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High On The Hog: Just Split It

The Rockford IceHogs scored six goals in four games this week. Fortunately, they were able to win two of those games and earn a point in another. This came about through some improved play on the defensive end.

As the AHL’s second half of the season gets rolling, the Hogs welcomed goalie Jeff Glass to the fold. Glass was in net for the first three games of Rockford’s current road trip, which concludes Wednesday night in San Antonio.

Glass isn’t the only new face IceHogs fans will see when the team gets back.

Swappin’ Schilling…

On Saturday, it was announced that the Blackhawks had exchanged defenseman Cameron Schilling for Los Angeles Kings forward Michael Latta. Latta, who had been with the AHL’s Ontario Reign all season, was assigned to the IceHogs by Chicago.

At the time of the trade, Schilling (who sat out Friday night’s game in Cleveland) had seven goals and ten assists for Rockford in 40 games this season. He is on his way to his best offensive numbers as a pro. He was also arguably the Hogs steadiest defender on the blue line.

In the big picture, however, Schilling was probably not getting a call-up in this organization. If talk is accurate about Chicago wanting to add some veteran help to the defense, some room needed to be cleared to give prospects sufficient playing time.

 

…For Latta

Latta is a NHL fourth-line type who defends pretty well. He has shown a solid two-way game in over 200 AHL tilts. Latta is perhaps remembered for his two seasons in Milwaukee, where he was a dependable point-producer. He also has 44 AHL fighting majors to his credit.

Latta hasn’t been as productive after coming back to the league following two seasons with the Washington Capitals. In 29 games with the Reign, he has a pair of goals and four helpers.

Latta and Schilling, who are both on one-way NHL deals, may simply have been swapped to benefit Chicago and L.A.’s affiliates. The Hogs lose a player at a position filled with Hawks prospects. In turn, they gain a player that could potentially deepen them at forward.

 

Game Recaps

Monday, January 16-Rockford 3, Grand Rapids 1

Rockford fell behind early, but scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Griffins at the BMO Harris Bank Center

Ben Street put Grand Rapids up 1-0 3:38 into the second period, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play. However, the IceHogs had an answer to that goal. With the teams skating four to a side at the 6:29 mark, Tyler Motte took a drop pass from Evan Mosey at the top of the right circle. Motte fired the equalizer past Grand Rapids goalie Eddie Pasquale.

Luke Johnson would pot the game-winner a little over two minutes later. It came from nearly the same spot as Motte’s goal. Taking a pass from Pierre-Cedric Labrie, the rookie sent a one-timer from the top of the right circle into the cage to give the Hogs a 2-1 lead. Johnson wouldn’t be around to see the end of the contest. He was given a game misconduct for a faceoff fight with Dan Renouf in the last minute of the second.

Brandon Mashinter hustled to haul in a stretch pass from Kyle Baun in the eighth minute of the third period. Mashinter delivered some insurance with a wrister past Pasquale at 7:46 of the period.

Lars Johansson was awarded First Star honors for an impressive performance; 31 saves on the afternoon. Motte and Mashinter were second and third stars.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Brandon Mashinter-Sam Carrick-Kyle Baun

Spencer Abbott-Mark McNeill (A)-Tyler Motte

Martin Lundberg-Jeremy Langlois-Luke Johnson

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Evan Mosey

Gustav Forsling-Ville Pokka

Cameron Schilling-Robin Norell

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Lars Johansson

Power Play (0-3)

Baun-Abbott-Motte-Forsling-Pokka

Mashinter-McNeill-Carrick-Dahlstrom-Valleau

Penalty Kill (Griffins were 1-3)

Dowell-McNeill-Pokka-Norell

Baun-Labrie-Schilling-Valleau

Carrick-Mosey-Dahlstrom-Forsling

 

Wednesday, January 18-Rockford 1, Cleveland 0

The Hogs struck early, with Evan Mosey going in for a breakaway goal at the three-minute mark. Mosey took a pass from Jake Dowell coming across the blueline before turning on the jets and streaking to the net. Mosey beat Monsters goalie Anton Forsberg via the backhand for a 1-0 Rockford lead.

That’s all Jeff Glass needed in his debut with Rockford. The new guy didn’t have much to do through the first 50 minutes of action as the Hogs stayed on top of Cleveland. However, Glass stood tall to deny a big push by the Monsters in the latter half of the final period.

Cleveland pulled Forsberg with 2:24 remaining. The Monsters spent most of that time hammering away at the Rockford net. Glass would not submit; making several fine saves. His pad save on a Justin Scott attempt with 1:32 was the key stop. The veteran goalie was quite active in shutting down the final Cleveland siege.

