The Chicago Wolves rallied with three consecutive goals, but Rockford IceHogs center Vinnie Hinostroza scored 37 seconds into overtime to cement a 4-3 Illinois Lottery Cup victory Friday night at BMO Harris Bank Center.
Veteran left wing Brett Sterling netted his 239th career American Hockey League goal to move into the No. 48 spot on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list. Forward Brandon Pirri and Teemu Pulkkinen also tallied for the Wolves (5-10-4-1).
Rockford (12-9-1-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first frame with goals from Tomas Jurco (12:32) and Ville Pokka (17:36).
The IceHogs pushed their lead to three goals less than four minutes into the second period as Andreas Martinsen poked the puck through a pack of Wolves in the crease.
On the power play, Pirri extended his season point total to 15 points in 14 games with a goal from his signature position — the top of the right circle — to make the score 3-1 at 6:32 of the second.
Sterling corralled the puck and charged up ice all alone for his milestone tally that pulled the Wolves within a goal at 18:52 of the frame.
In the third period, defenseman Kenney Morrison flipped the puck over everyone into the offensive zone. Pirri won a foot race for the puck and dished it to Pulkkinen, who rocketed a one-timer off the post and into the net for the 3-3 equalizer with 4:42 to play.
Hinostroza bit the Wolves just 37 seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime for the game-winning fourth goal.
Jeff Glass (6-2-1) made 32 saves while Michael Leighton (3-4-4) turned aside 28 shots in his third game with Chicago.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena Saturday, Dec. 2, for a showdown with the Grand Rapids Griffins as the team hosts its third annual Star Wars Night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on CW50.