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On To Toronto

01/31/2009 10:53 AM - Mike Peck

Our third full day of the seven day road trip began pretty early.  As expected, we got a 3:30 a.m. wake up call so we could be at the airport in time to catch a 6 a.m. flight. Besides some sleepy eyes, all went well with the trip to Toronto.

We couldn’t check into the hotel right away because we got there before checkout for the current guests.  We are staying in the hotel inside the Rogers Centre, or the building formerly known as the Sky Dome which is pretty cool.  We had a team lunch while waiting for the rooms to become available and the room we had the lunch in overlooked the field.

There is a 24-hour softball tournament going on (three diamonds on the floor of the arena) and it was pretty amusing hearing hockey players commentating on the softball going on below.

Today’s game could be interesting to say the least. Andrew Archer is definitely out with a shoulder injury sustained in a scrum on Friday night so J.C. Sawyer was recalled from Gwinnett. It’ll help getting Jack Skille back in the line-up as he’ll have some fresh legs and Corey Crawford will go in net. 

But overall, the game will be a huge challenge for the IceHogs being the third game in three nights and with the early morning travel schedule.   I know I’m exhausted and I didn’t skate a shift over the past two days!

Quick thoughts on last night’s game in Manitoba.  I thought the team played a very solid road game against the Western Conference’s top team. I am pleasantly surprised with the way Tim Brent has been able to jump right back into the mix and last night he was a difference maker and not just because he scored a pair of goals.

It was also interesting reading the Winnipeg newspapers over the past two days.  One writer describe the IceHogs as playing an “uncharacteristically” clean game after “gooning it up” last season.  Same paper, different writer, really threw winger Fabian Brunnstrom under the bus in today’s paper.  Brunnstrom, who is on loan to Manitoba on a conditioning assignment from the Dallas Stars, had the flu and didn’t play yesterday. This particular writer said “he pulled the shoot on the team” and that “he wouldn’t be missed” when his expected recall were to come today.  Give a guy a break.

My resources tell me that the press in Manitoba is very critical and I guess these are two perfect examples of that.

I’m not sure anyone really thought that the club would sweep the pair in Manitoba so it’s been a great start to the road trip.  Hopefully the team comes out today strong because Toronto, as they displayed in Rockford a couple weeks back, can really skate.


 

Pregame notes from 01/31/09

01/31/2009 10:39 AM - Chris Etheridge
Success Against Toronto: Today’s game is Rockford’s fourth all-time against the Marlies and so far Rockford is a perfect 3-0-0-0 against the North Division foe. Rockford defeated Toronto 1-0 in their only other meeting this season on Jan. 10 at the MetroCentre.
 
Ontario Homecoming: Three players on Rockford’s roster will be returning to their home provence today. Bryan Bickell (from Orono but is out with a thumb injury), Tim Brent (Cambridge) and Evan Brophey (Kitchener) all hail from Ontario. Assistant Coach Ted Dent is also from Toronto. The provence, however, with the most IceHogs players is Alberta as Rockford currently has four players from there on the roster.
 
Quick Strike IceHogs: One week after allowing the quickest goal to start a game in franchise history, the IceHogs countered last night with its quickest goal to start a game in its AHL era. Just 20 seconds into last night’s 4-1 win Tim Brent deflected a Petri Kontiola shot past Cory Schneider. Rockford’s all-time mark for quickest goal came from Derek Landmesser in the Hogs UHL era when he tallied a goal just six seconds into Rockford’s game on 2/6/00 at Madison.
 
Take That Former Mates: Both Jimmy Sharrow (assist) and Danny Groulx (goal) tallied points last night against their former team in Manitoba. Groulx now has a career high 29 points this season with Rockford after signing on as a free agent over the summer. Sharrow was dealt to the Blackhawks in December from the Vancouver organization.