The IceHogs closed out the 2011-2012 season this past Saturday night in Rockford, managing to hold onto last place in the AHL’s Midwest Division with 79 points. The game itself was a hard fought battle between the Hogs and the Charlotte Checkers. The final score was 4-3, Checkers. Throughout the game, the club gave out prizes to the crowd during their annual Fan Appreciation night. After the game, the players awarded their game worn jerseys to a handful of lucky fans.
Saturday’s game also marked the Professional Debut of Blackhawks’ prospect goalie, Kent Simpson. Simpson joined the team back at the beginning of April, after the season ended for his former team WHL’s the Everett Silvertips. He actually looked quite good in net, turning away 38 out of 41 SOG during regulation play. During the shootout, the Checkers appeared to solve him quickly, scoring on 3 out of 4 shots. Simpson was a 2nd round pick for the Blackhawks during the 2010 NHL Draft.
Year end Club Player Awards were also announce during the opening ceremonies. It was no surprise when it was announced that netminder, Carter Hutton took home the team’s MVP award for the season. He set a team record with a 2.35 GAA in a single season. Peter LeBlanc was named the team’s Unsung Hero, tying with Brandon Pirri as leading scorers with 23 goals each. Pirri was named the team’s Leading Scorer. Joe Lavin was honored with being the Rookie of the Year for the IceHogs. Hardest Hitter went to Phillipe Paradis and Ryan Stanton was named Top Defenseman. Last week the IceHogs had announced that Ben Smith had won the club’s Man of the Year award for his generous community work this season.
The Blackhawks announced yesterday the recall of 5 IceHogs players to Chicago, commonly referred to as Black Aces. Recalled were Carter Hutton (G), Ryan Stanton (D), Joe Lavin (D), Jeremy Morin (F) and Brandon Pirri (F). The Blackhawks also recalled Brandon Saad (F) from the OHL. Saad was a 2011 2nd round draft pick for the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks play game 3 in the quarter final playoff rounds against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight on home ice.