ROCKFORD, Ill. – Matthew Highmore, Chris DiDomenico and Lance Bouma contributed three unanswered tallies to break a 2-2 deadlock in the second period and guide the Rockford IceHogs to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves in front of a crowd of 5,418 at the BMO Harris Bank Center Sunday night. With their win, the IceHogs now hold a 2-0 lead in their first-round Calder Cup playoff series against the Wolves, and are just one win shy of advancing to the second round.
After the teams traded two goals apiece during a high-paced, back-and-forth opening frame, Highmore notched the eventual game-winner 3:47 into the second period with a blistering wrist shot past netminder Oscar Dansk’s shoulder for his first professional playoff marker.
DiDomenico then doubled Rockford’s advantage 13 minutes later, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play from Adam Clendening and Victor Ejdsell. Clendening and Ejdsell each notched two points in the affair, and Clendening leads the IceHogs with 1g-3a-4pts in two playoff games this year.
Rockford and Chicago played scoreless hockey through a cagey third period before Bouma sealed the win with an empty-net strike at 19:21.
The Wolves drew first blood in Game 2 as Wade Megan lit the lamp for the first time this postseason, but William Pelletier quickly responded for the Hogs. The forward collected a pass from Carl Dahlstrom in the high slot and wired it past Dansk to level the score line.
Luke Johnson then propelled Rockford to its first lead of the night as he deposited a rebound into the back of the net at 19:08 of the stanza, but Zac Leslie again knotted things up in the dying seconds of the first period to send the teams to intermission tied at two.
Rockford’s Collin Delia stopped 28 of 30 pucks to remain perfect in professional playoff games (2-0-0), while Dansk turned aside 24 of 28 for Chicago. The series now shifts back to Rosemont for Game 3 on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m.
Next Home Game: Sunday, April 29 vs. Chicago (Calder Cup Playoffs | Game 4/Ticket B)*
If necessary, the Rockford IceHogs will host Game 4 (Ticket B) of their 2017-18 Calder Cup playoff series against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday, April 29 at 4 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.