CSN to air live coverage of 'IHSA Playoff Pairing Release Show' on Oct. 20

CSN to air live coverage of 'IHSA Playoff Pairing Release Show' on Oct. 20

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO TO AIR LIVE COVERAGE OF IHSA PLAYOFF PAIRING RELEASE SHOW ON OCTOBER 20

CSN to carry LIVE announcement for every first round match-up on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 PM; to also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv

For the second-straight year, network to also carry live coverage of all eight IHSA Football Championships from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL (Nov. 23 & 24)

Bloomington, ILChicago, IL (October 16, 2012) -- In conjunction with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the IHSAs production partner, PlayOn! Sports, Comcast SportNet Chicago, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced it will once again be the home for postseason high school football in Illinois in 2012. This joint partnership will include the airing and live stream of the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show on October 20 and the IHSA Football State Championship games on November 23-24.

Comcast SportsNet will be the first media outlet to reveal the first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes during the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show, which will air LIVE from CSNs downtown Chicago studios on Saturday October 20 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fans can also watch the brackets unveiled via live interactive stream on the internet at IHSA.tv and CSNChicago.com.

Five weeks later, Comcast SportsNet will air the culminating event of the season as 16 teams from around the state converge upon the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium in Champaign. The Class 1A-4A championships will unfold on Friday, November 23, with the Class 5A-8A tilts coming on Saturday, November 24. The first game will kickoff at 10 a.m. each day, with each subsequent game to follow.

We are always focusing on providing our viewers with the very best local sports coverage available and being able to feature some of the finest preps athletes in the state of Illinois is something were definitely excited to showcase once again, said Phil Bedella, VPGM of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show and our live coverage of all eight state title games will be an excellent addition to our already stellar line-up of local sports programming. We also appreciate the support of the IHSA and PlayOn! Sports in helping us make the pairings show and the championships available to our viewers.

High school football in Illinois is a special tradition, said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. From the unique playoff pairing show, to the state championships, it is a very special time for so many communities. Comcast SportsNet Chicagos commitment to the IHSA and our member schools means that we will be able deliver a superior product to a larger audience in Illinois and beyond.

The pairings show and title games will be distributed to Comcast SportsNet Chicagos entire viewing territory. Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com to find the exact channel locations in their area.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS FOR IHSA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PAIRING RELEASE SHOW (Sat, Oct. 20 at 8pm)

Fans will be able to interact with the playoff pairing show in a real-time chat on Saturday, October 20 by visiting CSNChicago.com, where they can make comments or ask questions that may be read on the air. Fans can also interact via Twitter by using the hashtag IHSA. Teams who are gathering to watch the program are encouraged to submit photos to be shown during the program, by tweeting them with IHSA or directly to @IHSA_IL or emailing them to mtroha@ihsa.org. All submitted photos will be included in CSNChicago.coms online gallery.

The show will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet anchorreporter and Downers Grove North High School alum Susannah Collins, along with longtime IHSA TV Network personality Dave Bernhard and Kankakee Daily Journal prep writer & the states resident high school football bracketologist, Steve Soucie.

The show will feature:

-The release of the 32-team brackets in all eight classes, as all 256 playoff qualifiers find out their first round playoff opponents and path to Champaign for the first time.
-Highlights from nearly 100 schools from around the state
-Analysis from experts on nearly 100 teams from across Illinois
-Live look-ins and photos from schools hosting playoff pairing parties
-Interviews with coaches and media
-State Championship game picks from a statewide media panel
-CSN Interactive segments with fans

Nicole Darin will host IHSA on CSN Interactive, a live web stream and chat that will offer viewers the opportunity to interact directly with Collins, Bernhard and Soucie. Viewer questions and comments will be featured throughout the show and posted on CSNChicago.com.

Follow IHSA on Twitter @IHSA_IL (IHSA)

Follow Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Twitter @CSNChicago

Become a fan of IHSA on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comIHSA.IL

Become a fan of CSN Chicago on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comCSNChicago

Fast Break Morning Update: Bulls trade Gibson, McDermott; Blackhawks beat Coyotes

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Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Coyotes: Nick Schmaltz shines on 21st birthday

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Coyotes: Nick Schmaltz shines on 21st birthday

The Blackhawks were finally getting healthy and now may be missing a key player once again. That depends on how Niklas Hjalmarsson feels after suffering an upper-body injury against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

It was certainly the toughest part of the Blackhawks' victory, a 6-3 triumph that has the Blackhawks closing in on the Wild. We'll see what the Hjalmarsson update is over the weekend. Until then, let's look at the notables from this one.

What Worked: The offense. We'll give an honorable mention to the penalty kill, which snuffed out all of the Coyotes' chances including a double minor that overlapped the second and third periods. But the offense was just buzzing again. Here's another shocker: the top line is still working just fine. The trio got things started with Nick Schmaltz's goal just 37 seconds into the game (Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik assisted). And much like in their meeting with the Coyotes earlier this month, the Blackhawks needed just about every bit of that offense. While we're on this topic...

What Didn't Work: The first-period defense. The Blackhawks looked like they were in good shape up 3-1 but then they gave up two goals within a minute late in the period. Michal Rozsival had a rough start in his first game since Jan. 15, but overall, the Blackhawks' defense through that first period looked discombobulated. Obviously, it didn't help that the Blackhawks lost Hjalmarsson during the first, either.

[RELATED: Patrick Kane nets hat trick as Blackhawks cruise past Coyotes]

Star of the game: Patrick Kane. One game after Jonathan Toews recorded a hat trick Kane did the same, scoring his 21st, 22nd and 23rd goals of the season. On a night in which the Blackhawks dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, Kane got a little extra playing time. His first goal came on a first-period shift with Ryan Hartman and Tanner Kero, the second off a long pass from Brent Seabrook and the third with his usual line mates.

He Said It: "I didn't play much before I got hurt, then I missed four weeks with my injury. It wasn't easy but definitely the way the team's playing now, it made it easier for me. It felt like the first game of the season for me but glad we got the victory and glad I was back playing. I enjoyed it." — Michal Rozsival on returning to the Blackhawks' lineup. 

By the Numbers: 

6 – Number of times, in their last eight games, the Blackhawks have scored five or more goals.

342 – Assists for Jonathan Toews, who tied Dennis Hull for 12th all-time in franchise history in that category.

35 – Combined points for the Blackhawks' top liners Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik in their nine games together. The breakdown in those nine games: Toews has 16 points, Panik 10 and Schmaltz nine.

1997 – The last time the Blackhawks had hat tricks in back-to-back regular-season games. Alexei Zhamnov and Eric Daze had them on April 11 and April 13, 1997, respectively.