Rockford, Ill- Overtime hasn’t been kind to the Rockford IceHogs (34-17-8-4) this season as they fell in their sixth consecutive game requiring extra minutes in a 4-3 overtime thriller to their instrastate rivals the Chicago Wolves (28-28-5-3). The IceHogs have dropped eight out of 11 games in overtime.
The IceHogs forced overtime with only nine seconds remaining in regulation with a backhand from Bickell that slipped under Jordan Binnington’s pads.
Yet the Wolves wasted no time in the extra session, as Danny Kristo beat Drew MacIntyre from the high slot only 42 seconds into overtime.
In a back-and-forth battle, the Wolves were victorious for the first time on BMO Harris Bank Center ice this season.
The IceHogs and Wolves entered the second period deadlocked at 0-0. Nearly halfway through the middle stanza Emerson Clark broke the scoreless tie. After several shots were sent towards Drew MacIntyre, Clark gained control of the puck and curled around the net into the slot to snap a hard wrister past the screened goaltender.
With less than two minutes to spare in the second period, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Vinnie Hinostroza teamed up to put Rockford on the board. Labrie wrapped behind the left corner of the net, and slid a pass to a waiting Hinostroza who knocked in the equalizer.
Going in to the third period tied at one apiece, the Wolves were ready to bite hard and fast. Jordan Schmaltz snuck the puck past MacIntyre after a neutral zone turnover only 25 seconds in to the frame to regain the advantage.
Rockford again responded to knot the game back up at 2-2. Hinostroza danced around two defenders before finding Mark McNeill to the far faceoff circle, who nailed a one-timer past Binnington at 2:56.
Despite Rockford’s perseverance, the Wolves weren’t ready to give up quite yet either. Six and a half minutes in to the final frame, Hubert Labrie beat MacIntyre over the shoulder from the top circle.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Mar. 20 vs. Charlotte Checkers at 4 p.m. The Force is strong at the BMO Harris Bank Center as Star Wars Night invades the arena. The IceHogs will be wearing special Darth Vader jerseys that will be auctioned on the ice after the game to benefit Special Olympics. Fans will have the opportunity to take pictures with various Stars Wars characters roaming around the concourse.