Two more wins for the Rockford IceHogs moved the team back into a share for first place in the AHL’s Midwest Division. Both of Rockford’s wins came against Midwest Division opponents at the BMO Harris Bank Center. The IceHogs close out 2012 on Monday in a first place showdown in Grand Rapids against the Griffins before embarking on the team’s annual trip to Ontario.
Week 12 Results:
Thursday, Dec. 27: Chicago 2 vs. Rockford 3
Saturday., Dec. 29: Milwaukee 1 vs. Rockford 4
> IceHogs goalie Carter Hutton is 4-1-0-0 over the last five games for Rockford with a .949 save percentage and a 1.60 goals against average. In his two previous starts before his five game hot stretch, Hutton allowed a combined nine goals. The Thunder Bay, Ont. native has started 12 of the last 13 games for Rockford and is 8-3-1-0 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.31 goals against average dating back to Nov. 28.
> Center Martin St. Pierre leads Rockford with 14 goals, 30 points, nine multi-point games and with a plus/minus rating of +13 through 32 games this season. St. Pierre has been even or plus in 17-straight games dating back to Nov. 18 and totaling a plus/minus rating of +17.
> Brandon Pirri's assist on Saturday gave him 122 career points with the IceHogs, moving him into third on Rockford's all-time point list. Pirri is four points behind Brian Connelly (126) for second on the all-time list and six back of Jack Skille (128).
> Winger Brandon Bollig matched his career high with his fourth goal of the season on Saturday.
> The IceHogs have won three-straight games, the team's fourth winning streak of at least three games this season. After starting the season 1-6-0-1 against Midwest Division opponents, Rockford is 6-3-1-0 over their past 10 divisional games.
> Rockford allowed their first 5-on-3 power play goal on Saturday in their 15th 5-on-3 shorthanded situation.
> The IceHogs have allowed just two third period goals over their past seven games.
> The IceHogs have racked up 20 or more shots on goal in a single period in each of the past two games.
For a second straight week, IceHogs goalie Carter Hutton turned in a solid slate of games. Hutton posted a pair of wins in Week 12 with a .947 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average. Hutton began the week with a 23-save performance in Rockford's 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves on Thursday. Then on Saturday, the Thunder Bay, Ont. native turned away 31 Milwaukee Admirals shots in a 4-1 Rockford win.
Monday, Dec. 31 at Grand Rapids Griffins: Puck drop is 5 p.m. Rockford visits Grand Rapids for a fourth and final time this season as they close out 2012 on the road in a battle for the top spot in the division. The Midwest Division rivals still have four more games slated for 2012-13, all at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.
Friday, Jan. 4 at Hamilton Bulldogs: The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. The IceHogs make their annual trek to Ontario to face the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum. The game is the second and final between the two teams this season as Hamilton took the first meeting in Rockford in December.
Saturday, Jan. 5 at Toronto Marlies: Game starts at 2 p.m. Rockford wraps up a quick swing through Ontario with their first matchup against the Toronto Marlies of the season at the Ricoh Coliseum. Saturday’s game will be broadast nationally in Canada on Sportsnet.