Kukla's Korner

Talk'n Hawks

The Hawks (DVR….failed to record)

Last season I watched every minute, of every preseason, regular season, and playoff game except for one. I went to the Rockford Ice Hogs game, and due to a power failure in my neighborhood, missed that event. On Sunday, my son and I attended the Ice Hogs game (vs. the Charlotte Checkers, Carolina’s affiliate) and I guess for old times sake, history repeated itself. This time however, there is no explanation. Oh well, whattaya gonna do? More on the Hogs in a minute.

Looking up the recap of the Hawks game, it was a pretty good one to miss. The Canucks beat the Hawks at the United Center 6-2. Vancouver converted five of six power plays, enough said. The Hawks had been hanging around the 90+% rate in the P.K. for the last couple of weeks up until then. Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger scored the Hawks 2 goals.Chicago, conversely, went 0 for 5 on it’s Power Play, a new team record. This has been a major problem all of this early season, and can no longer be overlooked! As a side note, Duncan Keith missed his third straight game (hand injury - day to day). It was also the first time this season that the Hawks failed to pick up at least a point at home.

Now, on to Rockford, The Ice Hogs fell 4-2 in their contest. The Checkers scored 3 goals in the first period against Hawks prospect (and back up goalie until Ray Emery emerged) which proved to be all that they needed. Jared Staal, Michal Jordan (pronounced just like Michael Jordan with a French accent, which cracked me up every time I heard his name) and Jerome Samson all scored for the Checkers. The second goal was seconds after a Charlotte Power play, while the 3rd was during one. The bad news is we saw all 3 goals close up from our seats on the glass. (I’m telling you, for $25 a ticket, face value, this is the way to go).

In the second period. big Jimmy Hayes got his first goal of the season to make it 3-1. That’s the way it stood until less than a minute left to go in the period (this always makes me nuts) Samson scored again to make it 4-1.

In the third, Brandon Pirri, made it interesting with a goal, but that was it. Pulling Salak with 1 1/2 minutes left, the Hogs failed to score.The Ice Hogs failed to convert on all four of their power play chances (sound familiar) and Charlotte scored twice on two of their SEVEN P.P. attempts. Mike Murphy was the Checkers winning goalie.

After the game was the first “Skate with the Hogs” activity this season. It NEVER ceases to amaze me how cool hockey players are. Here, after a tough loss, the players came out, signed EVERYTHING that was put in front of them. They all skated around and talked to everyone. I got to talk to Ben Smith, who is feeling fine. It’s only a matter of time (or injury, my words - not his) until he’s back with Chicago. My son, who skated until the final buzzer, had a great time as well as myself. The Hogs do this on Sundays from time to time. It is well worth checking out if you’re a fan!!!

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