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BROUWER BLAST PUTS HOGS UP 1-0 IN WEST SEMIFINALS

Kris Verteeg scored his first two professional postseason points with a pair of helpers on Friday. Photo by Greg Hamil
04/18/2008 7:28 PM - Morgan, Brouwer, St. Pierre all score in first ever Calder Cup playoff win

Rockford, Ill.-
Judging from the first 60 minutes of the Houston-Rockford series, it's going to be an intense one.

The Hogs snuck away with a 3-1 win at the Rockford MetroCentre on Friday in Game 1 of the West Division Semifinals.

Gavin Morgan made the score 1-0 by flicking the puck past Nolan Schaefer at 1:56 in the second period on a rebound from a shot by Kris Versteeg.  Jack Skille also was credited with the assist.

But Ryan Hamilton evened it up with another garbage goal at 8:26 in the second.  The left winger picked up a lose puck off of a shot by Joel Ward and poked it past Justin Fletcher while Crawford was committed to the other side of the net.

And then in the third period, Troy Brouwer picked up a pass from Martin St. Pierre and blasted it past Schaefer to put the Hogs up 2-1 at 8:22.  Versteeg also was credited with an assist.

Then with two seconds left in the game, Martin St. Pierre put in an empty-net goal off of a pass from Jake Dowell.

Corey Crawford finished with 18 saves, while Schaefer had 24.

The Houston penalty kill team was as effective as it was thought they would be, but so was Rockford's.  Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play.

Next game:  The IceHogs and Aeros return to the MetroCentre for some more playoff hockey action.  Game 2 of the 2008 Calder Cup West Division Semifinals gets underway at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.