The end of week 3 and the beginning of week 4 featured a total of 4 games for the IceHogs with 3 of them coming on the road. For a young team like the IceHogs, it was crucial to sustain momentum throughout the 6 days that the games were spread out over. They did just that as they took 7 out of the possible 8 points that were up for grabs.
On Friday, October 18th, the Hogs made the drive down I-90 to the Allstate Arena for their first match-up of the season against the Chicago Wolves. The Hogs sucked the energy from the building early on in the contest as Terry Broadhurst scored his first goal of the season just 47 seconds into the opening frame. The Hogs added to their lead to make it 3-0 with goals from Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Hayes before the first intermission rolled around. The Wolves scored two goals in the second period and then a third on goaltender Kent Simpson at 17:24 of the third period to tie the game up; it looked like the rivals would be going into overtime with the home squad carrying the momentum. But 1:05 later, defenseman Klas Dahlbeck’s blast from the top of the left circle found a way past Jake Allen to put the Hogs on top again. With 15.2 seconds remaining, Mark McNeill added an empty net goal to make it 5-3 IceHogs.
The following night, the Hogs were at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford for their 2013-14 home opener against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Hogs had to battle back from two 2-goal deficits during this contest, but they were able to come out on top, 5-4, in a shootout. Jimmy Hayes and Jeremy Morin scored to tie the game at two in the second period; Morin’s marker was a 5-on-3 power play goal. Brad Winchester and Phillip Danault brought Rockford back even at 4 with goals late in regulation; Winchester’s tally happened when netminder Antti Raanta was pulled for the 6th attacker and Danault’s goal—which was his first career pro goal–came on a Terry Broadhurst rebound that was left unattended in the slot with 1:11 left in the period. Maxim Shalunov, Morin and Viktor Svedberg tallied in the shootout for Rockford.
The Hogs then traveled to Canada for two games during the week—which is a rarity in the AHL.
Tuesday night’s tilt saw the Hogs take on the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. The Hogs had numerous leads in this game, but blew them all as Hamilton beat them 5-4 in overtime. Garret Ross scored his first career professional goal 31 seconds into the contest and Terry Broadhurst and Mark McNeill (twice) tallied as well; Kent Simpson was in net.
On Wednesday, October 23rd, the Hogs found themselves at Ricoh Coliseum to take on the Toronto Marlies. Greg McKegg and Carter Ashton scored on Antti Raanta and gave the Marlies a 2-0 lead before the halfway mark of the contest. The Hogs were able to respond well and score three unanswered goals to take the victory 3-2; Alex Broadhurst (14:33 of the 2nd), Terry Broadhurst (17:31 of the 2nd) and Jeremy Morin (14:33 of the 3rd) were the goal scorers from Rockford.
With 7 out of 8 points taken out of this 4 game stretch, there were a lot of positives displayed on the ice by the Hogs.
—Phillip Danault has been great for Rockford so far, especially during these past 4 games. Not only is he used on the penalty kill because he’s solid defensively, but he’s been setting up plays in the offensive zone and never gives up on a play; his work ethic had been evident in past Blackhawks Prospect Camps, but it has become even more pronounced in the AHL. Scoring his first ever professional goal on Saturday night gave him a little extra jump in his step and he went on to pick up 2 more assists the next game in Hamilton.
—Mark McNeill has been equally as good for Rockford. In the past 4 games, he has tallied 4 points (3 G, 1 A). He’s been paired up with Phillip Danault as a penalty killing tandem and has been used on the power play at the point. He has looked very confident with the puck and in all three zones.
–Terry Broadhurst has had the hot stick for Rockford in the past 4 games as he has put up 7 points (3 G, 4 assists). He has been using his speed efficiently and has just been connecting with whoever his linemates are on a given night, regardless if he’s with them for an extended period of time or not. Overall, he just looks more confident with the puck and it’s causing all areas of his game to be elevated.
-Terry’s brother, Alex Broadhurst, has also looked solid. He has 7 points (2 G, 5 A) in 8 games. Like his brother, Alex uses his speed to his advantage and also has a nice set of hands on him. Alex has been a mainstay on the 2nd power play unit and has fit right into this Rockford line-up fairly seamlessly.
–Garret Ross has been very noticeable in his last two games, especially from an offensive stand point. Not only did he record his first professional goal on Tuesday night against Hamilton, but he put up his first professional multi-point game against the Marlies as he tallied two assists in the Hogs’ 3-2 win. His second assist was a sick pass to Terry Broadhurst from behind the net after he out-hustled a Marlies player to the puck.
–Antti Raanta and Kent Simpson have both been doing their job in net for Rockford. They’ve both made some big saves that have kept the Hogs in games/maintained their momentum.
–Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Hayes have both been clutch for Rockford so far this season—which was expected from the get-go. Morin has 8 points (4 G, 4 A) in 8 games and Hayes has 4 points (2 G, 2 A) in 5 games.
-In his sophomore professional season, Adam Clendening is leading the defense corps and leading the team in scoring with 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in 8 games. He’s been paired with Dylan Olsen for the past four games and they’ve made an effective pair. Both blue liners are +4, which leads the team in plus/minus rating.
-The IceHogs currently lead the Midwest Division and sit second in the Western Conference with a record of 5-2-1-0 (11 points).
-The line-ups from Friday/Saturday’s games were:
Jimmy Hayes – Brad Mills – Alex Broadhurst
Brad Winchester – Drew LeBlanc – Jeremy Morin
Mark McNeill – Phillip Danault – Terry Broadhurst
Maxim Shalunov – Pat Mullane – Byron Froese/Garret Ross
Dylan Olsen – Adam Clendening
Klas Dahlbeck – Jared Nightingale
Viktor Svedberg – Theo Peckham/Joe Gleason
–Wade Brookbank has been a scratch in every game so far this year.
–Saturday, October 19 (after the game)—The Blackhawks assigned forward Joakim Nordstrom to Rockford.
What’s Next For Rockford?
Saturday, October 26 vs. Charlotte at 3:00 pm
Sunday, October 27 vs. Texas at 4:00 pm