Chicago Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk earned his eighth win in his last nine games as he posted 31 saves in the Wolves’ 3-2 Illinois Lottery Cup win over the Rockford IceHogs Sunday afternoon.
The IceHogs (17-16-0-1), who dropped their sixth game in a row, took the initial lead at 6:36 of the first period on Jacob Nilsson’s goal. Dansk rejected Nilsson’s shot from the slot, but Nilsson chased down the rebound below the goal line and banked a backhand off Dansk’s back into the net.
The Wolves pulled even with 4:39 gone in the second period on Coghlan’s bomb from above the right circle. Forwards Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter outfought three IceHogs along the right half-wall to claim the puck, then Leschyshyn spun it back to Coghlan at the right point. When the IceHogs retreated, Coghlan took one big stride and put everything into a slap shot that sizzled past goaltender Collin Delia’s glove.
Zykov gave the Wolves the 2-1 lead at 13:47 of the second with a power-play tally. Center Gage Quinney fired a wrister from the left circle that Delia blocked with his shoulder, but Zykov pounced on the rebound and whacked it home.
McGinn pushed the lead to 3-1 at 1:56 of the third when he unleashed a slap shot from the left circle and placed it in the top right corner of the net. Coghlan triggered the play from the defensive zone and fed Keegan Kolesar in the middle of the ice. Kolesar deftly sent a touch pass to McGinn surging across the blue line and he was alone when he uncorked his 10th goal of the year.
Rockford pulled within 3-2 on defenseman Dylan McLaughlin’s rising shot from just inside the blue line with 7:42 left in regulation. The Wolves complained IceHogs forward Tyler Sikura, locked in a battle with defenseman Jaycob Megna in front of Dansk, deflected the puck illegally with a high stick, but the officials ruled the puck hit Megna.
Rockford pulled Delia late in the game for a brief 6-on-4 advantage, but the Wolves killed that penalty and then enjoyed a power play for the final 1:27 as the IceHogs couldn’t mount an attack.
Delia (6-7-0) finished with 27 saves while Dansk improved his record to 12-6-1 as the Wolves wrapped up a six-games-in-nine-games stretch.
The Wolves’ four-game road trip continues Friday at San Antonio. They return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Jan. 18, for Teddy Bear Toss Night.