’Hogs poised for big season

By Doug Halberstadt

Sports Columnist

If the preseason is any indication of what is to come, the American Hockey League better be on full alert when they face the Rockford IceHogs during the upcoming 2009-10 season. The ’Hogs were a perfect 3-0 during the preseason.

They opened the exhibition season Sept. 23 with a 4-0 shutout over their arch rivals, the Chicago Wolves, at the Carlson Ice Arena in Loves Park. They followed that up with back-to-back wins over the Peoria Rivermen. They won in Peoria Friday night (Sept. 25) 4-2, and then came home to the MetroCentre Saturday night (Sept. 26) and completed the exhibition season with a perfect 3-0-0-0 by outscoring the Rivermen 5-1. In their three exhibition games, Rockford outscored their opponents 13-3.

“It gives you an idea what type of team we’re going to be,” said second-year winger Pete MacArthur. “You can’t really distinguish between the first and fourth line. Everyone has skill, everyone works hard, and everyone is smart. We’ll have a good week of practice and, hopefully, get off to a good start in a week in Peoria.”

The ’Hogs open the 2009-10 regular season with five straight road games. The season-opener is this Sunday (Oct. 4) at 3 p.m. against the Rivermen in Peoria. Then, Rockford heads out East for three games. Friday, Oct. 9, they face off against the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 6:30 p.m. contest. The next night, they are in Lake Erie to try to tame the Monsters. That is also a 6:30 p.m. game. They conclude the three back-to-back-to-back games against the Toronto Marlies with a 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct.11, matinee.

They wrap up the five-game road swing against the Wolves in Chicago at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14. The ’Hogs open their home season against the Wolves at 7:05 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, and follow that up with another 7:05 p.m. game on home ice the next night against the Rivermen.

The first 5,000 fans to the home opener Friday night will receive an IceHogs wall calendar from Maverick Media and 23 WIFR.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the September 30 – October 6, 2009 issue

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