Rockford, Ill. – In a back and forth contest, the Rockford IceHogs snagged a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves in this season’s first Illinois Lottery Cup matchup. The win marked Rockford’s fourth straight after having started the season with two losses.
Rockford winger Bryn Chyzyk looked to have his first career goal wearing the IceHogs crest and give the IceHogs a first period lead, but was denied by Wolves goaltender Jordan Binnington who made a sprawling glove save in the crease to keep the game scoreless.
Rockford would finally light the lamp right before the buzzer sounded for the first intermission. In the Wolves zone, defenseman Ville Pokka directed the puck on net from the left boards to an awaiting Spencer Abbott, who shelved his third goal of the season to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead with less then a second left in the first.
Rockford’s 1-0 lead would be short lived as the Wolves tied the game up 1:51 into the second period. Kenny Agostino skated into the IceHogs zone in a 1-on-1 opportunity against defenseman Robin Norell. Norell got crossed up and it was Agostino alone with goaltender Lars Johansson where the Wolves forward beat Johansson glove side.
Moments after the IceHogs took their first penalty of the game, defenseman Cameron Schilling netted his first goal of the season on a hustle play with 9:18 in the second. Wolves netminder Jordan Binnington made the initial save on a shot from Mark McNeill and the rebound flipped up into the air in front of the crease. Schilling crashed the net and swiped the puck in midair past Binnington for the shorthanded tally.
Chicago cashed in on their second power play to knot the contest at 2-2. Pokka was called for cross-checking followed by a delay of game penalty assessed to Jeremy Langlois. Just as Pokka exited the box, Magnus Paajarvi beat Johansson from the right circle at 11:06.
Captain Jake Dowell provided the game winner for the IceHogs late in the second at 18:22 with his first goal on the campaign. Schilling ripped a shot from the blue line on the power play and Dowell provided the screen where he redirected the shot through Binnington’s legs to put the IceHogs up 3-2.
Rockford didn’t relinquish that lead in the third. Johansson stood tall and made seven of his 25 saves in the final period for the IceHogs fourth straight victory.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Game time is 4 p.m. Sunday’s contest is Chicago White Sox Fan Appreciation Day in honor of the 2005 World Series Championship team. Fans wearing White Sox apparel or memorabilia have the opportunity to purchase upper end zone tickets for $5. One lucky fan will win tickets to a 2017 White Sox opening weekend game. The first 4,000 fans to enter the arena will receive a 2016-17 IceHogs Magnet Schedule courtesy of Rise Broadband. After the game, fans have the opportunity to Skate with the Hogs on the BMO Harris Bank Center ice. Fans are required to bring their own skates as there are no rentals available.