Goaltender Collin Delia posted 34 saves to lead the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Wolves in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
Rockford can end Chicago’s three-year hold on the Illinois Lottery Cup with one more victory over the Wolves (20-18-3-2) this season. The cup goes to the team that earns more wins in the 12-game series.
“I thought we did a lot of good things, actually,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “We were in back-to-back games, so fatigue would have been more against us today. We generated good opportunities, we just didn’t hit the net.”
Rockford (20-19-1-1) opened the scoring 29 seconds into the second period when center Tyler Sikura extended his arms and reached into the crease to knock home the rebound of forward Gabriel Gagne’s shot.
Gagne pushed the lead to 2-0 with 7.9 seconds remaining in the second period when he blasted a shot top-shelf from the slot. Forward Dylan Sikura set him up.
The Wolves pulled Sparks for an extra skater with 2:40 to go and earned a 6-on-4 opportunity when Rockford’s Nicolas Beaudin went to the box for delay of game with 2:38 to go. The Wolves pelted Delia with six shots during the power play, but couldn’t solve him.
The IceHogs committed another delay of game penalty with 28 seconds left to set up another 6-on-4 for the Wolves, but the hosts managed just one more shot before time ran out.
Delia (8-8-0) picked up his first shutout of the season while Wolves goaltender Garret Sparks (5-12-3) posted 16 saves.
The Wolves travel to Texas on Friday and Saturday before returning to Allstate Arena on Friday, Jan. 31, to face the Milwaukee Admirals.