Everything Else

Box Score

Hockey Stats

Natural Stat Trick

The game flow may have had all the appeal of a freshly shot snot rocket hanging menacingly from a necessary hand rail, but there were quite a few things to get excited about in this Friday night affair. To the bullets:

– If not for the Fels Motherfuck, which apparently is airborne now, J-F Berube would have had a 43-save shutout. But 42 out of 43 ain’t bad either, especially given the circumstances. This was his first start as a Blackhawk in front of a team that doesn’t have much to play for. He went up against a team that got wedgied so hard against Nashville that all the testosterone in their bodies should have been stuffed into their brains, and yet the Sharks, who still have quite a bit to play for, couldn’t solve him. And it wasn’t terribly flukey either. Berube rarely looked lost out there and even made a few outstanding saves in the third, none more obvious than his highway robbery of Jannik “Don’t Call Me Isaac” Hansen after a brilliant saucer pass from Tomas Hertl. It’s a little early to start the “WHY DON’T DEY TRADE CRAWFERD N LET DAT BER-YUBE GUY START” bus, but he sure looked good tonight.

– Anthony Duclair sure played like he wanted an extension tonight, and if the Hawks’s brass is smart, they should be giving it to him. He was all over the place tonight, assisting on both Rutta’s and Schmaltz’s goals. The Rutta assist was a thing of beauty, as he danced from behind the goal line to feed Rutta, who had to regroup his own backfire to plant the goal. And his steal on a flubbed reception from Mikkel “Not Clarence” Boedker was topped only by his gorgeous backhanded pass through the Royal Road to birthday boy Nick Schmaltz. He topped it all off with an even 50 CF% and a 1.55 CF% Rel. All in all, a solid night for the young man.

– In fact, most of the Hawks contributors were on the young side. Vinnie was all over the ice, even though he didn’t show up on the score sheet. Saad was similar, with a 63+ CF% and an utterly gorgeous power move toward the net right before Schmaltz’s goal. Erik Gustafsson looked decent out there as well, and though the possession numbers are damning, DeBrincat looked poised to score all night. While this season may be shot, there is hope for the future.

– Jan Rutta had himself a decent game off the IR. He’ll never be more than a bottom pairing guy, but when he’s on and not entirely out of gas, he’s a serviceable defenseman. He was persistent on his goal, and he now leads all Hawks D-men with six goals, which is less surprising than it seems, given he was scouted as an offensive defenseman.

– Our Special Irish Boy Connor Murphy was the odd man out among the youngins. Tonight was by far one of his worst performances since October. Between his poor outlet pass in the first, his sloppy interference penalty in the third, and his team-second-worst 40+ CF% (behind only Arty the One Man Party’s 32+), it was simply not one to write home about. Though it is tempting to pin it on Seabrook—whom the Sharks targeted any time he was on the ice—it’s not acceptable to transfer blame if we expect Murphy to be what we want him to be, especially when Seabs isn’t doing anything egregious, as was the case tonight. It’s just one game, but it sure was disappointing.

– I’m ready for one of the moron GMs to throw a 3rd round pick at the Hawks for Tommy Wingels. I get why he’s skating on the top line with Saad and Toews, and I get why he’s on the power play, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. He puked all over his skates on two prime passes to Saad in the first, schlepping it into Saad’s skates on the first and air mailing him on the second. With Saad’s luck this year, neither were likely to go in, but give the man a chance.

–Watching Duncan Keith lose half a step is still weird. His CF% was a 48+ on the night, and one of his most noticeable plays was a botched drop pass at his own blue line in the first that led to a turnover. Yes, he’s getting older, yes, he has to learn to adjust, and yes, he’s playing with Jordan Oesterle, but it’s strange to admit that he’s gone from a for-sure #1 to somewhere closer to a #2/#3 this year.

– The power play is still a fart you shouldn’t have given the benefit of the doubt. It’s a fucking totem for the year.

It sure wasn’t pretty, but it’s two points. I’m far too stubborn and proud to talk about tanking, so two points against a playoff contender is a good night cap.

Onward to Columbus.

Beer du Jour: I went sober for the first, and made up for it with Steel Reserve and Miller High Light tall boys, followed by a glass of the Sacrament on this Lenten Friday.

