On the same day the NHL announced the cancelation of the the Winter Classic, the Ice Hogs hosted the Chicago Wolves, which meant Chicago area fans were able to take advantage and see some of the baby Hawks play on TV. Good for us, but bad for the Hogs.
The Ice Hogs showed they truly are the baby Blackhawks, by starting off VERY slow. Evn though they outshot the Wolves 15-10, they were down 2-1 going into the first intermission after some very lackadaisical defense. The second period was just more of the same for the Hogs. Three goals on a total of 10 shots still left the Hogs down by 2 goals with 20 minutes to go in the game. There was no big third period comeback in their one. Even though they were able to put 11 shots on net, the Hogs were outscored 2-1 for a third straight period, and sent the Wolves away with a 6-3 win.
- I know there were issues with Bill Sweatt and the Hawks organization, but damn it would be nice to have him wearing a Hogs Jersey. The guy is SO fast that he looks like Stalberg. He turned Brett Lebda around like a top, late in the first.
- Just when you think Kyle Beach was a useless sack of skin and bones, he snaps off a laser of a wrist shot to tie the game at 1-1. Flick picked up the faceoff and chipped it over to Paradis. Paradis dropped it back to Beach, who was camping out high in the slot. Beach didn't exactly break and speed records getting the shot off, but he beat Lack to the stick side with an accurate shot. It's about time Beach did something constructive.
- The powerplay unit of Kruger, St. Pierre, Smith, Lavin and Pirri brought the Hogs back within two goals, late in the second period. Lucky Pierre and Smith worked a little game of catch until Kruger was able to create a little room for himself. St. Pierre hit Kruger for a one timer that was blocked by Smith, but the puck squirted out to Pirri. Pirri just turned and fired it into the net past Lack.
- Somehow the Hogs centers dominated in faceoffs. I say somehow because they have been so bad lately that Chris Block has reported that Kruger, and Pirri weren't even lining up for their own faceoffs.
- Kyle Beach snapped off another wrist shot that found it's way through Lack for his second goal of the night, with 4 minutes to go in the game. The goal brought the Hogs within 2 goals, but that's all they could muster up.
- A Joe Lavin miscue a the Wolves blue line led to a couple of great Wolves chances and eventually the puck in the back of the Wolves net. Lavin tried to make a rush all by himself, had his chip pass blocked, and then dropped his stick. From then on out it was time for the Shanghai Scramble. Eventually, a pass was slickly slid under Lavin and to a streaking Andrew Gordon, who beat Hutton for a 1-0 Wolves lead.
- Lavin's bad first period didn't stop with the goal. He was repeatedly caught out of position and gave the Wolves scoring chances.
- Jeremy Morin really has some snarl to his game. He took quite a few exceptions to some chippiness, which will land him in te ox more than Quenneville would like
- The Hogs powerplay breakout looks exactly like the anemic Hawks powerplay. Four players skate to the blur line and drop it to the trailer, who then has to try and maneuver through 8 players. It doesn't take a scientist to put the brakes on that one.
- Beach's hug-a-thon with Kevin Connauton was a snorefest. Probably the easiest 5 minutes either of those guys ever earned.
- Two goals on 4 shots in the second frame was just unacceptable.
- The Hogs got caught about halfway through the third with a forward (Pirri) covering on defense, and the Wolves took full advantage. Chris Tanev was the lucky recipient of what turned out to be a 2-on-0, and Richard had no chance.
- Hawks for a second Andrew Ebbet was left completely uncovered with just over 2 minutes to go in the game, and he put the little piggies to bed.
- Brett Sterling raced up the middle of the ice on a late first period powerplay and through 4 Hogs players. When all was said and done the Hogs were all staring each other in the face with mouths agape. Sidney Crosby shouldn't walk through 4 players, much less Brett Fucking Sterling. Of course Joe Lavin was the last player to get his hands on Sterling before the puck went in the net. Brutal.
- The Wolves Jordan Schroeder and Tim Miller completely clowned the Hogs shorthanded unit, that was killing a Bollig delay of game penalty early in the second. Miller squirted past Clendening who completely whiffed on a half ass hit attempt, and then slid a pass through Olsens legs to a wide open Schroeder. Schroeder was able to snap of a shot and beat Hutton stick side for a 3-1 Wolves lead.
- Another stupid Brandon Bollig penalty led to a Wolves powerplay and eventually a Bill Sweatt powerplay goal. Peter Andersson was left wide open in the slot, and Jordan Schroeder hit him on the tape with a nice pass. Andersson's shot was stopped by Hutton, but Lavin couldn't tie up Sweatt, who just swept it in the net. That was the end of the nights action for poor Carter Hutton. In came the next sacrificial lamb, Alec Richard.
- The needless penalties are just mind numbing with this team.
- The Hogs goalies were not on their game for this tilt. Six goals on 25 shots won't get you a win in many leagues.
Ben Smith-Brandon Pirri-Jeremy Morin
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Andrew Shaw
Peter Leblanc-Martin St.Pierre-Jimmy Hayes
Philippe Paradis-Rob Flick-Kyle Beach
Klas Dahlbeck-Ryan Stanton
Adam Clendening-Dylan Olsen
Brett Lebda-Joe Lavin