Rockford, Ill.- An offensive explosion led the Rockford IceHogs to a 6-3 win over the Chicago Wolves in front of 4,272 fans on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Photo by Greg Hamil
Coming into Friday’s tilt, the IceHogs had only scored five goals over their last four contests. The IceHogs tallied four in the first period alone against Chicago.
The Wolves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Anton Rodin ripped in his third goal on the campaign. On a delayed penalty, Sebastian Erixon raced into the IceHogs zone and dropped off a pass for Rodin to blast over the shoulder of Carter Hutton at 4:21 in the first frame.
The IceHogs responded right back less than a minute later to tie the game at 1-1. Philippe Paradis battled for the puck behind the Wolves goal and found Byron Froese open in front of the net, and Froese fired his first goal of the season past Matt Climie to tie the game 1-1.
Rockford took the lead at the 9:43 mark of the opening frame. Brian Fahey hit a hard slapshot from the blue line that Andrew Shaw redirected past Climie to give the IceHogs a 2-1 lead.
Peter LeBlanc continued the scoring frenzy for Rockford a few minutes later. Jimmy Hayes forced a turnover in the Chicago zone and fed a pass to LeBlanc, who flipped his seventh goal of the season past Climie, giving the IceHogs a 3-1 lead. The goal ended Climie’s night as Eddie Lack came in to replace him.
Just 34 seconds later, Lack thought he had the puck covered after Fahey fired a shot on goal, but Shaw found it loose in the crease and tapped in his second goal of the night, increasing the IceHogs lead to 4-1.
The Wolves started a comeback in the second period, though. Mark Mancari tallied on the power play at 11:08 of the second period, sniping a shot past Hutton to make the score 4-2. Steve Reinprecht and Chris Tanev earned assists on the play.
Then, at 13:35 of the middle frame, Mark Matheson fed a cross-ice pass for Mancari to chip in his second of the night, cutting the IceHogs lead down to just one.
Rockford, however, regained a two-goal lead late in the frame. Brett McLean carried the puck behind the Wolves net and came out to the right of Lack, then wristed a shot past the Chicago netminder to give the IceHogs a 5-3 lead at 17:25 of the second.
Rostislav Olesz sealed the game for the IceHogs at the 13:10 mark of the third period. Joe Lavin blasted a shot from the left half boards, and Olesz was there to tap in the rebound to push the IceHogs lead to 6-3.
Rockford did not convert on any of their four power play opportunities, while Chicago was 1-for-5 on the man advantage.
Hutton made 32 saves to earn his first win with Rockford and Climie was tagged with the loss, stopping eight of the eleven shots he faced. Lack turned away 24 of the 27 chances he faced.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Dec. 10 vs. Grand Rapids: Rockford hosts the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:05 p.m. Saturday marks the Griffins’ final trip to the BMO Harris Bank Center during the 2011-12 regular season. Rockford travels to Grand Rapids on Dec. 14 for the final contest between the two teams.
For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”