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Wolves advance to 3-0

Nineteen-year-old forward Phil Tomasino produced his first two professional goals to spark the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs Tuesday afternoon at Triphahn Center.

Center Rem Pitlick also scored twice and rookie center Seth Jarvis delivered his third goal in as many games as the Wolves became the first American Hockey League team to get off to a 3-0-0-0 start.

Jeremy Helvig (2-0-0) stopped 23 shots to earn his second win in four days against Rockford as the Wolves stifled the IceHogs (0-2-0-0) on eight of their nine power-play chances.

“We were killing a lot (of penalties), but we found our game back again late in the second with a big Tomasino goal,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “And I loved our third period. We got back to 5-on-5 with a lot of energy and effort and we found a way to finish it out.”

Jarvis opened the scoring at 15:59 of the first with a toe drag and quick wrister from the right circle that beat goaltender Scott Darling through the five-hole. Darling (0-1-0) posted 22 saves in his first game for Rockford since Feb. 21, 2015.

Rockford pulled even on captain Garrett Mitchell’s power-play goal at 13:55 of the second, but Tomasino regained the momentum for the Wolves with his first pro goal. Ryan Suzuki led Tomasino into the offensive zone, then the Nashville Predators’ 2019 first-round draft pick swooped toward the slot and placed a wrister in the top right corner of the net at 16:10.

Exactly two minutes later, Pitlick took advantage of a Rockford player slipping to the ice at the blue line on the power play. He picked up the puck and raced in for a breakaway that became a short-handed goal and a 3-1 lead at 18:10.

Tomasino added his second goal at 8:35 of the third when he set up on the left faceoff dot and tipped defenseman Jeremy Davies’ blast from the point. Rockford got within 4-2 on forward Chris Wilkie’s shorthanded goal, but Pitlick clinched matters when he buried Stelio Mattheos’ pass on a 2-on-1 rush with 1:33 to go.

The Wolves return to the ice at 2 p.m. Thursday when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins. Fans who want to be part of the Chicago Wolves Fan Gallery, presented by Hefty, can get their personalized Wolves cutout into Triphahn Center by visiting ChicagoWolvesStore.com.