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By: Mike Peck

Burfoot, Davies and Rivard to drop first puck on Friday

Rockford, Ill.-The Rockford IceHogs kick off their tenth season of professional hockey on Friday night and the American Hockey League club is inviting some former players back from the team’s inaugural season. 

Scott Burfoot, Dan Davies and J.F. Rivard will be on hand opening night as the IceHogs begin the 2008-09 season against the Quad City Flames to drop the ceremonial first puck.  All three players skated for the IceHogs during the 1999-2000 team that competed in the now defunct United Hockey League.

Rivard and Davies established themselves as the organization’s first fan favorites when playing with the IceHogs.  Rivard appeared in 166 games in goal for Rockford, most of any goalie in IceHogs history. The puck-stopper also won an IceHogs franchise record 69 games during four seasons in an IceHogs uniform. 

No player in IceHogs history has appeared in more games than Davies.  In his five season in Rockford, Davies played in 298 games, 104 more than the next closest player. Davies established a reputation as a ferocious body checker and scored one of the biggest goals in IceHogs history.  On March 28, 2003, Davies tallied a third period goal against the rival Quad City Mallards in Rockford’s 1-0 win to clinch a playoff berth at the MetroCentre.

Burfoot not only played for the IceHogs but coached the team as well.  The Winnipeg native began the ‘99-00 season as an assistant coach under Dale Degray.  Burfoot, however, came out of retirement and played in 11 games for the IceHogs.  After hanging up the skates for nearly two more seasons, Burfoot again put retirement on hold and skated in three games during the 2002-03 campaign.  The former winger was then named intern head coach, taking over for Scott Bell in March 2003.  Burfoot helped guide the IceHogs to their second postseason berth in club history.

All three former players currently reside in Rockford and have contributed to youth hockey in the area.  Davies and Rivard both worked with the Rockford Hockey Academy, helping coach and instruct kids with on-and off-ice workout activities.

Burfoot has been an integral part of the successful Jr. IceHogs Youth Hockey, a program developed in conjunction with the Rockford Park District.  Established in the summer of 2003, Burfoot oversees the Jr. IceHogs while also coaching teams in the league. 

Next Home Game: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. Quad City Flames.  Game time is 7:30 p.m. The IceHogs begin its tenth season of professional hockey as the 2008-09 season gets underway.  The first 5,000 fans to the game will receive an IceHogs Magnet Schedule from Dental Dimensions, Speedway Auto Mall, Guerilla Graffix and WTVO.

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