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Wolves make Teuvo Teravainen, IceHogs pay for penalty

Updated: April 14, 2014 6:33PM

The hype has passed. Now Teuvo Teravainen is just glad to play.

When Teravainen made his Blackhawks debut March 25, every shift was charted, and every touch of the puck led to a flood of tweets as the touted prospect tried to make his mark. But after playing his third game March 30, Teravainen was scratched four times before getting reassigned Thursday to the Rockford IceHogs.

Teravainen, 19, is getting regular ice time for the IceHogs (34-31-5-4), who lost 4-2 on Sunday to the Wolves and are two points behind the Oklahoma City Barons for the final Western Conference playoff spot. The Wolves (42-21-5-5) still can win the Midwest Division and are a point away from clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Teravainen’s demotion probably wasn’t what he or the Hawks had in mind, but he’s simply glad for the chance to play.

“I was kind of thinking maybe it would be better for me to come here and play some games,” Teravainen said. “It’s better than just practice.”

Coach Ted Dent welcomes that attitude. When Teravainen got to Rockford on Thursday night, they chatted over a cup of coffee about the IceHogs, Teravainen’s experience with the Hawks and his season as a whole, one that has seen him play in three leagues and two continents.

“I just want him to be comfortable in where he’s playing, who he’s playing with,” Dent said.

Teravainen had no points with the Hawks and showed he needed seasoning, but he didn’t look out of place, either.

The same can be said of his place in Rockford. He scored in his debut Friday and had a shot Sunday but took an interference penalty that killed a second-period power play and led to a game-tying goal by Wolves forward Alexandre Bolduc.

Playing in the AHL and helping the IceHogs, however, isn’t the goal for next season. And nothing that happened with the Hawks — or didn’t happen — has shaken his belief that he belongs in the NHL.

“I think I can play in that league right now,” Teravainen said.

“I have played with [men] in Finland for two, three years, so I’m ready to play there.”

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