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Blackhawks Recall Niemi From Rockford

02/26/2009 11:51 AM

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The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled goaltender Antti Niemi (AN-tee, nee-YEH-mee) from the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

Niemi, 25, registered 22 saves on 23 shots in Rockford’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Peoria Rivermen last night. The Vantaa, Finland, native leads Rockford with a 2.41 goals-against average and two shutouts, and has notched a 13-12-3 record with a .911 save percentage in 30 games during his North American professional debut.

Niemi was signed by the Blackhawks as a free agent on May 5, 2008, after spending the previous three years in the Finnish Elite League with the Pelicans of SM-Liiga. Last season, he notched a 26-6-14 mark with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 49 appearances with the Pelicans. He recorded 56 wins (56-44-29) and a 2.71 goals-against average in three seasons of action in Finland’s top professional league.