01/16/2009 7:00 PM
The IceHogs fell to the Wolves 3-2 for the first time at the MetroCentre in 2008-09 on Friday. (Photo by Greg Hamil)
Hogs are 4-1-0-0 against Wolves at home in 2008-09
Rockford, Ill.- The Chicago Wolves held off the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 in the final meeting of the regular season at the Rockford MetroCentre on Friday.
In the first period, winger Pascal Pelletier gave the IceHogs the lead off of a smart feed from Niklas Hjalmarsson at 17:13 in the first period. Pelletier now has 10 points (6g-4a) in his last six games.
Then Chicago’s Joe Motzko tied the score a 1-1 in the second period when he blasted the puck past Antti Niemi at 9:05 for his ninth goal this season against Rockford. Assists came from Jeff Hamilton and Grant Stevenson.
With the score tied, the Wolves took a two-goal advantage thanks to two power-play goals on two quick penalties to end the second frame.
"Our transition game dried up on us," said coach Bill Peters. "I thought we quit making plays as the game went along and we had a hard time moving the puck. We left the puck on the wall a lot and didn't make our plays."
Newcomer defenseman Brett Skinner gave the Wolves the lead at 19:54 in the second period on a 5-on-3 with assists from Hamilton and Motzko.
"They found seams against us tonight," said Peters. "I give them credit on that 5-on-3. It was a saucer pass back door on a nice seam and then finished it with a shot right under the bar."
On the other side of the intermission, Hamilton took his turn on a one-man advantage at 1:01 in the third. Clay Wilson and Motzko helped.
Jimmy Sharrow closed the gap to 3-2 at 17:23 with helpers from Dan Bertram and Rob Klinkhammer, but the Hogs couldn't complete the comeback.
The Wolves have scored 11 of their 29 power-play goals against the IceHogs this season including two on five opportunities on Friday. The IceHogs didn't convert on three chances.
Niemi had 30 saves in his first start since Jan. 7 against Grand Rapids. Robert Gherson had 25 saves in the win.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 17 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. Rockford welcomes the Griffins to the MetroCentre for the first of two straight meetings in Rockford. The first 2,500 fans to the game on Saturday will get an IceHogs Fleece Blanket courtesy of Lonnie’s Carpet Max.