The Chicago Blackhawks AHL franchise, the Rockford IceHogs, capped off a weekend of shootouts with a bang Sunday in Milwaukee. A mid-game brawl that saw the benches empty, resulted in 10 ejections and 142 penalty minutes.
Rockford led the game 1-0 in the second period when Rockford's Shawn Lalonde and the Admirals' Michael Latta dropped the gloves. In the media timeout immediately following the altercation, IceHogs center Rob Flick made his way to the Milwaukee crease, where he started fisticuffs with goalie Jeremy Smith.
At that point, it was on in a big way as the benches emptied. IceHogs starting goaltender Carter Hutton entered the fray, as did Lalonde and Latta from the penalty boxes. When the smoke had cleared, the teams were sent to the dressing rooms, the ice resurfaced and some of the players came back to finish the game.
Not included in that group were Flick, Lalonde, Hutton, Ryan Stanton and Rockford head coach Ted Dent. Latta and Smith were ejected on the Admirals' side along with Jeff Foss, Zack Stortini and coach Ian Herbers.
To answer the question that must be on your minds...no, I don't have video of this donnybrook. The Lalonde/Latta bout that preceded it can be found here and you can see the aftermath of the brawl in this fan video that shows a bit of the arena replay of Flick going at Smith. If you get the archived game from the AHL's website, you can see a bit more of the action.
By The Way, They Eventually Finished The Game
After an extra intermission, two shortened benches came out and finished what was a key contest for the IceHogs, who were battling to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
With Alexander Salak (who wouldn't have gotten into this or any of Rockford's final games in any other way) in net, Rockford gave up a late third period goal that tied the contest, but won 2-1 in a shootout.
Rockford grabbed points in all three weekend contests, winning a dramatic shootout Friday with Peoria and dropping a shootout to San Antonio Saturday. Both came at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Rockford did pick up five of six points on the weekend. The trouble is that they needed three regulation wins.
Rockford is just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Western Conference with 76, though there are seven teams that now have between 76 and 79 points. Regulation wins in Lake Erie in a pair of games this weekend is a must if they hope to get to the postseason.
I'll be back with more Rockford news with less gloves on the ice in a few days.