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The Rockford Rewind: IceHogs begin season-long road trip

by Nate Haeni / Chicago Blackhawks

Wed., Mar. 2: Houston Aeros 8 vs. IceHogs 1:

- Brandon Bollig tallied his first career short-handed goal.
- Center Jeff Taffe saw his franchise record-tying and league season-long point streak end at 15 games.

Friday, Mar. 4: Lake Erie Monsters 3 vs. IceHogs 2 (OT):
- Defenseman Garnet Exelby notched his second goal of the season.
- Hannu Toivonen was tagged with a loss after stopping 33 of 36 attempts.

Sat., Mar. 5: Lake Erie Monsters 2 vs. IceHogs 3:
- Ben Smith tallied his second goal in as many games and now has 11 on the campaign.
- Evan Brophey notched his third game-winning goal of the season.
- Goaltender Hannu Toivonen picked up his 12th win of the season after turning away 36 shots.


Bacon Bits:
- Rockford is 2-1-1-0 through four games on a season-high seven-game road swing.
- Evan Brophey notched his third game-winning goal of the season on Saturday, matching Peter LeBlanc for the team lead.
- Brophey tied Jack Skille with 10 career game-winners, the most in Rockford’s AHL era.
- The IceHogs are 5-2-1-0 on the road against the North Division with three games remaining away from home against the North.
- After going 1-0-1-0 in Lake Erie over the weekend, Rockford is now 6-1-1-0 in eight all-time games at the Quicken Loans Arena.
- Brian Connelly is one point shy of tying Danny Groulx’s team AHL record for most points by a defenseman in a single season with 40.
- Hannu Toivonen is 2-0-1-0 over his last four appearances with a .936 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.
- Rockford set AHL franchise lows on Wednesday in their 8-1 loss at Houston for most lopsided loss (7) and most power-play goals allowed in a game (6).
- Defenseman Garnet Exelby has 2g-3a-5pts over his past seven games after posting 0g-5a-5pts in his previous 52 contests.
- Rob Klinkhammer has 5g-3a-8pts in his last six games and with his helper on Saturday in Lake Erie, he matched a single-season career high with 18 assists on the season.
- Klinkhammer’s recent point binge coincides with him getting matched up with Jeff Taffe.
- Ben Smith was put on the Taffe-Klinkhammer line over the weekend in Lake Erie and registered goals in both games.
- Taffe had his franchise record tying and AHL season best 15-game point streak come to an end on Wednesday in Houston.


Prospect Highlight:
Goaltender Hannu Toivonen got off to a good start in March in Rockford’s three contests during Week 22. The Finnish puckstopper turned away 80 of 86 shots faced. The 26-year old was handed a loss in overtime on Friday against Lake Erie after stopping 33 shots. The Hattula, Finland native came back the following night and earned his 12th win of the season blocking 36 Monsters’ chances to give Rockford a 3-2 win. Toivonen also stopped 11 of 12 attempts in relief in Rockford’s 8-1 loss at Houston on Wednesday. 

A Look Ahead To Week 23:
Tuesday, March 8 at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 at Hamilton, 6 p.m.
Friday, March 11 at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.

Catch The IceHogs In Action:
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