|(Matt Cashore / Mackenze McCluer / Terry Wilson)|
Three Blackhawks prospects saw action on Day 1 of the 2014 U20 World Championship in Malmö, Sweden, as several tournament favorites recorded lopsided wins in their opening games. Team USA began their title defense with a dominating 5-1 win over a young Czech Republic squad after capitalizing on two early power-play chances, while hosts Sweden weathered an early scare from Switzerland to emerge with a 5-3 victory in front of a raucous home crowd.
Teuvo Teravainen and Team Finland will begin their group stage play tomorrow against Norway.
|(Photo by Todd Reicher)|
1st Star: C Brandon Pirri, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 2A
Rockford faced a tough three-in-three schedule last weekend and emerged with a 2-1-0 record after beating the Oklahoma City Barons in two straight tilts. Pirri opened the scoring in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Barons with his first AHL tally of the season, then collected a pair of assists the next night in a 5-4 shootout win; Pirri was one of three IceHogs to score in the shootout.
To learn more about "One Goal II" and "17 Seconds," click here. For more about anything else pictured below, and for much more, call the Blackhawks Store at (800) GO-HAWKS.
|(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)|
1st Star: C Luke Johnson, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A
Johnson enjoyed a breakout weekend for UND, who swept a two-game set at Western Michigan. The 2013 fifth-round selection netted his team’s first two goals in Friday’s 3-2 win, then added a pair of helpers the next night, also a 3-2 victory. Johnson is now tied for third in team scoring with nine points (3G, 6A) through 16 games in his freshman campaign.
Have you gotten a chance to take a look at "One Goal II" or screen "17 Seconds"? Here are a few reviews and reactions that some of our fans have been sharing on social media.
Al MacIsaac, the Blackhawks’ Vice President of Hockey Operations, was announced on Dec. 5 as one of four 2014 inductees to the ECHL Hall of Fame.
A native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, MacIsaac joined the ECHL’s Hampton Roads Admirals as a defenseman for the 1991-92 season after completing his college playing career and led the team with a +33 plus/minus rating. He represented the Admirals in the inaugural ECHL All-Star Game in 1993. During that same season, MacIsaacmade appearances with the American Hockey League’s Baltimore Skipjacks and Cape Breton Oilers.
MacIsaac is currently in his 14th season with the organization, and has won seven titles in his career, including three as a player: the Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup (1986), ECHL Championship (1992) and Calder Cup (1993).
Now into the third month of the season, the conference races seem to be getting even tighter, while the watchword in every game mostly seems to be "closeness." After winning two Stanley Cups in four years, most of the Blackhawks' games so far in 2013-14 have been decided by one goal, as each opponent tries to boost their game against the champions.
Last season, the Blackhawks were triumphant in one-goal matches with a mark of 19-3-5 in the 48-game schedule. The playoffs were even more dramatic, with the Blackhawks notching eight victories and only two defeats in one-goal margins. That's including the dramatic comeback in
Games 6 and 7 against Detroit, culminating in Brent Seabrook's OT winner in the deciding contest. And no Blackhawk fan will ever forget the Cup-winning effort against Boston, with two-goals in 17 seconds—all coming in the final 76 seconds of regulation time.
The 2010 champions saw their one-goal mark at 16-13-9 during the regular schedule, but were more dominant in the playoffs, sporting a 6-1 edge in games decided by a lone marker; the other 10 victores were by two or more goals. Recalling the 2010 series, the dramatic comeback in Game 5 against Nashville at the UC stands out: Patrick Kane tallied a shorthander with 13 seconds left in regulation, then Marian Hossa scored the winner in OT after coming out of the
The 1961 Blackhawks finished third during the campaign in a six-team league and had a modest one-goal game record of 7-8-17 in the days before overtime. But in the opening series against favored Montreal, the Hawks were 2-1 in one-goal games, which included a triple-overtime win at the Stadium. Then, in Games 5 and 6, Glenn Hall blanked the Canadiens, and Chicago went on to beat Detroit for the title in six games.
The underdog 1938 Hawks were 8-7-9 in single-goal matches in the regular season, but went 4-0 in one-goal games in the playoffs. The first Cup titlists in 1934 saw a 10-8-11 mark in lone-goal decisions, but were 4-0-1 in the playoffs, capped by an overtime goal by Harold "Mush" March and a 1-0 Charlie Gardiner shutout against Detroit.
If the trend continues this season, while it would be nice to see a few more wide margins in victories, the key to success will still be winning the "close ones."
|(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean)|
1st Star: C Kevin Hayes, Boston College (H-EAST)
The Line: 1GP, 2G, 1A, +3 plus/minus
Hayes notched his first multi-goal outing of the season and tied a season-high with three points in BC’s only tilt of the week, a 5-4 loss to Holy Cross on Friday. The 2010 first-round pick now has 21 points in 14 games this season, including a college career-high eight tallies.
|(Photo by Mackenzie McCluer)|
1st Star: C Tyler Motte, Michigan (BIG10)
The Line: 1GP, 1G, 2A
Michigan defeated Niagara 6-0 in their only game of the weekend, and Motte played a big part in the victory, tallying the game-winning goal just 34 seconds into the game and later adding his first two helpers of the year. Motte now has seven points (5G, 2A) in 11 appearances, second among team freshmen.
|(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean)|
On Saturday in Vancouver, Blackhawks Head Athletic Trainer Mike Gapski will take his place on the bench for the 2,000th time in his 27-year career with the organization. Gapski, a Chicago native, joined the team in 1987, and he has been honored with his name on the Stanley Cup after the championship runs in 2010 and 2013. Below, the Blackhawks Blog takes a look at some of the numbers from Gapski's tenure: