ROCKFORD, Ill.—The Chicago Wolves hit the road for the first time this 2023-24 season when they faced the IceHogs on Saturday night in Rockford.
Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and two assists, Cavan Fitzgerald, Cole Schneider and Chris Terry each had a goal and an assist and Dominic Franco also found the back of the net to lift the Wolves to a 5-2 victory. The win was the first of the season for the Wolves as they improved to 1-1-1-0.
“It’s a big win for our team,” Grimaldi said. “We didn’t get a great start at home the last couple of games and sometimes it takes going on the road to get a huge win.”
The Wolves wasted no time in finding the scoreboard first. Grimaldi came back to haunt his former team by notching his first goal of the season 23 seconds into the contest. The veteran forward stripped a defender of the puck, cruised through the slot and shoveled a backhander past Rockford netminder Drew Commesso to the stick side for the unassisted goal.
“I tried getting a hard rim and somehow the goalie got to it and they had a miscue between the goalie and the D-man,” Grimaldi said. “I don’t think he knew I was there and I kind of just grabbed it out of his feet and took it to the net and I was fortunate enough it went in.”
Early in the second, Fitzgerald rifled a wrist shot from the high slot that sailed by Commesso to the stick side for a two-goal Wolves advantage. Josh Melnick and Cory Conacher assisted on Fitzgerald’s first goal of the season.
Rockford cut the deficit in half on Isaak Phillips’ goal a short time later.
The IceHogs were awarded a power play early in the third and cashed in when Joey Anderson scored to knot the score at 2-2.
Schneider notched the winner from in close with 4:14 remaining in the third when he redirected a pass from Terry past Commesso. Grimaldi added an assist on Schneider’s first goal of the season.
Franco made it 4-2 a short time later by redirecting a Fitzgerald cross-crease pass and Terry ended the scoring with an empty-netter.
Adam Scheel (23 saves) earned victory for the Wolves while Commesso (25 saves) suffered the loss for the IceHogs.
Grimaldi was triumphant in his return to Rockford having ended last season with the IceHogs.
“I had a great time playing there last year and they treated me awesome,” Grimaldi said. “I have the upmost respect for them but it was a great win for our team.”
Next up: The Wolves host the Texas Stars on Sunday (3 p.m.) at Allstate Arena.
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2023-24 season—everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings—visit chicagowolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.