Line of the Night: “The Blackhawks will put together a win streak for the first time in February.” – Foley

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, were short on the physical element as they prepared to begin the 2017-18 season. Just before the schedule got underway in October, Chicago and Montreal made a swap of forwards. The IceHogs leading point scorer, Kyle Baun, went to the Canadiens organization in exchange for Andreas Martinsen.

This was very much an under the radar transaction, as neither player figures to see NHL action this season. However, in terms of what Martinsen has brought to the IceHogs, I think the Hawks got the better of this trade.

Baun had a pretty decent campaign in 2016-17, finishing with 34 points (14 G, 20 A) to pace a depleted Hogs lineup. While his second pro season was a very productive one, it did help that there was a dearth of prospects on the roster, giving Baun opportunities he would not have this season.

Martinsen brings two things to the table that Baun lacked; NHL experience and a propensity for big hits. While Baun was no shrinking violet, the 6’3″, 220-pound native of Norway is a much more physical player.

With 119 games of NHL experience with Colorado and Montreal, the 27-year old Martinsen adds the facet of leadership to a youthful roster. He and Tyler Sikura have anchored what has been a very productive forward line at both ends of the ice.

Both Martinsen (9 G, 13 A) and Sikura (15 G, 7 A) are tied for third among active Hogs skaters with 22 points. Whether teamed with Alexandre Fortin or another Rockford forward, the pair have been tough forecheckers and have been a big reason the IceHogs have been an effective team at even strength.

Baun currently has 15 points (3 G, 12 A) for Laval in 49 games. He works hard and is a pretty heady player, though I have long questioned Baun’s chances to be a contributor at the NHL level. Regardless, I feel like Martinsen is a better fit for the current IceHogs roster.

 

Samuelsson Inked To PTO

Sunday night, the IceHogs announced that they had signed forward Henrik Samuelsson, son of Hawks assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, to a Professional Tryout contract. This move comes with Rockford being a little light in the forward ranks of late.

William Pelletier was a scratch in both games this weekend. No word from the team, but I would guess he could be missing some time due to injury. Nathan Noel has not played since being recalled, so I would hazard a guess that he isn’t ready to take the ice.

Luke Johnson may also be among a bevy of injured piglets. He took a big hit in the third period of Friday’s loss to Milwaukee and slowly made his way to the bench. Johnson returned to action a few minutes later, but was a scratch in Iowa Saturday and could also be dinged up.

At this point, defenseman Robin Norell has been a fixture at forward the last few weeks. Even with AHL-signing Alex Wideman on the roster from Indy, the IceHogs had just 13 forwards. With Pelletier, Noel and possibly Johnson unavailable, Rockford is in need of bodies up front.

As far as bodies go, Samuelsson should do just fine. A former first-round draft pick by Arizona in 2012, he had a 40-point season (18 G, 22 A) with AHL Portland in 2014-15. This season, Samuelsson has been with Idaho of the ECHL, where he had 16 goals and 27 helpers for the Steelheads in 49 games.

At 6’3″ and 210 pounds, the 24-year-old Samuelsson could help out in the corners for the IceHogs and has a pretty decent offensive arsenal. I’d guess we’ll see him in action this week.

In other roster moves, Rockford sent Matt Tomkins back to the Indy Fuel Thursday after J.F. Berube returned to active duty. Friday, defenseman Carl Dahlstrom was recalled to the Blackhawks, where he skated in the Hawks 3-0 loss to Minnesota.

 

Recaps

The IceHogs dropped two of three games this week, including one to Milwaukee. The Ads have won four straight and have leapfrogged Rockford in the division standings. Coupled with a streaking Grand Rapids club that has won seven of its last ten, Rockford is in sixth place in the Central Division.

Wednesday, February 7-Rockford 3, San Antonio 1

The Rampage have had Rockford’s number in three previous meetings. The Hogs came out on top in the final meeting between the two teams this season with a pair of goals in the third period.

Rockford had several scoring chances in the opening frame but didn’t get on the board until late in the period. Matthew Highmore redirected a Viktor Svedberg blast past Rampage goalie Spencer Martin for a 1-0 Hogs advantage at 18:56 of the first.

