ROCKFORD SETS 2009-10 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

By: Chris Etheridge
10/01/2009 1:28 PM - Rockford, Ill.- Chicago Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard announced on Thursday that the Rockford IceHogs, members of the American Hockey League, have set their opening night roster.

The IceHogs open the regular season on Sunday against the Peoria Rivermen at Carver Arena.  The broadcast gets underway at 2:30 p.m. on 1330 WNTA and ESPN 1380 AM.  Rockford’s first home game is Oct. 16 against the Chicago Wolves.  The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

The IceHogs opening roster stands at 27, including 18 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.  A total of 14 players have previously worn an IceHogs uniform, including 13 in 2008-09.  Eight players have previous National Hockey League experience, including three in 2008-09.  Five are entering their first full professional season.

Also on Thursday, three players were also assigned to Toledo (ECHL).  They were defensemen Joe Charlebois and J.C Sawyer as well as forward Justin Hodgman.  After being invited to the IceHogs Training Camp, Rockford signed Center Matt Keith and Left Wing Ryan Flinn to Professional Try-Out Agreements.

Keith, 26, joins the IceHogs after a year with Ingolstadt ERC of the German Elite League.  He was picked #59 overall (round 2) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.  In six professional seasons, the Edmonton, Alberta native has skated in 27 NHL games including 24 with the Blackhawks.  He has 357 games of AHL experience (82g-97a-179pts) between the Norfolk Admirals, Portland Pirates and Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Flinn, 29, was selected #143 overall (round 5) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.  He has appeared in 31 NHL games, the second most of any active member on the IceHogs roster. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native skated in 52 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2008-09, notching two goals, two assists and 122 penalty minutes.  In 297 career AHL games, Flinn has racked up 30 points (13g-17a) and 945 PIMs.

The Rockford IceHogs Opening Day Roster:

Forwards (18): Akim Aliu, Bryan Bickell, Dan Bertram, Danny Bois, Evan Brophey, Mark Cullen, Nathan Davis, Jake Dowell, Bryan Ewing, Ryan Flinn, Adam Hobson, Bracken Kearns, Matt Keith, Rob Klinkhammer, Pete MacArthur, Derek Nesbitt, Jack Skille and Maxime Tanguay.

Defensemen (7): Daryl Boyle, Mike Brennan, Jonathan Carlsson, Brian Connelly, Simon Danis-Pepin, Richard Petiot and Dave Phillips.

Goaltenders (2): Joe Fallon and Alec Richards.

Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. Chicago Wolves. Game time is 7:05 p.m. After five-straight road tilts to open the 2009-10 regular season the IceHogs return home to face the Wolves.  The first 5,000 fans to the game will pick up an IceHogs wall calendar from Maverick Media and 23 WIFR.



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