Hawks to skate simulated game tonight


Hawks to skate simulated game tonight

It wont be the same as Opening Night at the United Center; far from it in the stands, anyway.

But for the Chicago Blackhawks, their simulated game tonight will be as close as they get to a preseason contest and game-like preparation for this shortened 2013 season.

The Blackhawks will face the, well, Blackhawks -- or more likely some Rockford IceHogs -- as they simulate their game-day routine tonight. Seven more players from Rockford will come up to play in tonights game, as coach Joel Quenneville will see his lines in action.

"We're going to have a three-period game," Quenneville said, who added it will be complete with referees. "It's more for the guys to get more familiarity with the lines, defensive pairings and special teams time as well. We'll get the pace. It'll be a real game, real intensity."

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For players, it's some semblance of a game, which is something.

"It's a good thing," Marian Hossa said. "Lots of guys haven't played for a long time and we need to get that routine going and finally practice our power play and penalty killing. We'll have some structure tonight, and we're going to use it."

For Patrick Kane, it may be getting readjusted to the smaller North American ice again. And a little more time with new linemates Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp.

"I think for all of us, we want to get into game shape," Kane said. "Well get a lot of ice time, get everyone in. It's just fun to play in a game atmosphere with penalties, everything."

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Players skated constantly throughout the lockout. But as many have said, it doesnt make up for the game situations and the timing needed every night. The Blackhawks, like every other team, has scurried in this brief training camp to get their timing back. Is it back yet?

"We're going to see tonight," Hossa said. "We'll play a more 5-on-5 type of game. We don't have much time so it better come quickly."

Recruiting news and notes: Solorio's Patterson adds Northwestern offer

Recruiting news and notes: Solorio's Patterson adds Northwestern offer

Solorio junior quarterback Quincy Patterson (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) added his fifth scholarship offer on Monday from Northwestern. Patterson, a three-star recruit, also took in the Wildcats' game last Saturday against Nebraska.

"Northwestern is a beautiful school and has anything that a student-athlete can really ask for," Patterson said. "Northwestern has a great coaching staff and an extremely high graduation rate. Both of those factors are very important to me and my family. It means a lot to me that Northwestern is so strong academically plus having great coaches. Northwestern offered me as a super-back recruit."

Patterson now has offers from Northwestern along with Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Penn State.

Brother Rice senior running back Xazavian Valladay (6-feet, 190 pounds) has set up his first official visit.

"I'm planning to go out to make an official visit to Wyoming on October 8," Valladay said. "I'm still in touch with Wyoming along with Western Illinois, Ball State, Central Michigan plus Eastern Illinois and Youngstown State. I want to get out and see some schools in person before I make a college decision."

Valladay currently has scholarship offers from Wyoming and Western Illinois.

Palatine senior quarterback Zach Oles (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) is off to another great this season for the Pirates, and Oles has been drawing steady recruiting interest this fall.

"I've been in touch with schools like Butler, Dayton plus North Dakota State, NIU, Princeton along with several (other) Ivy League schools," Oles said. "I'm going to visit Dayton on October 8 and then I'm planning to go visit a game at Butler on October 22."

Does Oles have a time frame for making a college decision? "I'm not in any hurry to make a college choice. My focus right now is on my team and my season. I also want to take a few official visits after the season."

Peoria senior defensive tackle Kendrick Green (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) made his first official visit this past weekend to Minnesota.

"It (Minnesota) was awesome," Green, a three-star recruit, said. "They (Minnesota) are definitely on top now."

Green, who named the Gophers along with Syracuse and Central Florida as his top schools, is also planning to visit both Syracuse and UCF before making his college choice.

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