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Monday, May 14, 2007

IceHogs hold 2-0 series lead; Blow out K-Wings 6-1

The Rockford IceHogs continued their post-season home win streak in spectacular fashion Sunday night at the MetroCentre, defeating the Kalamazoo K-Wings 6-1 and taking a 2-0 lead in the best of seven championship series.

Kaleb Betts had two goals in the game, one a power play and an assist. Nicolas Corbeil registered three points for the IceHogs including a goal. Three other IceHogs players registered a goal. Matt Gens and Kevin Ulanski registered two assists each and three other Rockford players had assists. Goalie Frederic Cloutier stopped 30 Kalamazoo shots for the win.

If the IceHogs sweep the series, the Sunday night game would be the played by this team in the MetroCentre. A new team formed on the base of the American Hockey League Norfolk Admirals will take the players uniforms and positions in the next season. All that remains could be 120 minutes of championship hockey in K-Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo.

Rockford scored first in a physical game that saw just 11 power plays but a hit that a Rockford fan said took out a pane of glass. That lit lamp came on the power play from Betts at about 7 ½ into the first period. In the second frame the K-Wings had a power play on clean ice. Kory Karlander, who has totaled points in eight playoff games, tied Nick Bootlander's record for consecutive points in games in the playoffs.

After tying the game just 18 seconds into the second frame, however, it was bye-bye K-Wings as the Hogs went wild. Betts scored his second goal of the night on another power play at 6.55. Then over the next 12:39 minutes, the Hogs scored four more times to bring the score to 6-1 at the end of the frame. Rockford shelled K-Wings goalie Ryan Nie from the net after the fourth goal. He was replaced by Tom Askey.

Additional goals were scored by Corbeil, Corey Hessler, Dan Boeser and Bruce Watson. The IceHogs have dominated the second period of play, according to the Rockford Register Star, out scoring opponents 24-9 in the second frame, half of the goal output of the entire playoffs.

“If I knew why the second periods were so good,” Rockford coach Steve Martinson told the Register Star, “I’d make it like that in the third periods.”

Nie received the loss, stopping 20 shots. Askey stopped ten shots.

Game three of the United Hockey League Colonial Cup finals moves to the Kalamazoo K-Wings Stadium Wednesday at 6 PM, local (Eastern) time. Game four occurs Saturday at K-Wings Stadium at 6:30 PM local (Eastern) time.

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