Hoffman Estates, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves capitalized on a three-goal second period to earn a 4-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs at Triphahn Ice Rink on Friday night. The contest marked the end of IceHogs preseason action as the team will open the 2017-18 season in Cleveland on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m.
With the teams tied at 1-1 entering the middle frame, Matheson Iacopelli briefly gave the IceHogs a lead when he knocked in a sharp-angle shot at 3:16. The puck bounced off the right side of the net and Iacopelli snuck it between the left post and the pad of Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk for his second tally of the preseason.
For the second time in the game, the Wolves quickly answered.
Less than two minutes later, Travis Ewanyk led a three-on-two rush down the right wing and Nelson Gadoury picked the top left corner after receiving a cross-ice feed to tie the game. Ewanyk then notched the go-ahead goal for Chicago at 10:43. A scramble in front of the Rockford cage saw goaltender Collin Delia made back-to-back saves before Ewanyk managed to corral the bouncing the puck and slip it home while falling to the ice.
The Wolves capped off the period with a late strike from Brett Sterling to open up a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of action.
The IceHogs clawed back into the game midway through the third.
Alexandre Fortin fed a pass to Matthew Highmore along the left wing, and the speedy Rockford winger fired it home to cut the score to 4-3. Despite a late charge with netminder Matt Tomkins out of the net in favor of an extra attacker, the IceHogs could not solve Dansk to earn the equalizer.
The scoring opened late in the first period when the IceHogs took advantage of their second power play of the game. Luke Johnson took a pass on top of the left circle and fired a wrister just past the pads of Dansk to the give the Hogs a 1-0 lead.
Just seconds after the IceHogs grabbed the lead, a costly turnover in the high slot gave the Wolves the chance to even the score. Josh MacDonald snagged the rolling puck and buried his chance in the bottom corner of the cage to knot the contest at 1-1 heading into the second stanza.
Delia ended the night with 10 saves on 14 shots through two periods while Matt Tomkins was perfect on six attempts in the third. For the Wolves, Dansk finished the game with seven saves on nine shots while C.J. Motte stopped 15 of 16 in the final frame.
Single Game Tickets On Sale Now: The Rockford IceHogs return to action at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. Single game tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale now and can be purchased through IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222, or at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office. Single-game ticket prices start at $9 and range to $29.