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Hogs a step closer to Colonial Cup
The Rockford IceHogs advanced to the Colonial Cup semifinals after defeating the Fort Wayne Komets in the opening round of the playoffs, four games to one.
Last season, the Hogs had a three-games-to-one advantage in the opening playoff series, but lost the next three games.
This year, the story began the same; however, the ending was totally different.
After winning the first two games of the series on their home ice, the Hogs split the next two games in Fort Wayne. Returning to the MetroCentre ice with a three-games-to-one advantage, the team was determined not to repeat last seasons performance.
Game five was Friday night, April 28. After a scoreless first period, the Komets took the early lead with a power-play goal less than 1 minute into the second period. The Hogs trailed until Corey Hessler scored a power-play goal late in the second period to tie the game, 1-1.
The Komets would open the final period on the power play. This time, however, the Hogs were able to score short-handed.
After the opening face-off, Greg Barber took a pass from Steve Yetman and fired the puck directly into the leg pad of Komet goalie Kevin St. Pierre. The puck rebounded right back to Barber. On his second shot attempt, Barber managed to sneak the puck past St. Pierre. Amazingly, this all happened in the first 18 seconds of the period.
IceHogs goalie Scott Dickie, and the rest of the team, kept the Komets scoreless for the remainder of the game. The 2-1 victory sent the Hogs into the Colonial Cup semifinals, and the Komets home for the summer.
At press time, the next opponent and game time was unavailable.
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the May 3-9, 2006, issue