Felix Girard tied things up 8:01 into the second period, coming from behind the net and finishing a successful wraparound attempt. Through 40 minutes, Hogs goalie Colin Delia had stopped 24 of 25 shots to keep Rockford even. From there, the IceHogs power play proved to be the difference.

Working with the final seconds of a Shawn Ouellette-St. Amant interference infraction incurred late in the previous period, Rockford got the game-winner with Highmore’s second goal of the evening. The play was set up with a pass from Tanner Kero to Highmore at the goal line. The rookie forward maneuvered to the front of Martin’s cage and deposited a backhand shot into the piggy bank 22 seconds into the third.

The man advantage also provided insurance later in the period when San Antonio was called for delay of game in the eighth minute of action. Adam Clendening one-timed an Anthony Louis feed toward the net. Andreas Martinsen had Martin screened but good. The Rampage goalie never had a chance and Clendening’s goal made it 3-1 Rockford at the 8:06 mark.

The three stars proved to be an all-Rockford edition; Highmore, Delia (33 saves) and Clendening.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Anthony Louis-Tanner Kero-William Pelletier

Matthew Highmore-Luke Johnson-John Hayden

Andreas Martinsen (A)-Tyler Sikura-Alexandre Fortin

Matheson Iacopelli-Graham Knott-Robin Norell

Luc Snuggerud-Carl Dahlstrom

Cody Franson (A)-Viktor Svedberg (A)

Adam Clendening-Gustav Forsling

Colin Delia

Scratches-Nathan Noel, Darren Raddysh, Ville Pokka, J.F. Berube

Power Play (2-5)

Highmore-Kero-Johnson-Forsling-Dahlstrom

Martinsen-Hayden-Louis-Clendening-Franson

Penalty Kill (San Antonio was 0-4)

Kero-Sikura-Franson-Svedberg

Johnson-Martinsen-Dalstrom-Snuggerud

Pelletier-Hayden-Franson-Svedberg

 

Friday, February 9-Milwaukee 5, Rockford 3

The IceHogs earased one-goal deficits twice before Milwaukee prevailed in what was a tough home loss to a division rival.

Jimmy Oligny got the scoring started for the Ads with his goal at 11:34 of the opening frame. Rockford answered a few minutes later on the power play. Anthony Louis made a cross-ice pass that Cody Franson handled at the right dot before snapping off a lamp-lighter past Milwaukee goalie Anders Lindback. This tied the game at a goal apiece at the 14:29 mark.

The Admirals gained a man advantage late in the first on a Viktor Svedberg tripping penalty. They wasted little time in regaining the lead. After winning the resulting faceoff, Frederick Gaudreau scored from the left circle to make it 2-1 Milwaukee headed into the locker room.

Rockford out shot the Ads 16-6 in the second and drew even again in the fifteenth minute. Darren Raddysh did the honors, aided in part to a nice screen in front of the net by Tyler Sikura. Raddysh’s wrister zipped through the legs of Sikura and past Lindback at 14:18, capping off a nice shift in the Milwaukee zone and knotting the game at two.

At that point, Admirals forward Justin Kirkland, who had all of one goal for the season at that point, finished off the Hogs. His nifty move across the crease after receiving a Yakov Trenin feed got Hogs goalie Collin Delia on the ice. His backhand caught cord for a 3-2 Milwaukee lead 2:42 into the third period.

Kirkland added to the lead ten minutes later, when Delia mishandled Trenin’s shot to his glove side. The puck lay unattended momentarily at the right post. Kirkland knocked it in for a 4-2 Admirals advantage at 12:33.

Rockford closed to within a goal at the 14:24 mark when John Hayden received a pass from Sikura and skated out to the top of the right circle. Utilizing another Sikura screen, Hayden beat Lindback to the twine. The IceHogs trailed 4-3.