Mosey and Glass, who had 26 saves on the night, were the game’s first and second stars, respectively.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Brandon Mashinter (A)-Sam Carrick-Kyle Baun

Spencer Abbott-Mark McNeill-Tyler Motte

Martin Lundberg-Jeremy Langlois-Luke Johnson

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Evan Mosey

Gustav Forsling-Ville Pokka

Cameron Schilling-Robin Norell

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Jeff Glass

Power Play (0-4)

Baun-Abbott-Motte-Forsling-Pokka

Mashinter-McNeill-Carrick-Dahlstrom-Valleau

Penalty Kill (Monsters were 0-2)

Dowell-McNeill-Pokka-Norell

Baun-Labrie-Schilling-Valleau

Carrick-Mosey-Dahlstrom-Forsling

 

Friday, January 20-Cleveland 2, Rockford 0

In the rematch from Wednesday, it was Rockford’s turn to come up empty on the scoreboard. The win streak was halted at two games by the Monsters.

The game remained scoreless well into the second period. A 3-on-2 rush by the home team resulted in Cleveland’s first score on Jeff Glass in 97 minutes of play. The goal came off the stick of Blake Siebenaler, who worked his way into the slot and five-holed Glass at the 17:17 mark.

Glass came up with a big save on a Sonny Milano breakaway opportunity late in the period and the IceHogs trailed by that 1-0 score heading into the second intermission. Rockford, however, was unable to sneak a puck past Thiessen, who stopped all 34 shots on goal.

Cleveland picked up an insurance goal 13:31 into the third period. It was former IceHogs forward Alex Broadhurst shoveling in a rebound at the fight post to make it 2-0 in favor of the Monsters. Despite pulling Glass for an extra skater in the closing minutes, that’s the way it stayed.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Brandon Mashinter (A)-Sam Carrick-Kyle Baun

Spencer Abbott-Mark McNeill-Tyler Motte

Martin Lundberg-Jeremy Langlois-Luke Johnson

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Evan Mosey

Gustav Forsling-Ville Pokka

Eric Gustafsson-Robin Norell

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Jeff Glass

Power Play (0-2)

Baun-Abbott-Motte-Forsling-Pokka

Mashinter-McNeill-Carrick-Gustafsson-Valleau

Penalty Kill (Monsters were 0-1)

Dowell-McNeill-Pokka-Norell

Baun-Labrie-Gustafsson-Valleau

Carrick-Mosey-Dahlstrom-Forsling

 

Sunday, January 22-San Antonio 3, Rockford 2 (OT)

Rockford was 0-3 in overtime coming into the game. The Hogs are now 0-4 after dropping the 3-on-3 session to the Rampage.

The IceHogs took a 1-0 on Gustav Forsling’s first goal since being assigned to Rockford. Forsling took a pass from Sam Carrick at the left circle and sent a shot past Rampage goalie Kent Simpson at the 12:16 mark.

San Antonio put on a big push to begin the second period, scoring twice to take the lead. Carrick tied the score for the Hogs with a one-timer set up by Brandon Mashinter, who froze the defense and got Simpson to commit before dishing to Carrick. The lamp shone brightly at eight minutes of the middle frame.

Rockford was the more assertive team in the final twenty minutes, though neither side got a puck through. The extra point was decided late in Gus Macker Time. J.T. Compher was able to strip Erik Gustafsson of the puck in the Hogs zone. Compher’s pass to Rocco Grimaldi resulted in the game-winner with 15 seconds remaining in overtime.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Brandon Mashinter (A)-Sam Carrick-Kyle Baun

Spencer Abbott-Mark McNeill-Tyler Motte

Martin Lundberg-Jeremy Langlois-Luke Johnson

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A)-Jake Dowell (C)-Evan Mosey

Gustav Forsling-Ville Pokka

Carl Dahlstrom-Nolan Valleau

Eirk Gustafsson-Robin Norell

Jeff Glass

Power Play (0-1)

Baun-Motte-Carrick-Abbott-Pokka

Penalty Kill (Rampage went 0-1)

Motte-Dowell-Norell-Pokka

Baun-Lundberg-Dahlstrom-Forsling

Carrick-McNeill-Norell-Pokka

 

This Week

The Hogs will conclude their road trip in San Antonio Wednesday night, then return to Rockford for a weekend set with the Iowa Wild.

Follow me @JonFromi for tweets on the IceHogs throughout the week.

 

 

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