The Rockford IceHogs tried to end their losing skid in a double-header with the Iowa Wild this week, and that was it for on-ice action. Things were just heating up in the front office at that time, however, and the ‘Hogs had many roster moves in the last week.
picture courtesy: www.icehogs.com
Friday, November 8 vs. Iowa Wild
The IceHogs came into a key game with the struggling Wild, trying to put a stop to their season-worst 4-game losing streak. Antti Raanta was in net, and the IceHogs came out flying early. Just over five minutes in, defenseman Bobby Shea potted his first goal of the year, putting the ‘Hogs in the lead for the first time in over 240 minutes of action. Veteran Brad Winchester added another just 2 minutes later for the 2-0, a goal that proved to be the game winner. Iowa retaliated with one goal, but Terry Broadhurst sealed the deal in the third period with his fourth goal of the season. Raanta picked up his sixth win of the year with the 3-1 score, making 24 saves in the process. Broadhurst-Shea-Winchester went 1-2-3 in the Three Star selections, a sweep for the home team. Former Blackhawks prospect and IceHogs player Jake Dowell was -2 on the night.
Saturday, November 9, vs. Iowa Wild
There was no time to celebrate, as the two teams were back at it in the same rink just 24 hours later. This one started out well for the Wild, with the visitors grabbing a pair of first-period goals for the 2-0 lead. Garret Ross and Phillip Danault both scored to bring the IceHogs even, but it was not to be: The Wild scored three unanswered goals, to close out a 5-2 win. Iowa’s power-play scored four of their five goals in the contest, given lots of opportunity in a game that had 72 minutes in penalties. Raanta, making his fourth straight start, made 14 saves on 17 shots, before leaving during the second intermission with an undisclosed injury, after being run into by a Wild forward. Defenseman Adam Clendening also did not finish the game, after taking a check to the head by Jason Zucker. Zucker was assessed a match penalty (ordered to leave the game) on the play.
A big trade late Thursday night shook up the IceHogs and Blackhawks’ rosters alike:
- The IceHogs loaned Alex Broadhurst to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, November 14 after a roster spot was freed up, but recalled him just hours later, after news of the trade broke.
- The IceHogs said goodbye to two veterans: forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen headed to the Florida Panthers. Both players are expected to play for the NHL club before the week is out.
- Blackhawks’ forward Jeremy Morin was also recalled by the IceHogs as a result of the trade.
- On Wednesday, the IceHogs signed free-agent forward Blake Kessel to a Pro Try-Out offer. Kessel, younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, was originally drafted in 2007 by the New York Islanders.
- The IceHogs also loaned defenseman Joe Gleason to the Toledo Walleye (IceHogs’ ECHL affiliate) on Wednesday.
- Brad Mills cleared waivers and was sent back to Rockford on Friday.
IceHogs Player News
- #1 Defenceman Adam Clendening and starting goaltender Antti Raanta left the IceHogs’ 5-2 loss to Iowa early, after sustaining injuries in separate incidents. The condition of both Raanta and Clendening is currently unknown, and there is no word on how long they will be sidelined.
- Rookie Mark McNeill, despite not registering a goal in the past week, continues to lead the IceHogs in goals, with 6.
The IceHogs hit the road to Grand Rapids on Friday, to face a Griffins team that has handed them two losses in two weeks. After that, they will return home for a meeting with the San Antonio Rampage, and close off the week with another home game, against the Abbotsford Heat on Wednesday.
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