That was as close as Rockford got, though. With Delia on the bench for an extra skater, Kirkland completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal from just inside his blueline at 18:31.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Matthew Highmore-Luke Johnson-John Hayden

Alex Wideman-Tanner Kero-Anthony Louis

Andreas Martinsen (A)-Tyler Sikura-Alexandre Fortin

Matheson Iacopelli-Graham Knott-Robin Norell

Adam Clendening-Ville Pokka

Viktor Svedberg-Cody Franson

Gustav Forsling-Darren Raddysh

Collin Delia

Scratches-Luc Snuggerud, William Pelletier, Nathan Noel

Power Play (1-4)

Martinsen-Louis-Hayden-Franson-Clendening

Kero-Highmore-Johnson-Sikura-Forsling

Penalty Kill (Milwaukee was 1-2)

Johnson-Kero-Franson-Svedberg

Hayden-Knott-Forsling-Raddysh

Martinsen-Sikura-Svedberg-Clendening

 

Saturday, February 10-Iowa 2, Rockford 1

Jean-Francois Berube was back in goal for the first time in two months after recovering from a left leg injury. A 27-save effort was a solid return but not enough to get Rockford past the Wild at Wells Fargo Arena.

The first period saw the Hogs and Wild trade deflection goals. Kurtis Gabriel re-directed a Brennen Mennell shot past Berube 5:55 into the contest. Moments later, Tyler Sikura changed the trajectory of a Ville Pokka shot from the right point, knotting the game 1-1 at the 7:41 mark.

As both Berube and Iowa goalie Niklas Svedberg were quite stingy from that point on, the score remained 1-1 until the third period. Iowa potted a power play goal on a Justin Kloos one-timer from the right dot at the 7:31 mark.

The IceHogs had some strong chances to tie both before and after pulling Berube for an extra attacker, but it was not to be. Rockford dropped its second-straight and lost just a little more ground to a division rival.

Lines (Starters in italics-Rockford used 7 defensemen and just 11 forwards)

Matthew Highmore-Tanner Kero (A)-Anthony Louis

Andreas Martinsen-Tyler Sikura-Robin Norell

Matheson Iacopelli-Graham Knott-Alex Wideman

Alexandre Fortin-John Hayden

Viktor Svedberg-Cody Franson

Adam Clendening-Ville Pokka (A)

Gustav Forsling-Darren Raddysh

Luc Snuggerud

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratches-William Pelletier, Nathan Noel, Luke Johnson

Power Play (0-2)

Highmore-Kero-Louis-Clendening-Franson

Martinsen-Sikura-Hayden-Raddysh-Forsling

Penalty Kill (Iowa was 1-5)

Kero-Hayden-Franson-Svedberg

Martinsen-Sikura-Pokka-Clendening

Fortin-Knott-Raddysh-Forsling

 

This Week

The Hogs are at home for all three games this week. This is the last real home stand of the season for Rockford; only seven of the IceHogs last 22 games following this week’s games will be at the BMO.

The Cleveland Monsters visit Rockford Tuesday, play in Chicago Thursday, then return to the BMO for a Saturday tilt. Both teams have won three of the six meetings this season. Each has won and lost a shootout. The Monsters have dropped seven of their last ten but did break a three-game losing streak Sunday with an overtime win over Manitoba.

Sunday afternoon, San Antonio returns to the BMO for the last time this season. Rockford won the last meeting this past Wednesday night.

Points are vital to Rockford right now, as every divisional loss extends the gap between them and the pack of teams in the playoff hunt. Getting Berube back is a step in the right direction, though losing regulars like Pelletier and Johnson will make things a bit tougher.

Follow me @JonFromi on twitter for thoughts on the Rockford scene all season long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, used an offensive explosion to sweep Grand Rapids this weekend. The ‘Bago County Piglets have been filling the net, with and without Vinnie Hinostroza.

The IceHogs currently sit behind Manitoba in the division standings with a 15-9-1 record. Rockford has won its last four games heading into this week’s action. If the season would happen to end today, the Hogs are a playoff team. Not that the season shows any signs of stopping, but winning is definitely better than the alternative.

 

Berube Injured

Much of the credit for Rockford’s lofty position in the Central Division standings has to be directed at the goal tending.It’s been a two-man effort in goal so far this year, with J.F. Berube and Jeff Glass both providing solid play. Of late, Glass has been the man for Rockford with Berube up in Chicago before being reassigned this past Friday.

Glass had backstopped the IceHogs last four games before Berube took the BMO Harris Bank Center ice for his first action since coming back down to Rockford. He made it though half the game before some unfortunate luck.

