Blackhawks

On The Farm: Bour and Clevenger have big days for Cubs

On The Farm: Bour and Clevenger have big days for Cubs

Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010
Posted: 10:30 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS Peoria A
Jason Bour was a wrecking crew for Peoria in its 11-10 victory at Clinton.

Bour had three hits, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and seven RBIs. He picked up two of those RBIs with a single in the eighth inning, a base hit that helped break open the game for the Chiefs. Bour started out with an RBI double in the sixth.

Hak-Ju Lee also had three hits and an RBI while DJ Fitzgerald contributed two hits and two RBIs. Yohan Gonzalez tossed 2 13 scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of the season. Jeff Lorick made his Cubs debut and allowed four runs in 23 of an inning.
Tennessee AA
Five was the magic number for Steve Clevenger Saturday night as Tennessee defeated Mississippi, 7-2, at Smokies Stadium.

Clevenger was 5-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs. He had a three-run double in fifth after hitting a solo homer in the fourth, falling a triple short of the cycle. Russ Canzler had two hits and drove in a run.

Chris Archer 8-1 bounced back from his worst outing of the year to win his eight game with the Smokies and 15th overall. He surrendered two runs on four hits over six innings.

In other action, Daytona allowed 12 first-inning runs at Jackie Robinson Stadium en route to a 15-2 loss to Brevard County. Dae-Eun Rhee 5-13 and Chris Siegfried each allowed six runs in the frame. Micah Hoffpauir scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, bringing home what would be the winning run as Iowa edged Nashville, 4-3, in the opening game of a home stand. Marquez Smith had a three-run homer to account for the I-Cubs other runs. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the process. Scott Maine picked up the win while Jeff Samardzija had a no-decision after allowing three runs in six innings.

WHITE SOX Charlotte AAA
Charlotte continued its mastery over Gwinnett on Saturday, squeaking out an 8-6 victory at Knights Stadium. The Knights improved to 12-3 against the Braves this season.

Dayan Viciedo had a two-run homer for Charlotte while Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger also drove in two runs apiece. Brent Morel had a triple and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to six games.

Miguel Socolovich tossed four shutout innings in relief, extending his streak to 10-13 scoreless innings, to earn the win. Randy Williams fanned a pair in the ninth to earn his second save.

In other action, Potomac bounced Winston-Salem, 9-2, at Pfitzner Stadium. Seth Loman had a homer and two RBIs for the Dash. Charlie Leesman allowed a run in six innings but didnt factor into the decision as Huntsville edged Birmingham, 2-1. Henry Mabee allowed a run in 1 23 innings to take the loss. Cole Armstrong had a homer and an RBI for the Barons. Greensboro pounded visiting Kannapolis, 7-2. Justin Collup allowed five runs in 4 23 innings and was charged with the loss. Juan Silverio had two doubles and a triple for Kannapolis. Bristol also lost, dropping an 11-8 decision at Bluefield. The hosts scored eight runs in the second inning and held on as the Sox cut the lead to 8-7 before they pulled away again. Drew Lee had a homer and three RBIs for Bristol. Jarrett Casey allowed eight runs in 1 13 innings to fall to 0-6.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night:
 
1. One too many penalties.

The Blackhawks flirted with danger in the first period when they handed the Lightning three straight continuous power plays, a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty from John Hayden and a Jonathan Toews hooking call that resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for Tampa Bay for 43 seconds. 

The penalty kill unit that ranked fourth in the league entering the matchup, however, killed off all three of those penalties against the NHL's top-ranked power play, and did so in commanding fashion.

The Blackhawks went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in regulation, but couldn't stop the sixth one — a questionable slashing call on Nick Schmaltz —  in overtime when Brayden Point buried the winner on a 4-on-3 opportunity.

It was also interesting that Jon Cooper elected to go with four forwards (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Point and Steven Stamkos) and zero defensemen during that man advantage, putting all of his offensive weapons out on the ice. It's something more teams should do in that situation.

2. Patrick Kane gets going.

After scoring just one goal in his previous 10 games, Kane found the back of the net twice in the opening frame against Tampa Bay and stayed hot against a team he historically plays well against. And he nearly netted a hat trick in overtime but couldn't cash in on a breakaway opportunity.

Kane has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 career regular-season games against the Lightning, and extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists over that stretch.

We wrote about how important it is for the Blackhawks' superstars to get going again with the offensive contributions mainly coming from role players as of late, and Kane getting into a groove is a perfect step in that direction.

3. How about that goaltending battle?

Corey Crawford and Andrei Vasilevskiy showed us exactly why they belong in the Vezina Trophy discussion, and as of this moment, it's hard not to include both of them as finalists. They put on a goaltending clinic, seemingly topping the other as the game went on.

The two teams combined for 71 scoring chances, and Crawford and Vasilevskiy came up big when their teams need them the most.

Crawford finished with 35 saves on 38 shots (.921 save percentage) in the loss while Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 (.935 save percentage), and improved to 15-2-1 on the season. 

4. Missed opportunities.

You couldn't have asked for a better start for the Blackhawks. They scored the first goal 3:49 into the game and the second on the power play at 15:54, killed off three penalties, including a 5-on-3, had 24 shot attempts (13 on goal) compared to the Lightning's 16 attempts (11 on goal) and led in even-strength scoring chances 9-6.

It was a different story the rest of the way.

The Blackhawks took their foot off the gas pedal a bit and let the Lightning back in the game by getting away from what they do best, and that's control the puck. Obviously, you expected the league's best offense to push back and it's certainly not an easy task to keep them off the scoresheet all together. 

But the Blackhawks had their chances to stay in front or retake the lead and just couldn't bury them. Tampa Bay had 50 shot attempts from the second period on while the Blackhawks had only 32, and finished with 44 scoring chances compared to Chicago's 27.

5. Richard Panik in the doghouse?

Joel Quenneville didn't go to his line blender in this one, but he did shorten some leashes. Panik, most notably, had a season-low 12:28 of ice time in the loss and had 15 shifts, which was second-fewest only to Ryan Hartman (13) on the team.

Panik had a prime chance to break a 2-2 tie in the third period but was denied by Vasilevskiy, who made a remarkable left-pad save. Instead, Panik extended his goal drought to 12 games and didn't get a shift in overtime.

He's certainly better and will get his scoring chances when playing on the top line with Toews and Brandon Saad, but the missed opportunities are magnified in tight losses. It doesn't look like a move down in the lineup is coming given the success of Alex DeBrincat, who gives the Blackhawks an offensive weapon on the third line, but perhaps it should be considered.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.