Rosemont, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs (4-3-0-0) surrendered four power play goals as they dropped a 7-3 decision to the Chicago Wolves (3-4-0-0) on Saturday night at the Allstate Arena.
Chicago's power play proved to be too much for Rockford on the evening. Kenny Agostino started the second period with a power play strike just 54 seconds into the frame, and Wade Megan ended the frame with a man-advantage tally of his own. The Wolves then scored two power play goals in 1:20 from Brett Sterling and Morgan Ellis late in the third to secure the 7-3 win.
Rockford jumped out to an early lead, as Erik Gustafsson picked up his first of the year at 3:38 of the opening frame. Mark McNeill moved the puck to Spencer Abbott on the left wing, and he moved it quickly to Gustafsson just to the right of the slot. The Swedish defenseman launched a one-timer into the top corner to put the IceHogs on top.
Just 1:31 later, the Wolves answered to tie the game at 1-1. A clean 3-on-1 chance through the neutral zone saw Brad Hunt carry the puck down the right wing and snap a shot under the crossbar past Mac Carruth.
Chicago added a strike from Landon Ferraro before the end of the frame. Kenny Agostino skated into the zone, made a man miss, and then slipped a pass to Ferraro all alone in front of the cage. He made one quick move before knocking the puck over the line to give Chicago a 2-1 lead heading into the second. Both teams hit a goal post in the opening period.
Two quick goals to start the second helped the Wolves take a big lead over Rockford. First, Kenny Agostino blasted a one-timer on a power play into the net 54 seconds into the frame, and it was quickly followed up by a wrist shot from Ivan Barbashev at 1:43 to put Chicago up 4-1.
Wade Megan capped off the scoring when he jammed home a puck on a mad scramble in front of the net for Chicago's second power play goal of the game, ending a three-goal second frame for the Wolves.
The IceHogs began a comeback effort in the third, as Tanner Kero picked up a rebound after Mark McNeill swung the puck in front of the net and tucked it just past the pad of Pheonix Copley to cut the score to 5-2 at 1:17. Gustafsson then brought the Hogs back to within a pair of goals with his second of the night when he finished off a rebound from a shot from Abbott, who had three assists in the contest.
But once again, the Chicago power play came through as Sterling deflected a pass from Barbashev at 15:15 and a broken play led to an Ellis extra-man goal on a long slapper at 16:35 to seal the win for Chicago.
Both Rockford goaltenders appeared in the contest. Mac Carruth stopped 16 of 22 shots while Lars Johansson turned away 10 of the 11 pucks he faced. Copley knocked aside 26 of 29 shots for the Wolves.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Game time is 4 p.m. Sunday’s contest is Chicago White Sox Fan Appreciation Day in honor of the 2005 World Series Championship team. Fans wearing White Sox apparel or memorabilia have the opportunity to purchase upper end zone tickets for $5. One lucky fan will win tickets to a 2017 White Sox opening weekend game. The first 4,000 fans to enter the arena will receive a 2016-17 IceHogs Magnet Schedule courtesy of Rise Broadband. After the game, fans have the opportunity to Skate with the Hogs on the BMO Harris Bank Center ice. Fans are required to bring their own skates as there are no rentals available.