ROSEMONT, Ill.—The Wolves defeated the Rockford IceHogs 4-3 in overtime Sunday to post their first two-game winning streak of the 2023-24 American Hockey League season.
Nathan Sucese had two goals—including the game-winner in overtime—while Griffin Mendel and Max Comtois also scored as the Wolves extended their points streak to three contests in the second of a four-game homestand at Allstate Arena.
“We’ve played better games this season than that and earlier in the season they weren’t falling for us,” Sucese said. “Maybe we were a little opportunistic (Sunday) and fortunate enough to get a few in the back of the net.”
Cory Conacher chipped in two assists to help the Wolves capture their third triumph over Rockford in three meetings this season.
Following their 6-2 win over the Texas Stars on Saturday night, the Wolves stayed in offensive mode and grabbed the lead Sunday just 2 minutes, 34 seconds into the game on Mendel’s goal.
The defenseman took a pass from Conacher and wired a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed past Rockford goaltender Drew Commesso to the glove side. In addition to Conacher, Dominic Franco earned an assist on Mendel’s first goal of the season.
Comtois made it 2-0 Wolves just 3:16 later with his sixth goal of the season. Following a feed from Vasily Ponomarev, Comtois flicked a one-timer from a sharp angle that squeezed between the right post and Commesso’s glove. Chris Terry had the secondary assist on the play.
Late in the second, Rockford pulled to within 2-1 on a goal by Mike Hardman.
Sucese’s goal midway through the third again gave the Wolves a two-goal advantage. With Chicago on the power play, Sucese received a pass from Ronan Seeley, found some open space and walked in on Commesso before scoring on a shot from the left dot. Seeley and Conacher had assists.
“It was a great play by Conacher over to Seeley and I kind of got lost high,” Sucese said. “I like to come downhill on it and I waited for their ‘D’ to step up and try to block the shot and I did a little pull and drag and shot it.”
The IceHogs kept coming and pulled even on goals by Jalen Luypen and Michal Teply to send the game the game to overtime.
Sucese notched the game-winner :30 into the extra session when he cruised through the neutral zone and into the Rockford zone and ripped a shot from the high slot into the back of the net. Matt Donovan and Josh Melnick recorded assists on Sucese’s eighth goal of the season.
“I had a lot of speed coming off the drop pass and I saw the lane through the middle so I cut middle and just ripped it,” Sucese said. “Fortunately, it went in.”
Adam Scheel (22 saves) earned the win in goal for the Wolves while Commesso (21 saves) took the loss for the IceHogs.
The Wolves improved to 7-13-1-2 on the season while Rockford dropped to 10-11-3-0.
“It’s been four to five games in a row that we’ve played really well,” Sucese said. “We’re starting to get results and that’s the big thing. Hopefully, we can keep this going into the Christmas break.”
Next up: The Wolves host the Manitoba Moose on Tuesday (11 a.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.