StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116118900520812.jpg’, ‘Image provided by Rockford Ice Hogs’, ”);
Back-to-back losses is not the way any team wants to begin a new season, but that is exactly what the Rockford IceHogs did last weekend.
The Hogs opened the 2006-07 season at home Friday night, Oct. 13, by losing to the Fort Wayne Komets 4-2.
Saturday night, Oct. 14, things started to look up as Chaz Johnson scored the first goal of the game and put the Hogs up 1-0 over the Chicago Hounds. However, that lead was short-lived. Less than 2 minutes later, Hounds winger Greg Koehler tied the game with a long rebound shot that got by Hogs goalie Frederic Cloutier.
During the second period, the Hounds were able to score two short-handed goals. Rockford had a one-man advantage over the Hounds when Maris Ziedins, a former member of the IceHogs now skating for the Hounds, got the go-ahead goal. Less than a minute later, Rockford was on a five-on-three power play when Adam Kostichka raced out of the box as his penalty expired and scored on a breakaway. The period ended with the Hounds leading 3-1.
Rockford cut the lead to 3-2 in the third period when center Steve Yetmen fired a shot past Hounds goalie Marty Magers. Forty-five seconds later, another former-Hog-turned-Hound, Steve Cygan, put the Hounds ahead 4-2. Johnson scored his second goal of the night late in the third period to pull the Hogs within a goal, 4-3. Despite some late-game pressure, Magers was able to turn away all comers, and the Hounds held on for their first win in franchise history.
This is the first time since the 2000-01 season that the Hogs have started the season 0-2-0. Fortunately for Head Coach Steve Martinson and the rest of the team, they still have 74 games to go.
The Hogs will look to get into the win column Friday night, Oct. 20, when the Quad City Mallards come to town for a 7:30 p.m. game. Saturday, Oct. 21, the team travels to Bloomington for a 7:05 p.m. game.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue