Chicago Blackhawks farm system: Rockford Icehogs Weekend Recap

The men in red went 2-1 on the weekend.
Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Rockford closed out a three-in-three with a 3-2 win over Milwaukee.

Anyone who followed the weekend would describe it along the lines of an uphill climb. By the end of the weekend, (in no particular order) we had Zach Sanford, Cole Guttman, Nolan Allan, and possibly Luke Philp (undisclosed) injured. In addition, Filip Roos and Brett Seney caught an illness. Finally, Ethan Del Mastro earned the call-up with Chicago which meant yet another player gone. Even still, the men in red found a way to win.

Jaxson Stauber's sensational streak has now crossed the ten-week mark. His last regulation loss came on January 26th. After this weekend, he now has a .904 save percentage with a 2.76 goals-against average on the season.

He won both contests he appeared in this weekend by shutting out Grand Rapids while making 27 saves, and stopping 25 of 27 against Milwaukee last night. During his now 13-game streak, he has a .927 SV%.

If Stauber and Drew Commesso can continue their consistency as we inch closer to the playoffs, there is not one team that can take down the IceHogs. Stauber is a restricted free agent at the end of this season. Has his play since the new year justified a new contract? We shall see.

Paul Ludwinski made his professional debut Saturday with Rockford.

The 2022 second-round draft pick is expected to either appear on Chicago or Rockford's lineup next season. Ludwinski tallied 23 goals and 46 assists for 69 points in 60 regular season games with the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL this season. So far, no points were tallied in his initial two games as with the IceHogs. A valuable piece to the Hawks' rebuild, there is inside chatter (barring injury returns) that Ludwinski could make the playoff roster. 

Friday night, the Icehogs took on Grand Rapids in a playoff-type atmosphere.

Less than two minutes into the game, Teply hurried the puck through Cossa. That was his nine goal of the season. Cossa came up with a huge save with 9:04 left to play in the first. Three minutes later, Stauber made an unbelievable glove save on a shorthanded breakaway.

The second period became Wyatt Kaiser's period. He has literally done everything for the IceHogs this past weekend. His physical game led to him finding the back of the net on a 5-on-3 where he fired the puck past Cossa's glove, bar down with 5:34 remaining in the second. The third provided not a whole lot of action.

Saturday's affair went slightly different than Friday's tilt.

The men in red headed back to the BMO to face off against Milwaukee. Just one minute into the contest it was Tomisino putting the puck past Commesso to put the Admirals up to an early lead. With 4:20 remaining in the period, Pitlick again tied it for Rockford. For the second, there were plenty of punches thrown on both sides of the opposition.

The IceHogs ringleaders were Colton Dach and fittingly, Wyatt Kaiser for the second night in a row. The veteran O'Reilley found the back of Commesso's net just after the halfway point of the period for his 10th of the season. In the third, Tomisino notched his second of the night from Juuso Parssinen to put Milwaukee up 3-1. However Sanford on the PK came storming down the ice and shot the puck through the five-hole of Askarov to cut the lead in half. However, the Hogs fell just short of keeping the three-game win streak alive. Commesso ended the night stopping 24 of 27 shots.

We were right back at it Sunday afternoon the Admirals again, to close out the weekend.

The first period of action was bare compared to Saturday. It was quite evident that both teams were on the back ends of three in three's. In the second, it was Mike Hardman who finally opened the scoring going bar down on Grosenick with 8:40 left to play in the period.

Minutes later the opposition's red-hot Philip Tomisino deked Stauber over the glove to tie the game. However, minutes later the captain, David Gust made it 2-1 on a bouncing puck he somehow managed to tip past Grosenick. In the third, it was Pitlick's power play snipe that beat the veteran netminder for his 21st of the season. Minutes later the Admirals' former 3rd round pick Campbell capitalized on a rebound opportunity to cut the deficit in half. However, the Hogs held on to rally 3-2 over the top team in the central. Stauber was 25/27 for his 13th straight win.