- Two adults, two kids dead in Dec. 20 Rockford shooting
- Teen in custody following shooting on Crestview
- Man sentenced to 38 years for May 2008 murder
- EarthTalk: Still in denial about climate
- Three female fugitives wanted in New Jersey restaurant theft arrested in Illinois
- Man guilty in 2012 crash into home that injured 8-year-old
- McDonald’s: Federal complaint says company is joint employer
- T-Mobile settlement: $90M for cell phone bill cramming
- Shelter Care Ministries gets $30,000 grant
- Even more dead bees?
Hog heaven: IceHogs UHL champs
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What a wild last few days it has been for the 2006-07 Colonial Cup Champion Rockford IceHogs. More than 6,200 fans were at the MetroCentre to witness a piece of Rockford sports history Thursday night, May 24, as the Hogs defeated the Kalamazoo Wings 3-1 in game seven of their championship series.
In their eighthand finalseason in the United Hockey League, the Hogs were able to reach the pinnacle of success. In a season that saw its share of adversity and distractionson and off the icethe Hogs battled through it all, and earned the leagues championship trophy, the Colonial Cup. It was a perfect storybook ending to a saga that began so long agowhen Bill Clinton was still president.
Saturday night, May 26, the team participated in a parade that began at American TV on East State Street and proceeded west past hundreds of fans waving and honking from inside their cars and cheering from under their umbrellas as their heroes passed by. Upon arriving in the downtown area, fans crowded the streets around the MetroCentre with homemade signs thanking the team for the championship and the memories.
Speeches, a video and the unfurling of the 2006-07 Colonial Cup Championship Banner highlighted the rally inside the MetroCentre. Team owners Dr. Kris Tumilowicz and Craig Drektrah thanked the fans, sponsors, media and IceHogs staff for all of their hard work and support over the years. Head Coach Steve Martinson and several of the players who spoke brought the crowd to a roar when they thanked them for being the greatest fans in the league.
The UHL championship banner will hang from the ceiling of the newly-renovated MetroCentre next fall when the Hogs take the ice for the first time as members of the American Hockey League. Based on the enthusiasm and optimism exhibited over the past few days, I doubt it will take another eight years before the Hogs will be adding an AHL championship banner to hang alongside the one that made history this year.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
from the May 30-June 5, 2007, issue