ROSEMONT, Ill.—Josh Melnick, William Lagesson and Malte Stromwall scored goals but it wasn’t enough as the Chicago Wolves fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night at Allstate Arena.
Luke Philp scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout for Rockford, which snapped the Wolves’ two-game winning streak. The IceHogs evened the season series at three games apiece. The Wolves have secured points in six of their last seven contests.
“We’re trending well and playing a little bit more of a team game that we want to play,” Wolves center Jack Drury said. “We’ve brought a lot of guys along—a lot of new players—but we’re starting to click a little more.”
The Wolves struck first on Melnick’s seventh goal of the season in the opening period. Drury, playing in his first game with the Wolves since Nov. 5 after being recalled from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, wheeled into the high slot and fired a shot that Melnick redirected past Rockford goaltender Jaxson Stauber. Drury and Ronan Seeley earned assists on the tally that extended Melnick’s goal-scoring streak to three games.
Lagesson’s sixth goal of the season made it 2-0 a short time later. Center Vasily Ponomarev won a draw cleanly to Lagesson at the point and the defenseman’s shot ricocheted off an IceHogs player and bounded by Stauber to the stick side.
After Buddy Robinson scored to pull the IceHogs within a goal early in the second, Stromwall made it 3-1 when the forward wired a shot from the top of the right that Stauber got a piece of but couldn’t corral as the puck trickled into the net. The goal was Stromwall’s fifth of the season and gave the forward 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last eight games.
Early in the third, Robinson scored his second of the game to trim the Wolves’ lead to 3-2 and Dylan Sikura tied it late in the period.
Zachary Sawchenko (34 saves) suffered the loss in goal for the Wolves while Stauber (17 saves) earned the win for the IceHogs.
“Sawchenko played incredible in the net,” Drury said. “It was a stellar performance. It’s tough for him. We all owe him a little better.”
The Wolves fell to 10-14-3-1 on the season while Rockford improved to 17-10-1-2.
Up next: The Wolves will host the Iowa Wild on Tuesday at Allstate Arena (7 p.m.; AHLTV).
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.