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Wolves rout Rockford

Eleven players registered at least one point to help lift the Wolves over Rockford, 7-2, on Friday night in Illinois Lottery Cup action at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Leading 4-2 midway through the second period, the Wolves (10-5-1-1) exploded for three unanswered goals and took sole possession of third place in the Central Division from Rockford (8-8-1-3) with the victory.

Forwards Curtis McKenzie, Brandon Pirri, Tomas Hyka and Keegan Kolesar and defensemen Zach Whitecloud, Nic Hague and Zac Leslie scored for Chicago. McKenzie and Whitecloud finished with three points apiece.

McKenzie opened up the scoring 4:39 into the game after forward Reid Duke raced down the right side of the ice and threw a shot on net. IceHogs goaltender Anton Forsberg made the save but dropped the rebound to his skates and McKenzie beat the defender to the loose puck and deposited it for a 1-0 lead.

Whitecloud scored his first professional goal at the 17:07 mark, beating Forsberg after a backhand dish from Hyka to regain the lead after a Rockford goal.

Just 38 seconds later, Pirri went coast-to-coast and beat all five Rockford players to give the Wolves a 3-1 lead and record a point in his fifth straight game.

Hague put one past Forsberg at the 3:42 mark of the second, receiving a pass from Reid Duke in the high slot and using a diving defenseman as a screen.

Shortly after the IceHogs scored to come within 4-2, Zac Leslie tipped a shot from Whitecloud to regain a three-goal advantage. Rookie center Matthew Weis earned an assist on the play for his first professional point.

A few minutes later the Wolves put the game out of reach, scoring twice in an 18-second span. Pirri passed cross-ice to the top of the circle for Hyka, who one-timed it through for his first score since rejoining the Wolves on loan from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Forward Keegan Kolesar put the finishing touches on the win, burying a pass through the slot from T.J. Tynan on an odd-man rush at 12:29 of the second.

Max Lagace (4-2-1) posted a season-high 33 saves in the win while Anton Forsberg (3-2-0) stopped 18 of 25 shots in the first two periods before giving way to Collin Delia (13 saves).

The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday for Star Wars Night against the Grand Rapids Griffins.