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11 former Hogs play in Blackhawks finale
Rockford, Ill.- With the top spot in the National Hockey League locked up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks suited up and played seven regulars from the Rockford IceHogs lineup on Saturday in St. Louis against the Blues.
Three of those players made their NHL debuts, including goalie Carter Hutton along with defensemen Shawn Lalonde and Ryan Stanton. Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin and Ben Smith also played in Chicago’s regular season finale.
Overall, there were 10 skaters in the Blackhawks lineup that played with the IceHogs this season as Brandon Bollig, Nick Leddy and Andrew Shaw were all in Rockford before the conclusion of the NHL lockout in January. Including Corey Crawford and Bryan Bickell, 12 of the 20 players who suited up for the Blackhawks were former IceHogs.
Smith, who scored eight goals in his final four IceHogs games, notched a goal on Saturday, assisted by Morin and Hayes. The game marked Smith’s season debut. Hutton made 25 saves in his first NHL game in the Blackhawks 3-1 loss.
With Hutton, Lalonde and Stanton making their NHL debuts with Chicago, there has now been 43 IceHogs players play in the NHL with the Blackhawks since the organization became affiliated with Chicago in 2007-08.