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Published: Saturday, 1/19/2008

10-game home ice stand helps surge by Cherokee

The Toledo Cherokee hockey team is on a roll and has ample opportunity to extend that streak with a lengthy home stand.

The Cherokee, a Junior A team, sits in seventh place in the 13-team Central States Hockey League. The Cherokee (17-14-2) has won four straight and 11 of its last 17. Toledo plays host to 10 straight home games beginning this weekend at the Ice House.

"We're undefeated in the new year," coach Iain Duncan said. "We fought back to .500 and we're playing a very physical style of hockey."

Toledo has two huge games this weekend against the Peoria Mustangs. The first showdown is tonight at 7 at the Ice House. The two teams will tangle again at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

"This will be a huge series for us," Duncan said. "They're [Mustangs] in fourth place."

Over the next five weekends, the Cherokee will have key contests at the Ice House.

Duncan said he has made many acquisitions since the beginning of the season in October.

"We've had a lot of trades. We have nine or 10 different players now," Duncan said.

One of those players is former Northview player Tim Hurst.

"You're always looking to better your team and we had struggled a bit at the start," Duncan said.

Doug Lindensmith of Sterling Heights, Mich. leads the team in scoring. He has a team-high 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points.

Toledo native Andrew Kolb is ranked third on the team in points with 12 goals and 14 assists. Kolb is playing on a line with two other local players, Hurst and Brent Bain (Sylvania).

Twenty of the team's first 30 games were on the road, but the Cherokee is still in position to be one of the eight clubs to qualify for the CSHL playoffs that begin in March.

"We've had a tough schedule, so we're happy with where we are," Duncan said.

For ticket information call the Ice House (1258 W. Alexis Rd.) at 419-476-4690 or visit www.cherokeehockey.com.

- Mark Monroe

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