Article By: Mike Peck
09/23/2011 1:49 PM - 14 former IceHogs coming back to Rockford
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs announced on Friday that 14 former players are returning to the Forest City to play in the IceHogs Alumni Game presented by Dental Dimensions on Saturday, Nov. 12.
The game will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 12, before the IceHogs take on the Peoria Rivermen at 7:05 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The IceHogs Alumni will take on a team consisting of Chicago Blackhawks Alumni.
The 14 alumni include Scott Burfoot, Nick Checco, Ben Christopherson, Steve Cygan, Dan Davies, Oak Hewer, Kenzie Homer, Brad Olsen, Jason Notermann, Jason Ralph, J.F. Rivard, Joe Statkus, Erik Wendell and Clint Wensley.
Burfoot skated in 14 games with the IceHogs plus three playoff games in 2000. The center also served as assistant coach for the IceHogs during the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons and was the interim head coach of the club in 2003, helping guide the team to their second ever postseason appearance.
Checco was Rockford’s co-MVP for the 2000-01 season after racking up 59 points in 63 games. The winger returned to Rockford in 2001-02 and totaled 81 points in 104 career games with the IceHogs.
Christopherson was a member of the 2001-02 IceHogs, playing his only professional campaign in Rockford. His 22 assists rank him third on Rockford’s all-time single-season assist total for a first-year d-man.
Cygan is the only player in IceHogs history to garner a league’s Rookie of the Year award. The 5-6 forward still holds the franchise record for points by a rookie with 72, set in 2002-03. Cygan’s 115 career points with Rockford rank him seventh all-time in franchise history.
Davies is the only player in Rockford’s 13-year history to win the team’s “Heavy Hitter Award” more than once as the rugged winger won the distinction three times. Davies ranks second on Rockford’s all-time games played list with 299 career contests in an IceHogs uniform.
Hewer serves as the IceHogs Ambassador and played two seasons in Rockford from 2001-2003. The winger appeared in 125 career games with the IceHogs and totaled 58 points.
Homer served as alternate captain for the IceHogs during the 2003-04 season, his second in Rockford. During his two-year stint, Homer skated in 140 career games with the IceHogs, putting up 41 points and 286 penalty minutes.
Olsen played his only professional season in Rockford, skating with the IceHogs during the 2003-04 campaign. As a rookie, Olsen had 113 PIMs in 64 contests and also contributed 13 points to Rockford’s playoff qualifying club.
Notermann returns to Rockford after becoming one of the heroes during the franchise’s only league title. The winger scored the game-winning goal in Rockford’s Game 7 Colonial Cup Finals win over the Kalamazoo Wings in 2007. Ranked eighth all-time with 114 career points, Notermann spent two seasons with Rockford.
Ralph, also a member of the Rockford Colonial Cup Championship team, is tied with Notermann for eighth all-time with 114 points. The forward served as Rockford’s alternate captain during the team’s championship season and ranks 11th on Rockford’s all-time games played list with 165.
Rivard is one of the most popular players ever to suit up for the IceHogs. The 5-8 goalie played in parts of four seasons between the pipes with the IceHogs, and holds the club mark for most games played by a goalie with 166. Rivard’s 69 wins rank him second all-time in IceHogs history.
Statkus spent nearly his entire professional career in Rockford with the IceHogs. Playing in parts of three seasons with Rockford, Statkus established himself as a physical defenseman while appearing in 91 career games.
Wendell came to Rockford in 2002-03 after winning a national championship at the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2002. Wendell ranked second among first-year skaters in scoring in ’02-03, totaling 30 points, including 17 goals.
Wensley played two seasons with the IceHogs, amassing 58 points in 81 games. The skilled centerman also had one of the most effective shootout moves in IceHogs history, ranking fourth in team history with nine shootout goals.
Tickets for the IceHogs Alumni Game presented by Dental Dimensions on Saturday, Nov. 12 are now on sale. Fans can gain admittance into both the Alumni and IceHogs game. For tickets, call (815) 968-5222, on-line at icehogs.com or at the BMO Harris Bank Box Office.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Oct. 8 vs. Grand Rapids. The IceHogs open the 2011-12 season against the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:05 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Every fan in attendance will get an IceHogs 2011-12 magnet schedule. For tickets call (815) 968-5222 or visit icehogs.com.