The IceHogs beat the Wolves 3-1 on Sunday less than 24 hours after falling 7-3 in the Allstate. (Photo by Greg Hamil)
Rockford looks to even series on Wednesday at the Big Orange Box
Rockford, Ill.- The Rockford IceHogs were backed into a corner and came out with a 3-1 win at the Rockford MetroCentre on Sunday. The Hogs came away with a victory less than 24 hours after a 7-3 loss in Chicago in the West Division Finals. The Wolves are now up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Kris Versteeg put in his team-leading fourth postseason goal at 8:24 in the second period with assists from Justin Fletcher and Colin Fraser to start the scoring. The winger also leads the Hogs in points with eight.
Later in the middle stanza, winger Derek Nesbitt picked up a rebound off of a shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson and put it past Pavelec on the power play at 15:47 in the second. Martin St. Pierre also had a helper.
Then Petri Konitola picked up a loose puck on another rebound and put it in the goal in a scrum in front of the net on a power play at 3:08 in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Versteeg and St. Pierre had the helpers. With the goal, Kontiola extended his point streak to six games.
And for the fifth time in eight postseason games, Crawford let in a single goal. Bryan Little solved the IceHogs' netminder on a power play at 18:44 in the third with assists from Jesse Schultz and Kevin Doell. Crawford held the Aeros to one goal in four games in the West Division Semifinals but then gave up 11 goals in the first two games against the Wolves.
Pavelec had 40 saves in the loss, while Crawford saved 27 shots. Both now have three losses in the Calder Cup playoffs.
The two teams return to the MetroCentre on Wednesday, where the IceHogs are 5-1 against the Wolves between the regular season and postseason. Through 13 combined games between the regular and postseason in 2007-08, the home team has won 12 of 13 in the Rockford-Chicago series.
Special teams continue to be the difference in the match-up. This time the IceHogs held the Wolves scoreless on the advantage in seven opportunities. The Wolves power play is 6-22 (27.3%) in the series while the IceHogs are now 3-22 (13.6%) on the advantage in the first three games after finishing 2-10 on Sunday.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, May 7 vs. Chicago Wolves (Game Four). Game time is 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs and Wolves resume the best-of-seven West Division Finals at the Rockford MetroCentre against the Chicago Wolves.