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BLACKHAWKS ASSIGN ALIU TO ROCKFORD

By: Adam Rogowin
Photo by Jim Orlando
Forward expected to join team in Syracuse, N.Y.
 
Rockford, Ill.- Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced Friday that the National Hockey League team has assigned right wing Akim Aliu to the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

The 56 overall (round 2) pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft is expected to join the team in Syracuse, N.Y., where the IceHogs play the Syracuse Crunch at 6:30 p.m. at the Onondaga War Memorial at Oncenter.

Aliu finished his fourth campaign in the Ontario Hockey League this season, notching 44 points (18g-26a) in 45 regular season games between the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves. The 19-year-old forward ranked second with two goals and tied for fourth with three points in six postseason games with Sudbury.

The Okene, Nigeria, native made his professional debut last season with the IceHogs, posting two penalty minutes in two contests after being signed to an Amateur Try-Out agreement. He signed a three-year NHL contract on August 25, 2008 with the Blackhawks.

In his OHL career, Aliu has recorded 167 points (76g-91a) and 407 penalty minutes in 205 games between the Windsor Spitfires (2005-06), Sudbury (2005-07, 2008-09) and London (2007-08). Last season, he ranked third on London with a career-high 61 points (28g-33a) and paced the squad with 133 penalty minutes in 60 regular season games.

Next Home Game: Saturday, April 4 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Annual Jersey Auction game is finally here as the IceHogs jump into “The Dark Hammy” jerseys to benefit the IceHogs Charitable Foundation. The first 2,000 fans will pick up a commemorative Dark Hammy t-shirt courtesy of Saturn, Pepsi, Guerilla Graffix, Lincoln Rent-All, 13 WREX and MedicineMan. Also, don’t miss the Stanley Cup as hockey’s most coveted trophy makes its first visit to the Rockford MetroCentre and every fan 18 or older will have a chance to win a 2009 Saturn Sky courtesy of Saturn of Rockford.
Stanley Cup Fact:metrocentre.com. There is one name crossed out on the Stanley Cup – Basil Pocklington, the father of Edmonton Oilers owner Peter.  The name was added in 1984 and is now covered by a series of “Xs.”  See the Stanley Cup as it comes to the Rockford MetroCentre for the first time on Saturday.  For tickets call 815-968-5222 or visit www.metrocentre.com.


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