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Three-in-three and Game Notes

02/27/2010 3:21 PM - Chris Etheridge
This might be a note for tomorrow, but I'm going to write it now.  The schedule gods may have given the IceHogs a bit of an advantage for tomorrow's contest against the Chicago Wolves.  The Hogs are playing in back-to-back games, but Chicago is playing in their third game in three days.

Energy-wise this will play in Rockford's favor.  Players need time to recover after playing an intense game like hockey and often 24 hours is not enough time.  So a game on Saturday can sometimes be a bit slower than a game on Friday and by the time both teams get to Sunday, they are both pretty beat.

When one team has a Friday or Saturday off, they'll likely have a bit more left in the tank on Sunday, so the Hogs (who didn't play Friday night) will need to use that to their advantage.
  Score first and play a physical game and the Hogs will have a good shot at sneaking away with a win.

The Hogs already have two strikes against them in this goal.  The Wolves have not lost at home since Dec. 27, when Rockford beat them 6-4 and the IceHogs have historically struggled in Rosemont, winning only three games in their three years in the league.

Here are some notes for tonight:

It’s Easy To Score Into An Empty Net: In Thursday’s 4-1 win over Milwaukee, Rockford tallied two empty-net goals. Rockford is tied with Texas and Worcester with 12 empty netters this season. Bryan Bickell leads the IceHogs with two into the empty cage while 10 other skaters have registered an empty-net tally.

More Against Peoria And San Antonio: Entering tonight’s game, IceHogs winger Matt Keith has scored eight of his 15 goals against Peoria and San Antonio. Keith has tallied four against both clubs and leads Rockford is goals against Peoria.

Twice Is Nice For Cullimore: Defenseman Jassen Cullimore chipped in his first multi-point game of the season on Thursday in Rockford’s 4-1 win over Milwaukee. The veteran d-man assisted on Rockford’s second and third goal and has 2g-6a-8pts in 44 games this season for the IceHogs.

Feeling The Love In February: Thursday night’s 4-1 win over Milwaukee ensured the IceHogs of their fourth straight winning month. Entering play tonight, Rockford has a February record of 7-3-0-0. The only below .500 month for the IceHogs this season came in October when the club finished 5-6-1-1. 

Double The Help On The Power Play: Rockford has scored 41 power play markers this season and all of them have been accompanied by two assists. Mark Cullen leads Rockford with 14 assists on the advantage this season.

A Feel-Good Day

02/26/2010 4:33 PM - Chris Etheridge
Today was a feel-good day for me (and not just because Team USA has cruised into the Gold Medal game with a 6-1 win over Finland this afternoon).

I got a call from a nurse at OSF St. Anthony this morning who said one of our fans was one of the kids in that bus accident in Poplar Grove earlier this week.  He was wearing a Patrick Kane Blackhawks jersey that he had bought the day before and they had to cut it off of him when they put him in the ambulance.  The jersey is now ruined.

As my boss Mark Bernard said, this one's a "no brainer."  We got an IceHogs jersey from the merchandise closet and are going to get it signed by the Blackhawks players at tomorrow night's game.  He and his parents are going to be our guest at the game and we hear he's bringing out a bunch of family and friends.  Hopefully he won't read this before tomorrow's game because Hammy is going to give him his new IceHogs jersey durring the game.

In the office here, we are just thrilled to hear that the bus accident wasn't worse than it was and are happy to hear out young IceHogs fan is home from the hospital healthy and safe.

I also got the opportunity to head to Kishwaukee School this morning with Hammy and one of our interns.  We dropped off some of those replica goalie masks from the Best Buy Kids' Day game and then attended the pep assembly to get the kids ready for the ISATs.  The reception from the kids was amazing.

Hammy was very popular especially when he busted out some new dance moves.  After the assembly, we stopped by a fifth-grade class and surprised them with some of the IceHogs youth jerseys and tickets to an upcoming game.  It was Sports Spirit Day at Kishwaukee so we thought they would like some IceHogs jerseys to show off at the school.

The community support this team has received in the 11 years they have been in Rockford is amazing and we are so thrilled to be able to give a little back.

On a side note, I can't wait for tomorrow's game.  The crowd is going to be electric and it will be nice to see a couple of guys from the last two years who have moved on to bigger and better things.  Blackhawks Night presented by Taco Bell is going to be a blast.