ROSEMONT, Ill. – Victor Ejdsell scored his second goal of the game after four hours and 59 minutes of hockey to push the Rockford IceHogs to a 4-3 victory in triple overtime over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena Thursday night. The Hogs’ swept the Wolves in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, marking just its second playoff sweep since joining the AHL (also swept the Texas Stars in the first round of the 2015 playoffs).
Ejdsell collected a pass from Anthony Louis and skated in from the half-wall before releasing a bullet over the shoulder of Max Lagace to end the lengthy affair at 17:22 in the third overtime. The contest finished as the eighth-longest game in AHL history, and the longest in Rockford’s 11 years as an AHL franchise.
The Wolves, one loss away from elimination, started hot, scoring the first two tallies of the contest. Phillip Holm struck first midway through the first period, and Keegan Kolesar doubled Chicago’s advantage at 8:02 of the middle frame.
But, just under two minutes later, Cody Franson ripped home a one-timer to cut the deficit in half. Franson joined Adam Clendening and Chris DiDomenico as the only Hogs to record points in each of the three games in the first-round series.
DiDomenico then leveled the score at 13:00 of the second period with a marker of his own, wiring a shot top shelf for his second of the playoffs. Ejdsell then gave Rockford its first lead 54 seconds later, deking out Lagace and potting the puck in the back of the net to make it 3-2 as the teams headed into intermission.
Wade Megan then forced overtime with a wraparound effort at 3:11 of the final stanza, and the teams played scoreless hockey through two extra frames until Ejdsell’s winner.
Lagace starred in the Chicago cage, setting a Wolves franchise record with 72 saves on 76 shots. His Rockford counterpart, Collin Delia, stood equally tall with 52 saves on 55 shots in the opposite crease.
The IceHogs now await the winner of the Grand Rapids/Manitoba series, which is set for a deciding Game 5 on Monday, April 30.
Next Home Game: Wednesday, May 9 vs. TBA (Calder Cup Playoffs | Round 2, Game 3/Ticket D)
The Rockford IceHogs will host Game 3 (Ticket D) of their second-round 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the winner of the Grand Rapids Griffins/Manitoba Moose first-round series on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.