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Wolves can’t corral IceHogs

November 29, 2019

The Rockford IceHogs scored three goals in an eight-minute stretch of the second period to set up a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night in an Illinois Lottery Cup clash.

Forwards Ben Jones and Brandon Pirri scored goals for the Wolves (9-13-1-0) while forwards Jermaine Loewen and Valentin Zykov earned their first points in a Chicago uniform.

Rockford (10-8-0-1) broke on top at 15:25 of the first when forward John Quenneville skated into the slot and banged a shot off the inside of the post.

The IceHogs bumped their lead to 2-0 at 3:50 of the second on forward Alexandre Fortin’s rebound goal. Defenseman Dennis Gilbert hustled down the right wing and fired a wrister at goaltender Oscar Dansk, who repelled the puck directly to Fortin coming down the left circle.

After each team took a minor penalty, Rockford took advantage of the 4-on-4 situation to make it 3-0 at 6:01 of the second. Lucas Carlsson’s long pass off the boards set up Philipp Kurashev and Dylan Sikura for a 2-on-1 rush. Kurashev fed the puck ahead to Sikura, who did the rest.

The Wolves started their comeback at 9:27 of the second. Loewen collected the puck while crossing into the offensive zone. He flicked a pass off a Rockford skate and it bounced right to Jones, who fired from the right circle and beat goaltender Mark Tomkins on the blocker side.

After Rockford’s Brandon Hagel scored on a breakaway to give the hosts a 4-1 lead, Pirri took advantage of a power play to slash the lead to two again. Zykov, making his Wolves debut after being loaned by the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, backhanded a pass across the slot to Pirri, who launched a one-timer from the left circle that went top-shelf at 15:42 of the second.

Dansk (4-6-0) stopped 22 of 26 shots while Tomkins (4-1-0) posted 31 saves.

The Wolves host the Manitoba Moose at 7 p.m. Saturday on Adopt-A-Dog Night, presented by Premier Veterinary Group.