Rockford, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs (7-11-1-2) fell to their instate rival, the Chicago Wolves (10-9-1-1), 4-1, Friday night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. With the win, Chicago now leads this season’s Illinois Lottery Cup series, 3-1.
Samuel Blais gave Chicago an early 1-0 edge with a blast from the left circle that initially clanked iron before beating IceHogs goalie Mac Carruth glove side at 5:52 in the first frame.
The IceHogs appeared to have evened the score late in the first period, but the goal was disallowed. Pierre-Cedric Labrie drove into the Wolves zone and looked to have successfully lofted the puck over Wolves goaltender Jordan Binnington, but the tally was overruled on a high-sticking call.
The Wolves capitalized on an aggressive forecheck to increase their lead to 2-0 at 18:02 in the opening period. Pinned to the boards, Ivan Barbashev backhanded a pass from the right of the net to Andrew Agozzino who buried the puck.
Chicago opened the lead to 3-0 on a breakaway opportunity at 8:06 in the second. Kenny Agostino sped past the defense and slid the puck through Carruth’s pads.
The IceHogs then finally scratched the score sheet five seconds into their first and only power play of the evening. Wasting no time with the man advantage, Tanner Kero won the faceoff and pushed the puck to Ville Pokka on the left point. Pokka fired a centering pass on net, where Mark McNeill hammered the puck home past Binnington at 18:12 to make the score 3-1. With the assist, Kero has scored a point in six of the last eight contests.
Landon Ferraro polished off the score for the Wolves with a tip-in goal on a two-on-one chance to secure a 4-1 win for Chicago.
Next Game: Saturday, Dec. 3 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins at 7 p.m. The Rockford IceHogs face the Grand Rapids Griffins (11-6-0-2) in the third of 10 season meetings. The popular Teddy Bear Toss promotion returns to the BMO Harris Bank Center where fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears and/or stuffed animals to the game, and throw them onto the ice when the IceHogs score their first goal of the game. The teddy bears and stuffed animals will then be donated to local hospitals and kids charities.