Photo by Kris Gray
Rockford, Ill – Coming off a 2-1 win on Friday, the Rockford IceHogs were looking for a weekend sweep on home ice against the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night. But Chicago notched three goals in the second period, and the IceHogs could not mount a comeback, losing 6-2 in front of a sold out crowd of 6,164 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
After the Hogs tied it up at 2-2 early in the middle frame, the Wolves quickly grabbed a two goal lead, netting two markers just 10 seconds apart. Nathan Longpre, who was stationed right in front of the IceHogs net, received a pass from MIchael Davies and beat Carter Hutton at 5:49 to make it 3-2. Then at 5:59, Antoine Roussel and Chris Tanev set up Stefan Schneider for his fourth goal of the season, pushing the Wolves’ lead to 4-2.
At 8:23 of the second period, Mark Mancari notched his second tally of the night to give Chicago a 5-2 lead. Steve Reinprecht earned his second helper of the game on the play, and Alexander Salak replaced Hutton in goal for Rockford.
Late in the third period, Rockford tried convert on a Chicago penalty, pulling Salak in favor of a 6-on-4 advantage, but Antoine Roussel sealed the game for the Wolves with a short-handed, empty net goal at the 16:51 mark of the final frame.
In the opening frame, Rockford used their first man advantage opportunity to take a 1-0 lead. Ben Youds fired a shot on goal from the blue line that Matt Climie blocked down, but Rostislav Olesz picked up the puck on Climie’s right hand side and slipped it past the Wolves’ netminder at 6:05 of the first period.
Davies then evened the score at the 14:32 mark, flipping the puck over Hutton’s shoulder and in to make it 1-1. Tim Miller and Adam Polasek earned assists on the play.
Less than two minutes later, Chicago gained their first lead of the night. Reinprecht battled for the puck behind the IceHogs net and found Mancari open, and the winger rifled the puck into the top-right corner to give the Wolves a 2-1 lead.
The IceHogs tied the game just 1:02 into the second period. Shawn Lalonde fired a shot from the blue line that bounced past Climie, and Jimmy Hayes cleaned up the rebound for his seventh tally of the season, making it a 2-2 game. Hayes is on a five-game point streak dating back to Dec. 26, totaling 3g-3a-6pts.
Rockford went 1-for-5 on the man advantage and killed off all five of Chicago’s power play opportunities.
Hutton was tagged with the loss, making 15 saves, while Climie earned the win after turning away 39 IceHogs shots. Salak stopped all 15 shots he faced.