’Hogs within two wins of Colonial Cup title

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117933332531510.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘The Rockford IceHogs have dominated the defending UHL champion Kalamazoo Wings in the first two games of the Colonial Cup finals, outscoring theWings 9-3 on their home ice at the MetroCentre.‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117933406331510.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Frederic Cloutier ‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11793340901466.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Steve Martinson ‘);

The Rockford IceHogs take a 2-0 lead into tonight’s game (Wednesday, May 16) against the defending United Hockey League (UHL) Champion Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings. The ’Hogs need two more wins in the best-of-seven series to claim their first-ever Colonial Cup title. Those two wins could conceivably come on the road.

Tonight’s game three and Saturday night’s (May 19) game four are both in Kalamazoo. The ’Hogs managed to capitalize on their home ice advantage. They opened the series with an exciting 3-2 overtime win Friday night, May 11, at the MetroCentre. Sunday night’s (May 13) game was no less exciting, even though the outcome was significantly more lopsided.

The ’Hogs dominated the second period of game two. After surrendering a game-tying goal 18 seconds into the second frame, the ’Hogs scored five unanswered goals during the remainder of the middle period. During the final 20 minutes of the game, neither team was able to add to its total.

When the final horn sounded, the ’Hogs skated off the ice with a 6-1 victory. The team will try to continue their physical and mental domination of the Wings in Kalamazoo.

Head coach Steve Martinson has contributed much of the team’s playoff success to two main factors: hard hitting and outstanding goal tending by Frederic Cloutier.

Wingers Chaz Johnson and Bruce Watson have been a dominating force on the boards. Defenseman Luke Fritshaw has also handed out his share of bone-jarring checks. That kind of physical play has created several scoring opportunities for the ’Hogs, and they are capitalizing on them. They have outscored Kalamazoo 9-3 in the first two games of the series.

Both away games will be broadcast live on WNTA 1330 AM. Fans can also log on to the IceHogs’ Web site and watch the game on the B2 network for a $6 fee.

Should a game five be necessary, it will be played back at the MetroCentre at 5:05 p.m., Sunday, May 20.

from the May 16-22, 2007, issue

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