Blackhawks

It's official: Blackhawks to open 2019-20 season in Prague against Flyers

It's official: Blackhawks to open 2019-20 season in Prague against Flyers

The Blackhawks are officially heading overseas next season.

As part of the third annual NHL Global Series, the Blackhawks will take on the Philadelphia Flyers in Prague, Czech Republic to open the 2019-20 season on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. CT. They will also wrap up their training camp and preseason schedule with an exhibition game on Sept. 29 in Berlin, Germany against Eisbaren Berlin at 1:30 p.m.

“Participating in marquee National Hockey League events like the NHL Global Series is always something the Blackhawks organization does with great honor,” Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. “Similar to the last time we played in Europe in 2009, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the Blackhawks and this is a great opportunity to share that passion with our fans across Europe.”

It's the first time since the 2009-10 campaign that the Blackhawks will start a season overseas when they played a two-game series against the Florida Panthers in Helsinki, Finland. They later went on to win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

"It’s pretty exciting," Patrick Kane said. "We haven’t done it in a while, and last time we did it we had some success the season after that with winning the Cup. It’s nice to go and see some new places and go over to Europe and represent the NHL and try to help grow the game a little bit. The Blackhawks are always a team that’s involved in a lot of these big events. We take pride in that and we’re looking forward to heading over there.”

Dominik Kahun and David Kampf are the only two players on the current Blackhawks roster with ties to both countries. Kahun is a German native and was a member of Germany’s Olympic hockey team that won a silver medal in 2018 while Kampf if a Czech native who represented his country at the World Junior Championships.

Despite being the road team for the event, the Blackhawks will still have 41 regular-season home games at the United Center next season.

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David Ayres joins Scott Foster in making emergency backup goalie history

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USA TODAY

David Ayres joins Scott Foster in making emergency backup goalie history

David Ayres is a 42-year-old Zamboni driver and, as of Saturday night, he is a man who has won a game as a netminder in the NHL.

Ayres is the emergency backup goalie (EBUG) for the Carolina Hurricanes, who are currently locked in a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference. On Saturday, Ayres was thrust into action when Carolina suffered injuries to both starting goalie James Reimer and backup goalie Petr Mrazek. This, of course, made us think back to Chicago's favorite EBUG, Scott Foster.

Foster, an accountant, became a household name when he donned the No. 90 EBUG jersey when he debuted for the Blackhawks in 2018. Chicago was down a goalie when starting goalie Collin Delia — who was filling in for an injured Corey Crawford — went down early. This led to Foster making his unlikely seven-save debut. He was the first EBUG in NHL history to actually make a save and the fact that Foster was a perfect 7-for-7 in his time on the ice made the story even sweeter.

On Saturday, Ayres didn't maintain a perfect 1.000 save percentage like Foster but he did make some history of his own. Ayres was rattled at first, giving up two goals on the first two shots he faced but he did enough down the stretch to help the Hurricanes hold on to a quite important 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the win, Ayres is the first EBUG in league history to net a win, as Delia was credited with the win in Foster's debut in 2018.

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Rockford IceHogs matchup with Milwaukee Admirals produces the rare goalie fight

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USA TODAY

Rockford IceHogs matchup with Milwaukee Admirals produces the rare goalie fight

On Saturday night the Rockford IceHogs fell 7-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals but fans still went home happy as they got see one of the rarest occurrences in the sport of hockey: the always intriguing goalie fight.

With Rockford trailing 6-2, IceHogs goalie Matt Tomkins — who gave up the six goals on 21 shots — and Admirals goalie decided to drop the gloves and engage in some good ol' fashioned fisticuffs, the first scrap of the year for Tomkins. 

We'll leave it up to you to decide who won the fight but the Admirals certainly won the game in convincing fashion, with Milwaukee center Yakov Trenin netting a hat trick in the 7-2 win. But despite taking the tough loss, it was nice to see the IceHogs (and IndyFuel) social media having some fun with what was ultimately a very entertaining game.

The Rockford IceHogs are back in action against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday at 3 pm, with both teams locked in a tight battle for the fourth playoff spot in the Central division. 

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