01/04/2008 3:10 PM
Article By: Mike Peck
Rockford takes three-point lead in AHL's West Division
Rockford, Ill.- Maybe it took an invitation to the MetroCentre for the IceHogs to figure out the Chicago Wolves. The Hogs beat the Wolves 5-4 in dramatic fashion for the first time in four meetings.
Troy Brouwer's team-leading 17th goal of the season, with assists from Martin St. Pierre and Prestin Ryan, put the Hogs on top for good at 1:37 in the third period, but the Wolves would make it interesting right up to the final buzzer.
Mike Blunden added some insurance at 14:09 with assists from Colin Fraser and Ryan Stokes, but Chicago's Jason Krog powered through a goal at 15:45 to put a tie back within site. Nathan Oystrick had the assist.
The lead changed three times during the game, including two ties, as Rockford and Chicago fought hard for the top spot in the West.
In the second period, Sergei Samsonov, who was sent down from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, tied the contest at 3 with a power play goal at 5:45. St. Pierre extended his consecutive games with a point streak to a team-leading 15 by adding the helper.
Then Chicago's Oystrick punched the puck past Corey Crawford on a power play to make the score 2-1 at 9:02 in the first.
Crawford had 26 saves to end his personal losing streak at two, while Chicago's Ondrej Pavelec handled 31 shots. The Wolves showed why they lead the Western Conference in power plays, going 2-for-6. The IceHogs finished 1-for-5.