With the Hogs on a second-period power play, Rockford’s Carl Dahlstrom and the Griffins Colin Campbell were chasing down a loose puck that was headed the way of Berube. The IceHogs goalie had just knocked the puck into the corner when the two players passed.

As they came by, Dahlstrom’s left leg swept Berube’s right leg out from under him. Berube’s left leg then buckled beneath him. The Rockford net-minder was attended to by the medical staff and was taken to the locker room. All the while, no weight was put on the injured left leg.

If Berube is to miss any significant time, the pair in Rockford will be what is has been since December 1; Glass and Colin Delia, who has not played in his most recent stint with the team. Its unfortunate that Berube may have gone down with a leg injury. However, the veteran Glass has shown that he is more than capable of shouldering the load in net.

Rockford does have three games this week. None are back-to-back, though. Glass could easily get all three starts for the Hogs. Delia has not played since November 25 with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel. Possibly he gets a start down in Texas to get him some action.

Glass’s numbers have inflated to a 2.89 GAA and a .907 save percentage, but that includes the eight goals Glass gave up November 28 to Manitoba (who have been running roughshod through everyone recently). His last three starts, all IceHogs wins, have been excellent. Excluding that blip when the Moose ran loose at the BMO, Glass is 8-0-1 with a 2.17 GAA and a .929 save percentage in his last nine starts.

The piglets tend to leave their goalies some messes to deal with while pushing the tempo the way they do. Berube and Glass have done a fine job keeping the bulk of Rockford’s mistakes out of its net. Glass may have to go it alone until Berube returns, whenever that may be. Based on his play the last few months, he’s up to the task.

By the way…Matt Tomkins, who is on an AHL deal with Rockford, might be worth keeping an eye on. Tomkins was playing well when he was injured early in his second start for Indy back on October 25. He returned this past weekend and stopped 88 of 91 shots in two starts (both wins) for the Fuel.

 

Roster Moves

The big news out here in Rockford, of course, was Vinnie Hinostroza’s recall to the Blackhawks on Friday. Tanner Kero, having passed safely through waivers, was assigned to the IceHogs on the same day. Kero got his first action with Rockford this season on Saturday, picking up an assist on the Hogs power play goal in a 7-2 victory.

On Sunday, Rockford recalled AHL defenseman Brandon Anselmini, who has a goal and five assists in 11 games with the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. This is only my speculation, but it would appear that another Hogs defeseman is banged up. It could possibly be Luc Snuggerud, who sat out Saturday’s game.

 

Picking Up The Scoring Slack

Hinostroza’s departure leaves a potential void in the Rockford offense. This weekend was a chance for the Hogs to respond to concerns for replacing Hinostroza’s scoring punch. They did so with 11 goals in the two games with Grand Rapids.

Of course, Kero is likely to pick up some of the workload for Rockford. He has shown a goal-scoring knack in both his previous seasons with the Hogs. He had an apple in his first game back with Rockford Saturday.

Tomas Jurco (9 G, 9 A) had two goals and an assist this weekend and is currently riding a four-game goal streak. Jurco’s 85 shots on goal lead the club; he definitely has the puck skills to carry Rockford for a stretch.

Hinostroza is an excellent distributor of the puck and that will be sorely missed. The player I see filling that role is David Kampf. The rookie from the Czech Republic broke an eight-game scoreless streak in a big way this weekend, with a helper Friday and a goal and two assists Saturday.

Even through the eight-game drought, Kampf has been active both with and without the puck. He is centering Anthony Louis and Jurco at the moment. This would be an opportune stretch for him to start impacting the game on the scoreboard.

Also posting a three-point weekend was Matheson Iacopelli, whose strong shot is starting to see some time on the IceHogs power play. Louis, who has earned time in the top six, has a three game point streak going.

Andreas Martinsen had goals in each of the weekend wins and has three in his last four games. Martinsen has four goals and five assists on the season; as I’ve mentioned before in my posts, he is one of a few IceHogs skaters who can bring the physical element on a nightly basis.

Martinsen forced a turnover in the corner Saturday that resulted in an IceHogs goal. The big Norwegian has been getting to the net and showed some skill in a key goal against Grand Rapids Friday night.

