ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves played their first road game of the season Saturday night and skated away with their first victory of the season.
William Lagesson, Jack Drury, Brendan Perlini and Malte Stromwall scored and goaltender Zachary Sawchenko was strong in goal as the Wolves defeated the IceHogs 4-1 at BMO Center in Rockford.
“We played hard,” Drury said. “We played well in the defensive zone and we were committed from the start. We had a lot of energy.”
The defending Calder Cup champion Wolves took their first lead of the 2022-23 season early in the opening period when Lagesson notched his first goal in a Chicago uniform. The defenseman took a sensational cross-slot pass from Stromwall as the teammates skated in on two-on-one and Lagesson chipped the puck past Rockford goaltender Jaxson Stauber.
The second period opened with the Wolves on the power play and Drury cashed in to make it 2-0. The center banged in a rebound of an Anttoni Honka shot from the point for his first goal of the season.
Rockford cut the deficit in half on Lukas Reichel’s power-play goal but Perlini again extended the lead just before the horn to end the second. The veteran blasted in a one-timer off a feed from Jamieson Rees to make it 3-1.
Stromwall finished the scoring with an empty-net goal in the waning seconds.
“Our group played the way we want to play,” Wolves coach Brock Sheahan said. “We had the puck a lot and when we didn’t have the puck, we worked to get it back. Our pace and tempo were really high. We played the way I envisioned us playing.”
In his first start of the season, Sawchenko made 22 saves to earn the win for the Wolves. Stauber (25 saves) took the loss for Rockford.
The win also marked the first for Sheahan as head coach of the Wolves.
“It feels good,” Sheahan said of earning his first American Hockey League victory. “But it feels better just to see the way we played.”
The Wolves improved to 1-2-0-0 while Rockford dropped to 1-2-0-0.
Next up: The Wolves return home to face the Texas Stars on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Allstate Arena in the first School Day Game of the season.
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.