Rockford, Ill. – Hockey returned to the BMO with an exhibition game Thursday night between the Rockford IceHogs and the Chicago Wolves. The IceHogs got the better of their central division foe with a 4-1 victory behind a two-point game by Evan Mosey (1G,1A).
The IceHogs took an early 1-0 lead at 6:09 in the first period courtesy of a nice feed from Travis Walsh. Mosey, a Downers Grove, Ill. native, corralled a pass from Walsh and beat Wolves goaltender Ville Husso.
Cody Sikura increased the IceHogs lead to 2-0 at 8:41. Right wing Tyler Currier screened Husso as Sikura took a shot from behind the left faceoff dot.
The first period saw a bit of the instate rivalry between the two clubs when Matt Rupert and Dane Fox met on a hard collision near the boards. Rupert checked Fox before the two dropped gloves with less then two minutes remaining in the frame.
The second period was characterized by a multitude of penalties starting with Matt Stanisz going to the box for holding at 19:14 to end the first. The IceHogs would be sent to the sin bin four times in the middle frame but Rockford killed off all five penalties. Goalie Lars Johansson made some keys saves in the second, seven in all, to keep Chicago off the score sheet.
Fortune was in the IceHogs favor as a delayed penalty six-on-five play put them up 3-0. Defenseman Dillon Fournier sped towards the goal as Johansson skated off the ice for the extra attacker. Fournier dropped the puck off to Bryn Chyzyk who hammered it home for the goal at 15:55 in the second.
Jake Hildebrand came on in relief for Johansson in the third period. The Swedish goaltender made all 16 saves he faced in two periods of work.
Penalties continued to plague the IceHogs into the third as tempers started to boil over for Chicago. Jake Dowell got the better of Kevin Tansey as the two had a feud after Dowell knocked over Husso to give the Wolves their eighth power play. Chicago was finally able to capitalize with a goal by Sam Povorozniouk on the man advantage and would end the evening 1-8 on the power play.
Marek Tvrdon’s empty net goal at 19:01 sealed the game for Rockford. The IceHogs outshot the Wolves 36 to 25.
The IceHogs play their second and final preseason game on Friday against the Milwaukee Admirals at the Kern Center on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering at 7 p.m.
Regular Season Home Opener: Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Milwaukee at 7 p.m. The IceHogs open their 18th season of professional hockey at the BMO with the first home game of the 2016-17 season. The first 5,000 fans to enter the arena will receive an IceHogs calendar compliments of BMO Harris Bank. For tickets visit IceHogs.com or call (815) 968-5222.