Stepping up on the defensive side is Carl Dahlstrom, who has eight points in his last four games. Dahlstrom was especially effective Saturday, pinching in for his first goal since Halloween and adding a pair of assists.

 

Where’s TooToo?

Veteran forward Jordin Tootoo was assigned to Rockford back on November 30. He hasn’t appeared in a game for Rockford. The way things sound, it doesn’t look that that will happen for a while.

After Saturday’s game, Chris Block of thethirdmanin.com asked IceHogs coach Jeremy Colliton about Tootoo. Here was the coach’s response, per the team website:

Right now, he hasn’t played in a long time. He hasn’t skated in a long time. (We’re) trying to get him back up to speed. We’ll see…I don’t know. We don’t have a timeline.

 

Pushing A Broom: Four Points From The Griffins

Friday, December 8-Rockford 4, Grand Rapids 1

The IceHogs won their third straight game and remained undefeated against Grand Rapids this season thanks to timely scoring and great play in net by Jeff Glass.

The Griffins went up 1-0 at the 12:45 mark on a power play goal by Matt Puempel. Rockford evened the game just over three minutes later.

Carl Dahlstrom got the scoring play started from his own end, sending a pass to David Kampf along the left boards on the Grand Rapids side of the red line. Kampf hit Tomas Jurco coming into the Griffins zone. Splitting the defense, Jurco skated to the top of the left circle and fired to the short side. The puck beat Grand Rapids goalie Jared Coreau at 15:38 for the equalizer.

Rockford picked up its second goal of the contest near the end of the middle frame. It came via the nimble stick of Andreas Martinsen, who picked up a loose puck along the left half boards and skated into the Grand Rapids zone.

Flipping the biscuit past Griffins defenseman Robbie Russo, Martinsen regained possession, skated to the bottom of the left circle and sent a shot high over Coreau’s right shoulder and into cage at 17:20. The IceHogs went into the second intermission up 2-1.

Jeff Glass proved to be the difference for Rockford, making 33 stops on the night, including a spectacular denial of a 2-on-1 Griffins rush late in the second. His play in the third period kept a desperate Grand Rapids squad at bay until some insurance could be had.

That insurance came from Robin Norell, who took a feed from Anthony Louis at the top of the left circle and slapped one toward the Griffins net. The shot glanced off the stick of Colin Campbell and got by Coreau for a 3-1 Hogs advantage with just 1:39 left in the game. Luke Johnson added an empty netter in the final minute to complete the scoring.

Glass was rightfully tabbed the game’s first star, followed by Martinsen and Puempel.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Anthony Louis-David Kampf-Tomas Jurco

Alexandrea Fortin-Matthew Highmore-Luke Johnson

Matheson Iacopelli-Tyler Sikura-Andreas Martinsen (A)

Graham Knott-Laurent Dauphin-William Pelletier

Carl Dahlstrom-Viktor Svedberg

Luc Snuggerud-Ville Pokka

Darren Raddysh-Robin Norell

Jeff Glass

Scratches-Tanner Kero, Robin Press, Erik Gustafsson, Jordin Tootoo

Power Play (0-1)

Highmore-Louis-Johnson-Raddysh-Pokka

Kampf-Jurco-Fortin-Iacopelli-Snuggerud

Pentalty Kill (Griffins were 1-4)

Knott-Dauphin-Svedberg-Dahlstrom

Sikura-Martinsen-Smuggerud-Pokka

Highmore-Johnson-Raddysh-Norell

 

Saturday, December 9-Rockford 7, Grand Rapids 2

The Hogs returned to the BMO and delivered a whipping to Grand Rapids, winning for the fourth straight game.

Rockford struck first at 6:41 of the opening frame. Carl Dahlstrom took a cross-ice pass from Matheson Iacopelli and skated to the bottom of the left circle. His centering pass caught the skate of Andreas Martinsen and banked into the Griffins net.

The IceHogs took full control of the contest in the second period with a pair of goals. The first occurred shortly after Rockford had shut down a Grand Rapids four-on-three power play. Laurent Dauphin received a pass from Ville Pokka as he entered the Griffins zone.

Tomas Jurco skated into the slot to take Dauphin’s offering to the crease. Deking goalie Tom McCollom, Jurco backhanded the puck into happy land at the 6:01 mark for a 2-0 Rockford lead.

