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CARTER HUTTON NAMED ROCKFORD’S TEAM MVP

By: Mike Peck
Rockford, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs, proud members of the American Hockey League and affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, announced their 2011-12 team awards before their regular season finale on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Goalie Carter Hutton was named the IceHogs Most Valuable Player. In his first season with Rockford and second overall at the professional level, Hutton compiled a record of 22-13-4 with a 2.35 goals against average and .917 save percentage. The Thunder Bay, Ontario’s 2.35 GAA is an IceHogs AHL single season record while his .917 SPCT matches the modern era mark.

From Feb. 24 to April 10, Hutton started 20 of 21 games for Rockford, going 12-5-2 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. Hutton was named the AHL’s Player of the Week award twice this season, becoming the first IceHogs skater to accomplish that feat.

After beginning the season with the IceHogs’ ECHL affiliate Toledo Walleye, Hutton was recalled to Rockford on Dec 3. and never returned to the ECHL. From Dec. 3 to April 10, Hutton appeared in 43 of Rockford’s 54 contests. Excluding his first two starts and final three starts of the season with Rockford, which all resulted in losses, Hutton went 22-8-4.

Brandon Pirri was given the team’s Leading Scorer award as the second-year center paces Rockford with 55 points, including 23 goals and 32 assists. Pirri also leads the team in multi-point games, shots, plus/minus and power play points.

Ryan Stanton garnered the team’s Top Defenseman award. The steady blueliner was the only IceHogs player to appear in every game in 2011-12.  Stanton is the current active team-leader with 128 penalty minutes and has totaled 3g-13a-16pts in his second pro season.

Another defenseman picked up an IceHogs honor as Joe Lavin was named the IceHogs Rookie of the Year. The first-year d-man totaled 3g-14a-17pts during his first pro season. The University of Notre Dame alumnus helped anchor down a young IceHogs blueline that featured three rookies, two second year skaters and one veteran down the stretch.

Peter LeBlanc was awarded with Rockford’s Unsung Hero award. Also in his second season, LeBlanc nearly doubled his goal production from his rookie season as he is tied with Pirri for the team lead in tallies with 23, up from 12 from a season ago. The Hamilton, Ont. native topped his rookie totals in assists (20) and points (43) as well, ranking second on the IceHogs in overall scoring.

Rookie winger Philippe Paradis was named the IceHogs Heavy Hitter for 2011-12. The 6-2, 212-pound winger has been a consistent physical presence during his first full professional season. Paradis has 5g-11a-16pts with 39 PIMs during his rookie campaign.

Recognized by the AHL last week, winger Ben Smith was saluted as Rockford’s Man of the Year as well on Saturday. Smith was given the award for his leadership and commitment to the Rockford community.

Thank You IceHogs Fans!
The Rockford IceHogs thank all of their fans for another memorable season of hockey in the Forest City. Season ticket packages for the IceHogs 14th season of professional hockey in Rockford, including sixth as the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, are now on sale. Call (815) 847-6399 to reserve your seats or for more information visit icehogs.com.





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