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Wolves Can’t Ring Out Year With Win

December 30, 2015

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Chicago Wolves right wing Danny Kristo delivered a pair of goals, but the Rockford IceHogs claimed a 5-2 victory Wednesday night in Illinois Lottery Cup action at the MetroCentre.

Center Pat Cannone and left wing Riley Brace earned assists on both Kristo tallies for the Wolves (14-13-1-2). Forward Ryan Haggerty posted 2 goals and 1 assist to help Rockford (19-8-2-3) end a four-game losing streak.

Rockford’s Garret Ross opened the scoring at 9:29 of the first. Ross squeezed through two Wolves at the blue line for a breakaway and Wolves goaltender Pheonix Copley stretched his left skate to the post to block Ross’ backhander, but the Rockford veteran poked the rebound under the pad for a 1-0 IceHogs lead.

The IceHogs made it 2-0 at 12:01 of the first during 4-on-4 play. Rockford won a faceoff in the Wolves zone and Jeremy Morin threaded the puck to Vinnie Hinostroza in the slot for a quick backhander.

Rockford took a 3-0 lead at 2:16 of the second on Haggerty’s wrister from the high slot, which prompted Wolves head coach John Anderson to send in Jordan Binnington for Copley.

The Wolves got on the board with 2:41 left in the second period as they took advantage of an odd-man rush for Kristo’s first goal. Cannone carried the puck into the slot and dished to Kristo, who blasted home a shot from the right circle to make it 3-1. Brace also picked up an assist in his Wolves debut.

Haggerty responded at 5:06 of the third with his second goal of the night, which pushed Rockford’s lead to 4-1. Kristo answered with his team-high 10th goal of the season at 12:38, six seconds after a Wolves power play ended.

With the Wolves looking to close the gap further, Jake Dowell (1G, 2A) skated into the crease and redirected a Haggerty centering pass at 14:01 to give Rockford a 5-2 advantage.

Copley (8-8-1) stopped 13 of 16 shots before giving way to Binnington, who rejected 16 of 18 shots. Rockford goaltender Mark Visentin (4-4-2) finished with 28 saves.

The Wolves open 2016 with a pair of games at Allstate Arena. The team hosts Rockford at 7 p.m. Saturday for an Illinois Lottery Cup rematch before welcoming the Lake Erie Monsters at 4 p.m. Sunday. To get one of the few remaining Howliday Packs, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

Chicago 0 1 1 — 2
Rockford 2 1 2 — 5

First Period—1, Rockford, Ross 5 (Hinostroza, Morin), 9:29; 2, Rockford, Hinostroza 3 (Morin, Pokka), 12:01. Penalties—Dowell, Rockford (fighting), 9:41; Asuchak, Chicago (fighting), 9:41; Labrie, Rockford (hooking), 11:31; Harrold, Chicago (high-sticking double-minor), 11:54.

Second Period—3, Rockford, Haggerty 2 (Dowell, Valleau), 2:16; 4, Chicago, Kristo 9 (Cannone, Brace), 17:19. Penalties—Kero, Rockford (tripping), 5:10; Dowell, Chicago (slashing), 11:28.

Third Period—5, Rockford, Haggerty 3 (Dowell, Dano), 5:06; 6, Chicago, Kristo 10 (Cannone, Harrold), 12:38; 7, Rockford, Dowell 7 (Haggerty, Dano), 14:01;
Penalties—Doty, Chicago (fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct-helmet violation), 5:28; Liambas, Rockford (fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct-helmet violation), 5:28; Schilling, Rockford (tripping), 10:32.

Shots on goal—Chicago 13-9-8—30; Rockford 12-11-11—34. Power plays—Chicago 0-4; Rockford 0-2. Goalies—Chicago, Copley (13-16) replaced at 22:16 by Binnington (16-18); Rockford, Visentin (28-30). Referee—Alex Garon. Linesmen—Ryan Daisy and Ian McCambridge.