Rockford IceHogs | Blackhawks Prospects Fall 7-4 in Final Showcase…
Official site of the Rockford IceHogs
Proud Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Prospects Fall 7-4 in Final Showcase Game

CAD11036 A

St. Paul, Minn. – The Chicago Blackhawks prospects fell to the Minnesota Wild prospects 7-4 at TRIA Rink in Chicago’s second game of the 2023 Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase. Nick Lardis, Ryder Rolston, and Martin Misiak all recorded goals for the Blackhawks.

The Chicago prospects opened the scoring on Sunday afternoon just 81 seconds into the first period when Colton Dach sent a pass through the neutral zone to Nick Lardis. Skating in from the blue line, Lardis snapped a shot off the post and into the net for a 1-0 lead. Lardis, a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft by Chicago, posted 37 goals in 2022-23 with the Peterborough Petes and Hamilton Bulldogs in the Ontario Hockey League.

The Wild prospects evened the score at 5:58 in the opening act when Dameon Hunt sent a diagonal pass to Sammy Walker at the right circle. Walker’s initial attempt was stopped by Chicago goaltender Mitchell Weeks, but Minnesota’s second effort found the back of the net. Walker’s 27 goals led the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League last season.

The Blackhawks reclaimed a 2-1 lead minutes later following a dominant display of skating by former first-round pick Kevin Korchinski. The defenseman wheeled around the Minnesota zone and found an open Ryder Rolston at the right circle. After collecting the puck, Rolston placed a shot just inside the near post to beat Wild goaltender Harrison Meneghin at the 8:35 mark.

Chicago generated more offense from the blue line at the 10:47 timestamp in the first period when 2021 first-round selection Nolan Allan deked his way to the side of the net and fed the puck into the low slot. Dach and Lardis both occupied the front of the net for the Blackhawks, and it was Lardis who knocked home his second of the game to extend Chicago’s lead to 3-1.

The start of the second period belonged to Minnesota, and the Wild pushed back with three consecutive scores to take a 4-3 lead. Shortly after the Wild killed off a Blackhawks power play, Minnesota’s Hunter Haight zipped a pass through the Chicago zone to Walker who buried his second goal of the game. Walker was able to shake the defensive coverage on the right side of the zone and cut the Blackhawks’ lead to 3-2 with an accurate snapshot at 5:17.

At 10:38 in the second, Minnesota tied the game at 3-3 on a shorthanded goal from Casey Dornbach after a loose puck caromed down to the Chicago end. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Minnesota grabbed their first lead of the game when Maxim Cajkovic capitalized on a delayed penalty against Chicago by tipping Dornbach’s shot into the net at 14:04 in the second. The Wild worked the puck around the offensive zone with a 6-on-5 advantage before Dornbach found open space on the left circle.

Martin Misiak answered the bell for Chicago late in the second frame and tipped in a Korchinski shot to tie the game at 4-4. Ethan Del Mastro kept the play alive for the Blackhawks and shuttled the puck to Korchinski at the right point. Parked in front of the Minnesota net, Misiak tipped the high wrist shot down past the pads of Wild goaltender Chase Coward at 18:24.

Tied entering the third, the Wild pulled away with a trio of scores in the final frame of the showcase. After Connor Bedard recorded a hat trick on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues prospects, Walker picked up a hat trick of his own for Minnesota with his third goal of the game at 4:28 in the third. Minnesota tacked on an insurance goal for a 6-4 advantage at 17:06 in the third when defenseman Kyle Masters fired a shot from the point that pinballed off a Chicago defender and into the net. With just over a minute left in regulation, Rasmus Kumpulainen scored an empty-netter to seal Minnesota’s 7-4 win.

Training camp for the Blackhawks begins Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Fifth Third Arena.