ROSEMONT, Ill. – Jordan Binnington stopped all 28 shots he faced to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 2-0 triumph over the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday night in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Zach O’Brien and Jordan Caron scored in the third period and the Wolves (15-13-1-2) killed three power plays in the final nine minutes as Binnington earned his first win since Nov. 22.
“I told him last week that I believe in you and you’ve just got to come out and play,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “He was in front of everything. He saw everything and there were hardly any rebounds. When you do that, it kind of disheartens the other team a little.”
The Wolves broke the scoreless tie at 10:44 of the third period on O’Brien’s rebound goal. Scooter Vaughan battled to win the puck along the left half-wall and cleared it back to Chris Butler near the blue line. Rockford goaltender Mark Visentin blocked Butler’s blast, but O’Brien stood his ground just outside the crease to control the rebound and swat it home.
Shortly after O’Brien’s score, the Wolves killed off 1 minute, 33 seconds of a 5-on-3 Rockford advantage as well as a 5-on-4 situation immediately thereafter.
Rockford pulled Visentin with 1:47 left in favor of an additional skater, but the IceHogs couldn’t get a shot until defenseman Viktor Svedberg passed the puck into his own net. Svedberg collected the puck below the right circle and his centering pass to a teammate jumped over his stick and into the corner of the net. Caron received credit for the score – his eighth goal in his last 10 games — as the last Wolves player to touch the puck.
Visentin (4-5-2) stopped 21 of 22 shots to take the loss for the IceHogs (19-9-2-3) while Binnington improved his record to 7-5-2.
The Wolves host the Lake Erie Monsters at 4 p.m. Sunday at Allstate Arena. To find the best ticket deals, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 2, ICEHOGS 0
Rockford 0 0 0 — 0
Chicago 0 0 2 — 2
First Period—None. Penalties—Torquato, Chicago (high-sticking), 7:32; Ross, Rockford (slashing), 19:08.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Chicago (too many men, served by Trupp), 7:33.
Third Period—1, Chicago, O’Brien 4 (Butler, Vaughan), 10:44; 2, Chicago, Caron 10 (unassisted), 19:05 en. Penalties—Dowell, Rockford (elbowing), 0:35; Veilleux, Chicago (interference), 11:37; Welsh, Chicago (high-sticking double-minor), 12:10.
Shots on goal—Rockford 11-12-5—28; Chicago 8-7-8—23. Power plays—Rockford 0-5; Chicago 0-2. Goalies—Rockford, Visentin (21-22); Chicago, Binnington (28-28). Referees—Mike Langin and Jamie Koharski. Linesmen—William Hancock and Al Stensland.