01/04/2008 10:44 AM - Former Hogs Barker, Versteeg score in Phoenix on Thursday
Rockford, Ill.- Chicago’s farm system in Rockford is really starting the bear fruit.
Seven former Rockford IceHogs skated for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in the 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. They were Dustin Byfuglein, Danny Richmond, Jake Dowell, Jack Skille, Petri Kontiola, Cam Barker and Kris Versteeg.
That is the highest number of former Hogs to play for the Blackhawks so far in a season that has seen 11 players called up 15 times. A 12th skater, Magnus Johansson, was assigned to Rockford earlier this season but was recalled before playing one game.
It was also a night of firsts for two players. Barker scored his first NHL goal of the season at 11:31 in the third period with an assist from Versteeg, his first career helper with the big club.
Barker, who was the Blackhawks’ first-round pick and third overall in 2004, was playing in his fifth NHL game in '07-08 after making his debut Dec. 22 against Ottawa.
But not to be outdone, Versteeg followed with his first career NHL goal at 18:33 in the third.
The winger was called up Wednesday for his second stint with the Hawks. He was playing in his fourth NHL game.
Dave Bolland and Dowell also scored their first NHL goals with the Blackhawks this season. Bolland’s came against Florida on Dec. 16 and Dowell recorded his in his first NHL game against Calgary on Nov. 22. Bolland is currently with the Blackhawks, but is on the Injured Reserve.