By Chris Dubiel
After having the previous weekend off, the Bulldogs were rested and ready to take on the Wisconsin Rampage on Friday night. The Rampage came to town riding high off of an 8-3 win over the Michigan Ice Dogs, but the Bulldogs would burst their bubble with a resounding 8-1 victory.
The Bulldogs followed a simple formula against Wisconsin, get lots of shot on net and crash for rebounds. Chicago did this and was quickly rewarded with an outpouring of goals in the first. James Bohne got the Bulldogs on the board when he tapped home a rebound off of a shot by Luke Morin. Colin McAuliffe was credited with the secondary assist on the play. Less than three minutes later, Collin Papesh added his own rebound goal to make it 2-0 at 9:22 of the first. Tyler Cosentino and Andrew Kantsedal assisted on the goal, working hard to get the puck to the net. Just 26 seconds later, Bohne scored his second when he was parked in front to stuff in the rebound after Adamson Thoma fired a shot off of the pads of Wisconsin goalie Cason Kirkpatrick. Later in the period Mitch Krafcheck picked off an errant pass by the Rampage defense and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Kirkpatrick to make it 4-0. Kirkpatrick froze on the shot and was pulled after allowing four goals on 21 shots in 11:29 of play. Kyle Weiner came on in relief for the Rampage and made some tough saves to keep Chicago off of the scoreboard for the rest of the first.
The second period would be more of the same as the Bulldogs continued to pour on the shots. Robby Gervino and Michael Maines got on the score sheet. Maine’s goal came on the powerplay, with McAuliffe adding an assist. Thirty-three seconds after Maines scored; Papesh battled a much larger Rampage defenseman in the corner and won the puck. Papesh walked it to the front and tucked a back-hander inside the far post at the 11:37 mark of the second to make it 7-0. The Bulldogs made it eight goals when they worked some magic with a power play late in the second. Jim Bohne fed the puck to McAuliffe at the point, who fired a clean pass across the slot to Jordan Swiderski at the right circle, who blew it past Weiner for the goal. Cody Miller finally got the Rampage on the board when he beat Joe Lennox from the left circle with a hard wrister.
With the Bulldogs up by seven going into the third, Coach Tom Clarke gave his starting goaltender the rest of the night off to get Joe Justyn some ice time. Lennox finished the game with 40 minutes of ice time and stopped 18 of 19 Rampage shots. He would be credited with the win. Meanwhile, Justyn was solid in net for the final period, making some difficult saves as the Rampage tried to muster some momentum. He stopped all ten of the shots he faced. The Bulldogs went on to win 8-1 and improve to 20-1 on the season.
The Bulldogs special teams play remained hot going 2 for 3 on the power play and killing off all four Wisconsin power plays. Chicago outshot the Rampage 62-29. The Bulldogs swept Wisconsin in the season series, winning all six games.
Colin McAuliffe and Jim Bohne led the way with three points each. Krafcheck, Papesh, Morin and Kantsedal each had two points, while Maines, Cosentino, Gervino, Delaney, Thoma and Swiderski all registered one.