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IceHogs Fall To Wolves 7-3

by Lyndsey Brown / Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Wovles scored four goals on nine shots in the third period to blow the game open and take game 2 of the West Division Final 7-3 over the Rockford IceHogs.

Chicago had scored at least one power play goal in the previous 11 contests against the IceHogs. Just seconds after the first Wolves power play of the game expired, Jay Motzko put the puck over Corey Crawford's glove side to put the Wolves up 1-0.

With Martin St. Pierre in the box for roughing, Joe Kwiatkowski, Jason Krog, and Darren Haydar turned Dave Bolland inside out as Haydar put the puck past Crawford for his fifth goal of the postseason and second of the series. Steve Martins added his first goal of the postseason late in the first period to put the Wolves up 3-0.

Jim Fahey would put the IceHogs on the board with his first goal of the series at 11:43 of the second period. Ondrej Pavelec made the first save on the shot by Blunden and the rebound made its way to Fahey, who put it home for his goal since March 4, 2005 as a Cleveland Baron to make the score 3-1 after two.

Both teams were able to score on special teams in the third as Colin Stuart scored shorthanded to put the Wolves back on top by three; the goal would turn out to be the eventual game winner.

The IceHogs were able to counter just 24 seconds later with their first power play goal of the postseason when Petri Kontiola put it past Pavalec. It took the IceHogs until their 29th power play of the playoffs to finally score; the last IceHogs power play goal was scored by Troy Brouwer back on April 12 against the Wolves. Over four hundred and sixty minutes had passed since the last IceHog power play goal.

"We took undisciplined penalties again to start the game and they made us pay for it again. We're down 3-0 before we even know it. You can't do that against this team. When we did finally fight back, any time they did get a chance in the third it just seemed to find its way back in the back of the net," said IceHogs head coach Mike Haviland.

Brian Bickell had a wide open chance stopped by Pavelec but was able to capitalize on a second opportunity for his second goal of the playoffs to put the IceHogs within one. Bryan Little would score his second of the postseason to put the Wolves up 5-3 nine minutes into the third period.

The game would not get any closer as the Wolves scored two additional goals to make the score 7-3. Boris Valabik scored his third goal of the playoffs and Haydar scored his second of the game with just over four minutes to go in regulation.

The frustration was evident late in the third when the IceHogs' Colin Fraser and Tyson Marsh and the Wolves Andre Deveaux and Valabik were sent to the box for roughing. Fraser, Deveaux and Valabik were all assessed double minors at 16:43 of the third.

Crawford made 31 saves for the IceHogs; he had allowed only six goals in the five-game West Divisional semifinal against the Houston Aeros. Pavalec made 42 saves for the Wolves.

The IceHogs power play was 1-for-6 while the Wolves power play was 2-for-7.

The IceHogs are yet to win at Allstate Arena in the last seven games but have only lost once to the Wolves at the MetroCentre.

"Hopefully we can surprise them in their building," said Haydar.

Game three of the West Division final is at the MetroCentre Sunday at 4:05 p.m. The IceHogs look to get back in the series and head into the contest down 0-2.

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