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The Rockford IceHogs face elimination from the Colonial Cup playoffs tonight, Wednesday, May 10.
The Hogs are down three games to none in the best-of-seven series against the Kalamazoo Wings. They must win game four tonight at the MetroCentre to keep the series alive.
The Hogs lost two games on the road last Friday and Saturday, May 5-6. They were outscored 3-1 in Fridays opener. In game two Saturday, they were down 8-3 after two periods. Despite a heroic comeback attempt in the third, they came up one goal short, and lost 8-7.
The Hogs returned to their home ice Sunday, May 7, looking for a win. They fell behind 1-0 in the first period. It was déjà vu in the second period. Both goals came on power play opportunities for the Wings.
Going into the final frame down 2-0, there was an air of desperation in the arena. With about 10 minutes left in the contest, Greg Barber was able to get the puck past Wings goaltender Joel Martin to close the gap to one. Three minutes later, the Hogs let a golden opportunity escape them when they werent able to score on a power play. With only a minute-and-a-half left in the game, Hogs goalie, Ronnie Vogel, was pulled in favor of a sixth attacker. During the six-on-five final 90 seconds, Rockford came close on a couple of shot attempts, but Martin managed to keep them out of the net. The final score was Wings 2, Hogs 1.
Tonights game is at 7:30 p.m. at the MetroCentre. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Centre Events box office at 968-5222. If the Hogs are victorious tonight, game five will be at Kalamazoo Friday, May 12, at 7 p.m. If necessary, a game six will be back at the MetroCentre Sunday, May 14, at 5:05 p.m. If needed, game seven would return to Kalamazoo Tuesday, May 1,6 at 7 p.m.
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 10-16, 2006, issue