The American Hockey League affiliates of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Rockford IceHogs, took a beating in the AHL West standings and suffered injuries to some key players.
The IceHogs managed to snap a four-game losing streak Friday night against the Iowa Wild, winning 3-1. However, Iowa won Saturday's rematch. The 5-2 defeat was especially costly, as goalie Antti Raanta and defenseman Adam Clendening both exited the contest and may miss some action.
Raanta, who made 24 saves Friday, was run into behind the IceHogs net by Iowa's Stephane Veilleux in the second period. Raanta stayed on the ice for the last six minutes of the period but did not come out for the third.
Seconds into the third period, Clendening was in the corner, clearing the puck from the Rockford zone. Jason Zucker of the Wild delivered a check to Clendening's head, and the second-year defenseman went down.
The medical staff rushed to examine the motionless Clendening. After a few minutes, Clendening got to his feet and skated to the Rockford locker room. However, he did not return to the game.
Clendening currently leads the IceHogs with 15 points (three goals, 12 assists), a total that places him third among AHL defensemen. He has scored in 12 of Rockford's 16 games. Losing him to a possible concussion for any length of time is a big blow.
With almost a week off before the IceHogs resume their schedule in Grand Rapids on Friday, it is unknown whether Raanta or Clendening will be available.
Hogs Falling Back
Rockford has lost five of its last six games over the past two weeks. The IceHogs are currently second in the AHL's Midwest Division, with 17 points and an 8-7-1 record, but every team in the division has at least three games in hand. Iowa and Milwaukee have played 11 games to Rockford's 16.
Trouble with the Kill
Like the Blackhawks, Rockford is giving up a lot of power-play goals. The Wild torched the IceHogs for four power-play tallies. Former IceHogs defenseman Brian Connelly, now skating for Iowa, was the first star of Saturday's game with three power-play assists.
The IceHogs are 27th out of the 30 AHL clubs in penalty-killing efficiency, with a kill rate of 77 percent.