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The Rockford Rewind: IceHogs complete three-game weekend in Week 9

by Rockford IceHogs / Chicago Blackhawks
Winger Brandon Pirri (Photo courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs).

With a trio of divisional contests slated and an opportunity to pad their lead atop the Midwest Division during Week 9, the IceHogs instead dropped two out of three and slipped into second place. The Hogs will look to rebound in Week 10 in matchups with Milwaukee and Hamilton.

Week 9 Results

Friday, Dec. 7: Rockford 5 vs. Milwaukee 3
Saturday, Dec. 8: Rockford 1 vs. Chicago 2
Sunday, Dec. 9: Rockford 2 at Grand Rapids 4

Bacon Bits:

> Rockford had both their four-game winning streak and four-game road winning streak come to an end on back-to-back nights in Week 9, both streaks were season highs.

> Winger Ben Smith has points in 11 of his last 13 games, totaling 7g-10a-17pts during his hot stretch. Over his first seven games this season, Smith tallied three goals.

> Rockford’s power play is 16-53 (30.2 percent) over their past 11 games. Overall, Rockford’s power play ranks sixth in the AHL at 21.0 percent and the unit is tied for the league lead with 25 power-play goals.

> The IceHogs penalty kill has held their opponents to 2-27 (92.6 percent) on the power play over the team’s last six games. Rockford faced three 5-on-3 penalty kills over the weekend, killing all three off and running their 5-on-3 penalty kill to 13-13 on the season.

> Rockford had an eight-game streak come to an end on Saturday where the club scored four or more goals in each game.

> The IceHogs and Griffins combined for a season-high 132 penalty minutes on Sunday, including 77 by Grand Rapids, most by an IceHogs opponent this season.

> Center Martin St. Pierre has been even or plus in each of his last 10 games, totaling a plus/minus rating of +9 over that stretch. Before the 10-game positive stretch for St. Pierre, the Hogs team captain was a -4.

> The IceHogs have outscored their opponents 4-1 in the first period over their past four games. In the prior 16 games, Rockford was outscored 24-15 in the first frame.


Hot Hog: Week 9:
Winger Ben Smith continued his hot play in Week 9, accumulating four points (2g-2a) in three games for the IceHogs. On Friday night, Smith notched two power-play goals and added an assist in Rockford’s 5-3 come-from-behind win over Milwaukee. After getting held off the score sheet for just the second time in 12 games on Saturday, Smith added an assist on Sunday in Rockford’s 4-2 loss at Grand Rapids. Smith now leads Rockford with 10 goals and ranks second on the club with 20 points.

Upcoming Games:

Friday, Dec. 14 at Milwaukee Admirals: With a 7 p.m. puck drop in Milwaukee, the IceHogs and Admirals duke it out for the second of five December matchups.

Saturday, Dec. 15 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs: Game time is 7:05 p.m. Rockford and Hamilton meet for the first time this season. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs baseball hat courtesy of XFinitiy.

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