The Chicago Wolves’ six-game winning streak came to a halt Wednesday night as former Wolves standout Brandon Pirri posted a hat trick to lead the host Rockford IceHogs to a 4-3 victory.
Despite the Wolves losing to Rockford for the first time in nine games dating back to last season, Wolves forward Tanner Jeannot extended the American Hockey League’s longest active point streak to 12 games and his personal goal streak to eight games as he and rookie forward Phil Tomasino took turns setting up each other.
Tomasino (G, 2A) also set up Dominik Bokk for a power-play goal as the 19-year-old registered his second 3-point effort of his 16-game career.
For the fourth game in a row, the Wolves (14-3-0-1) allowed the first goal as Rockford’s MacKenzie Entwistle sprung free for a breakaway and scored exactly seven minutes into the first period.
Unlike the previous three games, Rockford (7-12-1-0) also earned the game’s second goal Pirri wired home a wrister from the high slot at 7:40.
The Wolves slashed their deficit to 2-1 at 4:07 of the second when Jeannot intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, drove down the right wing and dished a backhand pass to Tomasino for a quick redirect just outside the crease.
Chicago had opportunities to pull even, but Pirri helped the IceHogs pull away as he delivered at 7:53 and 14:50 of the second to register his first American Hockey League hat trick since Dec. 8, 2018 — when Pirri was playing for the Wolves on Rockford’s home ice.
Jeannot cut the margin to 4-2 at 3:53 of the third when Tomasino, working down the right wing, led Jeannot with a sauce pass toward the left post. Jeannot stretched his stick as far as he could reach and redirected it into the net.
Bokk pulled the Wolves within 4-3 at 8:07 when he unleashed a one-timer from the left faceoff dot. Tomasino set it up with a perfect cross-slot pass on the power play.
Wolves goaltender Beck Warm (5-2-0), playing for the first time since March 13, posted 13 saves. Rockford’s Matt Tomkins (3-7-1) stopped 30 shots in the win.
The Wolves travel to Des Moines to face the Iowa Wild at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday. Chicago’s next game at the Wolves Training Facility is slated for Wednesday, April 21, versus Rockford.