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Front line helps Ice start playoffs fast

INDIANAPOLIS - Don't blame him if the prospect seemed a bit unusual-and perhaps enticing.

When Dubuque won its best-of-three series in the first round of the USHL's Clark Cup Playoffs, they earned a date with the second-seeded Ice in the next round of the playoffs.

For John Doherty, that meant a match-up with the team that had traded him away to Indiana just a few months earlier.

"It's more of a challenge for me to show them that you traded me and kinda stick it to 'em," said Doherty of getting the chance to play the organization that traded him on December 3, 2011 for Cody Bradley. "It's definitely a fun series, it will be a fun one."

In the opening game of the series Friday, Doherty and his linemates did their best to make it a successful one. The forward put in a goal and an assist to help the Ice to a 5-2 win at Pepsi Coliseum in Game One of the USHL Second Round series against the Saints.

"I got traded from that team this year so I know what they're going for and I think with the way we're playing, we'll do well against them," said Doherty.

The forward's fellow linemates, Christian Hilbrich and Jake Fallon, chipped added in three more points on the night as the Ice took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

"We were fortunate to get a couple of goals out there," said Fallon of the line's success. "Really the mindset going into the game was get a hit, get a shot every shift and just try to intimidate them."

Fallon helped the cause by opening the game's scoring with a goal about six minutes into the game, one which was assisted by Hilbrich and Doherty. After Dubuque evened things up at one, Robert Polesello put one in halfway through the period to get the Ice back to the advantage.

It lasted till early in the second period when Dubuque's Gerard Hanson evened the game with a goal 1:33 after the intermission.

After that, the Ice controlled the scoreboard thanks in part to the top line. Late in the second Hilbrich passed it behind the back to Doherty who beat the goalie to the top of the net for the goal and a 3-2 lead. In the third, Hilbrich added a tally of his own when he wrapped it around the net and inside the post for the goal to make the lead two.

"I'm just trying to chip in, everyone's just trying to chip in," said Hilbrich of his performance, which included a team-high three points. "We don't care where the goals come from as long as we get them."

Don't blame Doherty if who they get it against counts just a little more for one series.

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