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Photo by Greg Hamil
02/12/2009 10:42 AM

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Goaltender earns first career NHL recall

Rockford, Ill. – Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced on Thursday that Antti Niemi was recalled to the National Hockey League club.  Goalie Joe Fallon was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League from the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL).

For Niemi, the recall to the NHL is the first of his career.  The Vantaa, Finland native is playing his first season of professional hockey in North America.  The 25-year-old puck stopper has played in 29 games for the IceHogs posting a record of 13-12-2 with two shutouts.  Niemi has a save percentage of .910 while allowing only 2.47 goals a game with Rockford.

Fallon is entering his third stint with Rockford.  The rookie goaltender was reassigned from the Fresno Falcons of the ECHL from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8.  He was later recalled to Rockford when Fresno ceased operations on Dec. 23 and was assigned to Gwinnett on Dec. 27.

The 2009 ECHL All-Star has played in 23 games this season with both Fresno and Gwinnett earning a record of 13-8-1 with one shutout.  The Bemidji, Minn. netminder has allowed 2.77 goals per game and has a save percentage of .911.  Fallon made his AHL debut with the IceHogs on Dec. 6 at Chicago when he turned away nine of 10 shots on goal for the IceHogs in relief of Niemi.

Next Home Game:  Friday, Feb. 13 vs. Peoria Rivermen. Rockford returns home at 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs come home after a 19 day hiatus to take on the Rivermen. The first 1,500 kids to the game 14-and-under will receive an IceHogs Youth Jersey courtesy of Feldco Windows and Doors, FOX 39 and 104.9 FM, WXRX.