The Chicago Wolves capped their 27th season with a 3-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs Saturday night at the Wolves Training Facility.
Forwards Sean Malone, Jamieson Rees and David Gust scored for the Wolves (21-9-1-2), who clinched their fourth Central Division title in five years on Wednesday night.
Center Tommy Novak posted two assists to push his point streak to 10 games while goaltender Antoine Bibeau (5-2-1) stopped 27 shots as Chicago posted its eighth win against Rockford in 11 games this season.
“We did some really good things tonight,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “We played a lot harder (than Friday night), something that we talked about (Saturday) morning. To end the season this way is a real positive.”
The Wolves took advantage of the game’s first power play to get on the board first. Malone won the faceoff and headed toward the top of the crease. Novak threaded a pass from one circle to the other for Phil Tomasino, who centered it to Malone for the redirect.
Chicago pumped the lead to 2-0 at 5:0 of the second as Novak’s lead pass gave Rees momentum down the left wing. His drag move made an IceHogs defenseman slide past headlong on the ice, then he fed a shot between goaltender Tom Aubrun’s skates.
The IceHogs (12-19-1-0) pulled within 2-1 at 17:43 of the second on Cole Moberg’s wrist shot from just inside the blue line.
The Wolves earned a crucial insurance goal with 2:11 left in the game when Rees raced along the left boards, fought through a check and centered the puck back to Gust, who rifled it past Aubrun for the powerplay goal and 3-1 lead. Aubrun (0-2-0) finished with 28 saves.
The American Hockey League announced last week that the 2021-22 season will begin Friday, Oct. 15, and the Wolves will return to Allstate Arena next season. To discover home dates as soon as they’re official, visit ChicagoWolves.com.