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Wolves Fri May 09 2008

Home is Where the Win Is

The Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs enter tonight's Game 5 at Allstate Arena knotted at two games apiece. After jumping out to a 2-0 nothing lead (including a 7-3 drubbing in Game 2), Chicago was unable to pick up a victory in Rockford's MetroCentre.

Game 3 saw the Hogs shutting down the Wolves high-powered "O" in a 3-1 win, with the lone Chicago tally coming with 1:16 left in the game by center Bryan Little. In Game 4, Rockford jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding off a late Wolves rally for the 3-2 lead and the series tie.

The common factor in the first four games has been the home ice advantage, a trend that existed during the team's regular season matchups as well. Chicago was 5-0 against Rockford in Rosemont, but could only win one of the five games on the road. With two of the possible three games remaining slated for Allstate Arena, the pattern bodes well for Chicago, though a Game 7 is always a risky proposition.

Despite the even series, Wolves netminder Ondrej Pavelec has been stellar in net during his first career postseason. Rockford has averaged 37 shots per game, but Pavelec has posted a .932 save percentage and not given up more than three goals in any game yet.

Looking at tonight's game, a fast start may be the key to victory. The team scoring first has earned the 'W' in all four games so far, and while the Wolves lead the AHL in the regular season with 93 first period goals, they've struggled to start in the previous two games. A quick start tonight could get Chicago back on track to the Conference finals.

As always, tickets for tonight's game are available here, and the free food buffet always bears repeating. Schedule after the jump.

Full schedule for the rest of the series:

Fri., May 9
vs. Rockford IceHogs
Allstate Arena
7:30 p.m.

Sun., May 11*
at Rockford IceHogs
Rockford MetroCentre
4:00 p.m.

Tue., May 13*
vs. Rockford IceHogs
Allstate Arena
7:00 p.m.

*If necessary

 
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