About four minutes later, Viktor Svedberg hit Graham Knott with an entry pass. Knott skated into the high slot before finding Darren Raddysh with all kinds of room coming down the right side of the slot. A quick pass afforded Raddysh the scoring chance and he buried it at 9:58 to put the Hogs up 3-0.

Midway through the period, J.F. Berube got tangled up with Dahlstrom and the Griffins Colin Campbell and went down favoring his left knee. The medical staff was brought out and the injured goalie was helped from the ice. Jeff Glass took over for the remainder of the game.

Rockford was able to double its three-goal advantage in the first 3:18 of the final period. Matthew Highmore carried David Kampf’s feed to the bottom of the left circle and burned McCollom 1:19 into the third. Dahlstrom banged home a power play slapper from the point at 2:03.

Shortly thereafter, Martinsen forced a turnover in the corner of the Grand Rapids zone. Tyler Sikura gained control of the puck and centered to Matheson Iacopelli in front of the cage. The shot was high to McCollom’s stick side; he never had a chance.

Up 6-0, Rockford surrendered a pair of Griffins goals before closing out the scoring via a David Kampf backhander from the slot. The primary assist on the play came from the stick of Anthony Louis.

Lines (Starters in italics)

Matthew Highmore-Tanner Kero-Luke Johnson (A)

Anthony Louis-David Kampf-Tomas Jurco

Matheson Iacopelli-Tyler Sikura-Andreas Martinsen

Graham Knott-Laurent Dauphin (A)-William Pelletier

Robin Norell-Ville Pokka (A)

Viktor Svedberg-Darren Raddysh

Carl Dahlstrom-Robin Press

Jean Francois Berube

Jeff Glass

Scratches-Luc Snuggerud, Erik Gustafsson, Jordin Tootoo, Alexandre Fortin

Power Play (1-5)

Iacopelli-Kampf-Jurco-Kero-Dahlstrom

Louis-Highmore-Johnson-Raddysh-Pokka

Penalty Kill (Grand Rapids was 0-6)

Dauphin-Highmore-Dahlstrom-Norell

Knott-Johnson-Svedberg-Pokka

Sikura-Martinsen-Press-Raddysh

 

What Lies Ahead-A Look At The San Antonio Rampage

Rockford hosts Chicago Tuesday night. The IceHogs hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series; both those wins came at the BMO. The Wolves are coming off a Micheal Leighton shutout of Cleveland Saturday night but still are in the Central Division basement with a 7-12-4-1 mark.

Following that game, the IceHogs travel to the Lone Star State for a pair of games with the San Antonio Rampage. Rockford has Friday and Sunday dates with Colorado’s AHL affiliate.

San Antonio spanked the piglets 6-0 at the BMO November 10. The Rampage drew cord on their first three power play opportunities and wound up with four tallies with the man advantage.

A parade to the Rockford penalty box was a big part of that loss. On the other hand, goalie Spencer Martin stopped 39 shots to blank the Hogs. Ville Husso faced the Hogs three times last season when he was with the Wolves. Husso won two of those matchups, but is currently up with St. Louis, who has been loaning him to the Rampage.

Another pair of former Wolves lead the Rampage (13-10-2, fourth in the AHL’s Pacific Division) in scoring. Forward Andrew Agozzino is a familiar face to Hogs fans, having played in Lake Erie as well as Chicago. In his second stint with San Antonio, Agozzino has 19 points (7 G, 12 A). He is currently on a nine-game goal drought. Defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, another former Wolves skater, also has 19 points (5 G, 14 A) and is a plus-ten on the campaign.

Rocco Grimaldi is smallish forward who can really light it up; he had 31 goals for the Rampage a year ago. He started slow this fall but recorded a hat trick this weekend against Bakersfield. Rookie center Tage Thompson has seven goals and seven assists for San Antonio, but just one assist in his last five games.

Another offensive force is former Milwaukee Admiral Vladislav Kamenev, who had three apples in the Rampage win over Rockford November 10. He hasn’t been in the San Antonio lineup since mid-November, however. He was recalled by the Avs and injured in his first game with Colorado.

Follow me @JonFromi on twitter for thoughts on the IceHogs all season long.