The Chicago Blackhawks' AHL affiliate in Rockford has been rolling as of late, winning eight of their last 10 games. They are coming off of a weekend in which they came back to win a pair of thrillers in Oklahoma City before losing in Chicago.
Right now, the team is fourth in the AHL in goals scored. Jimmy Hayes had a hat trick Saturday night against the Barons. Coach Ted Dent has hit upon a lineup that is working.
Now comes word of the possibility of some new skaters to work into the mix.
Chris Block of Puckchatter.com is reporting that 'Hawks prospect Joakim Nordstrom will soon be stateside and skating with the IceHogs in the next week or so. Also apparently headed for Rockford is defenseman Steve Montador, who was put on waivers by the Blackhawks Monday.
Montador has officially cleared waivers. Chicago could send him to Rockford to see if he can get into shape after missing over a year of action. Another defenseman who could join the IceHogs is Steven Johns, Chicago's second-round pick from the 2010 draft.
Johns is reportedly set to sign an amateur tryout contract after his Nortre Dame team completes its season.
Block also pointed out that several 'Hawks prospects playing in juniors right now may soon finish their seasons and be assigned to Rockford. Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill saw some ice time late last season. Garrett Ross and Alex Broadhurst, brother of current IceHog Terry Broadhurst, could also get a quick look if their junior seasons end soon.
Also approaching clearance to play is Rostislav Olesz, who spent most of last season in Rockford before injuring his knee. Olesz would have to clear waivers before the 'Hawks make a decision on what to do with him.
With Rockford chasing down a playoff spot, healthy veterans like Montador and Olesz could make a difference. The question is whether an influx of talent will affect the chemistry of Dent's team.
Hat Trick For Hayes
Hayes had five two-goal games this season before he posted three goals and a pair of assists in Rockford's comeback win Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
The Barons led 3-0 before Hayes' first goal of the night and held a 4-1 advantage five minutes into the second period. However, the IceHogs responded with six unanswered goals to pull out their second game over Oklahoma City in as many nights.
Hayes was set up by Martin St. Pierre late in the second period to help Rockford pull to within 4-3 going into the third. Four goals provided the winning margin in the last 20 minutes, with Hayes dumping the puck into an empty net in the game's final minute.
Hayes now shares the team lead with Jeremy Morin with 22 goals.
The night before, Rockford trailed 3-2 entering the third period but evened the score with two seconds to play on an Adam Clendening goal. The IceHogs won the game in a shootout, with Brad Mills providing the winning shot.
Rockford has come back to win 10 games when trailing after the first period. The IceHogs lead the AHL in that statistic.
Ditching The Goose Egg
Ryan Stanton scored in Rockford's loss to the Chicago Wolves in what was the third road game in three nights. There was a silver lining for Stanton, however.
The IceHogs defenseman and alternate captain has 17 points in 56 games this season, but Sunday marked his first goal of the 2012-13 campaign.
Rockford has another three games in three days this weekend. The IceHogs host Chicago and Peoria Friday and Saturday before going back to Chicago for another Sunday afternoon skate.