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By: Chris Etheridge
Photo by Greg Hamil
04/03/2010 7:15 PM - Rockford, Ill.- In their final regular season home game on Saturday, the Rockford IceHogs presented their annual team awards.  Overall, eight awards were given to members of the 2009-10 IceHogs club.
One of Rockford’s alternate captains, Mark Cullen was named the club’s Most Valuable Player.  After play on Saturday, the Virginia, Minnesota native led all IceHogs in points per game with .83 and was tied for the team lead in points with 48 (17g-31a). In 59 games this season, the eight-year pro has just 16 penalty minutes.

Richard Petiot was named the IceHogs’ Best Defenseman for 2009-10.  The fifth-year blueliner is on pace to match the IceHogs AHL record in plus/minus with a +18.  The Daysland, Alberta native is also having a career year offensively with seven goals and 28 assists, 17 more than his previous career high for a season.  Petiot is also one of two players on the team who has yet to miss a game this season.

First-year defenseman Brian Connelly was given the team’s Rookie of the Year.  The Colorado College product has matched the team record for points by a rookie in the AHL era with 34 (4g-30a).  With 28 penalty minutes, the Bloomington, Minn. native has the second fewest PIMs per game of any regular skater.

In addition to being named the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year for the IceHogs in March, Center Bracken Kearns was awarded with Rockford’s Unsung Hero Award.  In his first season with the IceHogs, Kearns has centered one of Rockford’s most productive lines while also putting in significant time during the penalty kill.  The Vancouver native shares the team lead in points with 48 (15g-33a), 22 more than his previous season high.  The fifth-year pro is also one of two players who has yet to miss a game for Rockford this season.

Newcomer David Phillips was named Most Improved. After skating in Great Britain for his first six professional seasons, the Beverley, England native made the jump across the Atlantic Ocean for his first season in North America.  In 49 games with the IceHogs this season, Phillips is second on the team with a +13 and has recorded six assists.  He also had a goal and an assist in six games with the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) in 2009-10.

Winger Danny Bois was recognized as Rockford’s Heavy Hitter.  The Thunder Bay, Ontario native has provided a physical presence for the IceHogs in his sixth professional season.  Bois has recorded 156 penalty minutes in his first season with the IceHogs while posting 10 goals and 12 assists.

Kearns was presented with a crystal plaque from the AHL to recognize his Man of the Year award and all others were recognized with a plaque during a pregame ceremony.

Playoff Tickets: Tickets for the first two possible home Calder Cup Playoff games for the Rockford IceHogs are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased at the MetroCentre Box Office, or by calling (815) 968-5222.

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