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AHL Playoffs: Wolves-IceHogs Series Likely to go Seven

Steve JankowskiAnalyst IMay 8, 2008

The first four games of the AHL West Division Finals between the Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs have all been won by the home team, and now the series shifts back to Chicago's Allstate Arena for a critical Game 5 on Friday night.

The home team domination comes as no surprise to anyone who followed the regular season series between these in-state rivals. 

The home team won 9 out of the 10 regular season games during the regular season.

Chicago's late rally to buck that trend came up short as Rockford won 3-2 at home last night.

It was a critical win for the IceHogs, as they denied Chicago the opportunity to close out the series in the Allstate Arena, a house of horrors for the Hogs.  They also guarantee another home game for them in Game 6.

Rockford goalie Corey Crawford rebounded nicely from a sub-par performance in the first two games in Chicago, where he was lit up for 11 goals in two games.  In the two games in Rockford, he allowed a total of three.

The challenge facing the IceHogs is that in order to advance, they must win one game in Chicago, something they have never done.

Home ice advantage has been on the side of the Wolves, and they hope to use that to help them advance to the Western Conference Finals.

The West Division final is down to a best-of-three, with the next game Friday in Chicago.

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