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By: Nate Haeni
Photo courtesy of Ben Hall
Rockford concludes seven game road trip in Week 23

Week 22 Recap

After a rocky start for Rockford in Week 22, the IceHogs battled back in Cleveland to earn three points over the weekend. Through four games on a season-long seven game road trip, the IceHogs are 2-1-1-0. The Hogs will continue the road swing with three games away from Rockford before returning Sunday for the 12th Annual Jersey Auction game against Chicago.

Week 22 Results
Wednesday, Mar. 2: Rockford 1 at Houston 8
Friday, Mar. 4: Rockford 2 at Lake Erie 3 OT
Saturday, Mar. 5: Rockford 3 at Lake Erie 2

Week 23 Schedule
Tuesday, Mar. 8 at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Mar. 9 at Hamilton, 6 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 11 at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 13 vs. Chicago, 4:05 p.m.

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

Hot Hog: Week 22
Hannu Toivonen Goaltender

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.

Upcoming Games:
Tuesday, Mar. 8 at Toronto: The puck drops at 6 p.m. The IceHogs travel to the Ricoh Coliseum for the only time in 2010-11 to finish their two game series against the Marlies. Toronto bested the Hogs at the MetroCentre on Janurary 7.

Wednesday, Mar. 9 at Hamilton: Game starts at 6 p.m. Rockford visits the Copps Coliseum also for the first time in 2010-11 to take on the Bulldogs for the first of two total match-ups between the two clubs this season. Hamilton will travel to Rockford to conclude the pair of games between the two clubs on March 25.

Friday, Mar. 11 at Milwaukee: The puck gets on the ice at 7 p.m. Rockford concludes their franchise long 13-day road stretch in Milwaukee when they take on the Admirals. The IceHogs are 3-3-1-1 against the Ads this season and will square off one final time at the MetroCentre on March 26.

Sunday, Mar. 13 vs. Chicago: Game is slated for 4:05 p.m. The Hogs return home after a season-long seven-game road trip to host Chicago. It’s the IceHogs 12th Annual Jersey Auction game. The Hogs will be wearing special jerseys commemorating first responders. After the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off to fans. Also, the first 2,500 fans to the game will receive a Jersey Auction T-Shirt compliments of WXRX.

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