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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 4:00 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Andy Devlin/WHL)

Mac Carruth has backstopped the Portland Winterhawks to the brink of the WHL title and a trip to the Memorial Cup—held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, later this month—after allowing just two goals in his last two games. Carruth made 38 saves on 39 shots in a 3-1 Game 3 victory on May 7 and followed that that performance with 29 saves on 30 shots the next night, as Portland won 2-1. The Winterhawks now lead the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-1 in the WHL final and can clinch their first Chynoweth Cup since 1998 with a win in front of their home fans on Friday night.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.06.2013 / 11:53 AM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Bryan Heim/Portland Winterhawks)

Mac Carruth has been here before—twice, in fact. The WHL Final, that old hurdle, is as difficult as promised, as the Winterhawks split their first two games against old foes, the Edmonton Oil Kings, over the weekend. Portland, with the league’s best regular-season record and thus home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, stand a better chance than ever before of clinching the Chynoweth Cup, but they are facing stiff competition in the defending league champions, who emerged from the East as worthy opponents after a seven-game series against the Calgary Hitmen.
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POSTED ON Monday, 04.29.2013 / 4:15 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

1st Star: C Alex Broadhurst, London (OHL)
The Line: 3GP, 4G, 3A, +2 plus/minus

Broadhurst recorded points in all three of London’s playoff contests last week, including two consecutive three-point outings (4G, 2A) on April 24 and April 26. The 2011 seventh-round draft selection picked up the primary assist on the game-winning goal in Game 3 on April 23, tallied a pair—including the game-winner—the next night in Game 4, and added two more goals in Game 5, helping the Knights wrap up the Western Conference Championship with a 4-1 series win over the Plymouth Whalers. Broadhurst ranks second on the team with 21 points (9G, 12A) in 14 playoff games so far. London will face either the Belleville Bulls or the Barrie Colts, who will play Game 7 to decide the Eastern Conference title tonight.

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.22.2013 / 3:22 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Greg Hamil/Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Brandon Pirri, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 4A, +3 plus/minus

The IceHogs fell short of a playoff spot despite a valiant push in April, winning eight of nine contests this month. Brandon Pirri, who led Rockford offensively down the stretch with 19 points (3G, 16A) over that span, captured the club’s first-ever John. B. Sollenberger Trophy as the AHL’s leading scorer with a career-high 75 points (22G, 53A) in 76 games. The Blackhawks’ second-round draft pick in 2009 logged a goal and two assists on Friday in a 9-4 win at San Antonio, then added a pair of helpers the next night in a 5-3 come-from-behind victory at Texas.

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.15.2013 / 2:49 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Greg Hamil/Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Ben Smith, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 4G, 2A, +4 plus/minus

In an injury-plagued season, Ben Smith has nevertheless provided Rockford with an offensive boost whenever he’s in the lineup. Case in point: After missing seven games, Smith returned with a vengeance, netting his first career hat trick and adding an assist in the IceHogs’ 7-3 win over Chicago on April 12. The next night, in Milwaukee, Smith lit the lamp again, notching his second consecutive game-winner.

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.12.2013 / 9:00 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Photo courtesy St. Cloud State)

1. Majored in math education (and minored in coaching), following in the footsteps of his father, who is also a math teacher. Part of the reason LeBlanc returned to St. Cloud State for a red-shirt fifth college season was so that he could finish his degree. He fulfilled his student-teaching requirement by taking charge of three algebra classes at nearby St. Cloud Apollo High School.

1b. LeBlanc's professional commitments kept him from growing out his hair to an untamed length as part of the Huskies' year-long Locks of Love campaign this past season.

2. The compound leg fracture that ended LeBlanc's 2011-12 season kept him off the ice, but it didn't keep him away from the team. He rolled himself to practice in a wheelchair after surgery, and later pulled an exercise bike next to the rink so that he could ride along while his teammates practiced.

3. Became the first St. Cloud State player to ever win the Hobey Baker Award after captaining the Huskies to the program's first-ever Frozen Four appearance. LeBlanc led the entire nation with 37 assists last season, and he was named WCHA Player of the Year. LeBlanc's excellence also extended to his academics, as he was named a WCHA Scholar-Athlete in four consecutive years, just the fifth player in school history to do so and the first to hold both college association honors at the same time.

4. LeBlanc was known for donning the No. 19 jersey for St. Cloud State (in honor of his hockey idol, Steve Yzerman); the number is obviously not available to him here in Chicago, and neither is the No. 29 jersey he wore during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. So he will wear No. 14, which has been inhabited by former Blackhawks Doug Bentley, Bill Gardner, Greg Gilbert and Ab McDonald.

5. The Hermantown, Minn., native is no stranger to Chicago. LeBlanc played for the USHL's Chicago Steel from 2006-08, recording 19 goals and 40 assists in 72 games before heading off to college.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 2:28 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / Through The Glass photo blog

Everest guy

Chicago native Paul Sinclair is an adventurer at heart—he's visited 43 of 50 American states and 7 of 10 Canadian provinces, pushing himself to the limit while photographing animals in their natural habitat. His latest trek was probably his most dangerous yet: a nine-day climb to Mount Everest base camp, battling the elements and the physical effects of the sky-high altitude. Carrying his regular gear, plus 15 lbs. of camera equipment, Sinclair needed an extra source of motivation to get him from one stopping point to the next. So he turned to his childhood love of the Blackhawks, who in late February and early March were enjoying a journey of their own into the NHL history books. Sinclair took the time to share his unique story and his stunning images with chicagoblackhawks.com.

Click here to view the photos >>


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POSTED ON Monday, 04.08.2013 / 3:23 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Greg Hamil/Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: LW Rostislav Olesz, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 4GP, 4G, 2A, +6 plus/minus

Olesz, who was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, spent most of the season rehabbing from an injury, but has sparked Rockford’s offense since rejoining the team in late March. Olesz registered a three-game point streak last week and logged two consecutive outings with two goals and an assist (April 5 at Milwaukee; April 6 at Peoria), including the game-winner in those two contests. Olesz also collected a helper on April 7, bringing his season total to 13 points (6G, 7A) in nine appearances.

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.01.2013 / 4:45 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Terry Wilson/OHL)

1st Star: C Alex Broadhurst, London (OHL)
The Line: 2GP, 3G, 2A, +4 plus/minus rating

Broadhurst’s star keeps rising, as the first-year player paced the top-seeded London Knights through the first round, tallying nine points (4G, 5A) in his first four OHL playoff games. Last week Broadhurst logged five points (3G, 2A) in two games, including his first playoff hat trick on March 26 in a 7-1 drubbing. London faces the Kitchener Rangers in the second round of the Western Conference bracket.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 5:44 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

It's nice to know the President has your back.

The Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) visited the White House Tuesday, where President Barack Obama honored both teams for their respective championship runs in 2012. The Kings, in fact, had arrived fresh from a 5-4 win in Chicago the previous night, handing the Blackhawks just their fourth regulation loss of the season.

President Obama, who welcomed the victorious Blackhawks at the White House during his first term in 2011, was quick to defend his hometown team:

"These guys pointed out that they beat my Blackhawks last night. I will also say that, given this season how rare it is to beat the Blackhawks, I want to congratulate them for that as well."

The President also pointed out that Darryl Sutter, who took over as Kings head coach midseason before guiding the franchise to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship, "got good training from the Chicago Blackhawks." Sutter played his entire eight-year career with Chicago, where he amassed 279 points (161G, 118A) in 406 appearances.

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