ROCKFORD, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves scored three times in the second period to build a 3-2 lead but the Rockford IceHogs notched two third-period goals and skated away with a 4-3 Illinois Lottery Cup victory Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre.
Forwards Nicklas Jensen, Andrew Gordon, and Darren Archibald potted tallies for the Wolves, who fell for the fourth time in their last five outings.
Chicago (29-20-5-4) took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission but relinquished its advantage 5:45 into the third period. IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening’s shot hit off the back-boards, bounced to center Brandon Pirri who’s shot slid through the crease but bounced off center Brad Mills who was laying in the blue paint and past Wolves goaltender Joe Cannata.
Rockford (31-27-1-1) grabbed the short-handed game-winner when Pirri and left wing Jeremy Morin entered the Wolves zone on a two-on-one rush and Morin tapped home a Pirri pass with 2:36 remaining in regulation.
The IceHogs opened scoring at the 15:16 mark of the first period when left wing Terry Broadhurst scooped up a loose puck in the slot and snapped a shot over the blocker of Cannata.
The Wolves knotted the score at one with a power-play strike 34 seconds into the second period. Left wing Bill Sweatt found Jensen in the near circle and Jensen buried a shot past the outstretch glove of Rockford goaltender Henrik Karlsson.
Gordon put Chicago up 2-1 when he banked a shot from behind the goal line off the back of Karlsson and into the net at 8:39 of the middle frame.
Rockford drew even with Chicago at two just over four minutes later when it moved the puck from high to low and center Martin St. Pierre sent a quick pass through the slot and where Morin was waiting and Cannata had no chance to stop the puck before it entered the six-by-four frame.
Cannata (6-4-0) recorded 25 saves.
The Wolves would inch ahead 3-2 with 1:02 remaining in the second when Archibald banged home a rebound past Karlsson.
Karlsson (5-3-0) posted 26 saves on 29 shots.
The Wolves host the IceHogs for the final time this season at the Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.
Chicago 0 3 0 -- 3
Rockford 1 1 2 -- 4
First Period---1, Rockford, Broadhurst 5 (Pirri, Stanton), 15:16. Penalties---Hunt, Chicago (interference), 2:53; Connauton, Chicago (delay of game), 9:58; Mills, Rockford (boarding), 18:48.
Second Period---2, Chicago, Jensen 2 (Sweatt, Hunt), 0:34 pp; 3, Chicago, Gordon 16 (Haydar, Vandermeer), 8:39; 4, Rockford, Morin 23 (St. Pierre, Lalonde), 12:41; 5, Chicago, Archibald 10 (Schroeder, Connauton), 18:58 pp. Penalties---St. Pierre, Rockford (interference), 12:59; St. Pierre, Rockford (hooking), 17:59.
Third Period---6, Rockford, Mills 2 (Pirri, Clendening), 5:45; 7, Rockford, Morin 24 (Pirri), 17:24 sh. Penalties---Sweatt, Chicago (tripping), 8:13; Price, Chicago (hooking), 14:16; Broadhurst, Rockford (holding the stick), 15:41; Lalonde, Rockford (boarding), 17:47.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 9-13-7--29. Rockford: 13-11-5--29. Power plays---Chicago: 2-5. Rockford: 4-4. Goalies--Chicago, Cannata (25-29). Rockford, Karlsson (26-29). A---5,458. Referees---Mark Lemelin and Terry Koharski. Linesmen---Al Stensland and Alex Stagnone.