Better late than never, right? I didn’t take any pictures. Maybe one of these days I’ll shoot a game from start to finish, but I’m terrible at writing and photographing, so here are my written observations.
- Official gamesheet is here
- The curse of the black jerseys continued. I’m kind of scared to do a statistical analysis of those things. They are so slick looking, but they make for a lot of losses in my eyes!
- All of my fears of this game came true. The IceHogs are abysmal at home, but strong on the road. They are a team that plays a consistent 60 minutes of hockey, whereas the Checkers have forgotten a couple of periods throughout the course of the season.
- I tweeted during the second period that the Checkers had 30 shots-on-goal, versus the IceHogs 9. I also shared a disturbing fact, that the IceHogs were 4-1 (now 5-1) when outshot by their opponents. The Checkers only had four more shots in the second period (after I noticed the SOG numbers) and a total of eight in the third. If the Checkers had anywhere close to the 21 SOG from the first period, we may have had a different outcome, but Rockford is a team that knows how to play a full three periods of hockey!
- The Checkers impressed me so much during this game (until the unfortunate ending!) They were taking the puck in deep, and getting a lot of rebounds. Both goals were the result of the home team going to the net, and taking rebounds. Not just getting them, but proactively going after them. It was a great thing to see.
- I actually missed Jared Staal, and was disappointed that he was scratched for the game. That kid has really been on a hot streak lately, and an asset to the team. I’d rather see him playing than sitting in the press box!
- I realize I’m just an armchair analyst. I’ve never played the sport, and I didn’t grow up watching hockey as more than a casual observer. But the things I worried about in yesterday’s pregame notes (such as special teams, the IceHogs road winning abilities, and even the SOG statistic) all came true, and not in a good way. It’s kind of nice though (in a pat myself on the back kind of way) that my observations are actually accurate at times. I honestly don’t take myself that seriously most of the time!
- Not having Bobby Sanguinetti OR Justin Faulk on the power play was pretty devastating. The Checkers need more defensemen that can step up and into this role. Matthieu Roy played on the PP and the PK, neither of which was effective. Both of Rockford’s goals were scored with Roy on the ice.
- Michal Jordan was the best defenseman for the Checkers. Not because he had a goal and an assist, but all of the other things he was doing. Getting physical, making plays, and getting rebounds.
- Matt Pistilli, though he didn’t score a point, was a beast. He had a couple of near misses, and was so physical and aggressive. He’s consistently been a player to watch this season time and time again.
- I can’t remember feeling more devastated in recent months than the sight of Justin Peters STOPPING the puck in the shootout, and then, almost as if he forgot where he was, or was distracted by the cheerleaders in the stands, just relaxed a moment too soon, and let that puck trickle past him and over the goal line. It was as if it was in slow motion. The thousands in the stands, on their feet, let out this collective groan, SHOCKED at what had happened.
- I met an IceHogs fan in the stands. On the left shoulder patch of their jerseys is a pig butt. Isn’t there a better looking side of the pig than the butt? Just curious…
Other news and notes:
- Expect a forward to be recalled from Charlotte to the Hurricanes today. According to Michael Smith, Patrick Dwyer is a game-time decision for tomorrow. The list of potential candidates is long, from Zac Dalpe to Drayson Bowman, to Brett Sutter, to Jerome Samson. The Checkers currently have 13 forwards on their active roster.
- The Checkers are tied for first in the Midwest division with the Peoria Rivermen. Both teams have identical records (9-6-1-1) with 20 points each. Milwaukee, who is four games back with only 13 played this season, has 17 points.