). The Blackhawks reassigned forward Philippe Lefebvre to Toledo and forward Byron Froese to Cincinnati (ECHL).

OBSERVATIONS

-IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin continues to play fantastic hockey for Rockford. He extended his point streak to seven and in the last three games, he has six points (2 G, 4 A).

-Brandon Pirri has also picked up his play and has four points (3 G, 1 A) in his last three games.

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard was not in the line-up on Friday night due to travel issues, but he was outstanding for the IceHogs during their trip to Iowa. In two games, he racked up four points (1 G, 3 A) to help lead the team to two wins.

-The IceHogs now have a record of 26-21-4-3 (59 points) and sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROCKFORD?

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.

  • Bannerman

    What, if anything, should we make of Mashinter playing on the first line? I thought he was just a face puncher. Is he more than that?

    • kimwrona

      Mashinter has brought a lot to the team since getting him for Beach. Being an enforcer was what he appeared to be right off the hop, but he’s great at going to the net and deflecting in pucks and doesn’t have a bad set of hands on him. He was a good get for the organization.

  • BodomSlayer

    I though Morin looked excellent on Friday. His move on that first goal was top notch and he was all over the ice. His stick handling was fantastic and he really had some great moves. Can someone please Nancy Kerrigan Bollig already?

    • kimwrona

      Oh yeah, Morin had a great game on Friday. He was a lot of fun to watch out there. :)

  • Bob Lanz

    Kim can you explain the development or lack thereof of Denault and McNeil? And is Garrett Ross the guy I think he might be ( shaw like with better scoring ability)? Pirri and morin both deserve and should be playing in Chicago yes or no?

    • kimwrona

      It’s not that they’re not developing, they’re just being quiet about it. They’re playing their games well and growing into their roles on the team. McNeill is used in all situations and has been playing well on that third line with the Broadhurst brothers and Danault has been a good penalty killer and grinder for the team. He does the little things well and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty.

      Yes and no re: Ross. He does have about an equal scoring ability as Shaw and he does grind and get his nose dirty, but he hasn’t been as pesky as Shaw can be. Which, it’s not a bad thing. Ross still drops the gloves if the right opportunity arises, but he hasn’t made that a priority of his–or at least that’s what it seems. He’s still good at getting under opponents’ skin tho.

      Yes, I agree with that about Pirri and Morin.

      Sorry that was so long haha. :)

      • Bob Lanz

        Thanks Kim great answers I appreciate that you took the time to give me a complete analysis! Last query is clendening and dahlback the real deal, or do we need to find a new dman next year…. I remember you were very fond of Ryan Stanton and I think stanbo wishes he could have that move back. Thanks again kimmy

        • kimwrona

          No problem! And I do think Clendening and Dahlbeck can be solid NHL defensemen one day. But they’re still developing. They’ll have shots at the Hawks’ roster next year in training camp–at least in my opinion they will. But the depth is so deep so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them back in Rockford again.

          Oh yes, Stanton was awesome. I wish he was never claimed on waivers, but I’m glad he’s playing in the NHL now because that’s obviously where he deserves to be.