Cleat Geeks

Hungry Like the Wolves: Rockford IceHogs vs. Chicago Wolves

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Rockford Icehogs (27-10-2-4) and the Chicago Wolves (20-19-1-2) meet again in the back to back home-and-home series this weekend.  Rockford has gone 5-0-0-0 versus Chicago this season at home but has lost once in regulation and in a shootout at the Allstate Arena.

TyRattieWolvesBoth teams have struggled on the powerplay versus each other this season but the penalty kill for both has been nothing short of greatness. With rookie sensation Ty Rattie back with the Wolves, Rattie will hopefully be able to boost the Wolves success on the PP.

In recent news for the Wolves, Chicago’s 4-3 shootout win over Charlotte last Friday marked the second time this season the Wolves had rallied from three goals down, and the first time it resulted in a win. On Nov. 18, Chicago overcame a 3-0 deficit, but lost 5-3 at Milwaukee.

Last night, the Wolves got blown out 6-0. The Wolves answered that embarrassing game with a goal 45 seconds into the game.  C Ivan Barbashev tallied his eighth goal of the season and put the Wolves up 1-0.

Rockford would have a chance to tie it up with a powerplay opportunity shortly after the Wolves goal. The powerplay failed with one lone shot on goal, leaving it at 1-0 Wolves.  The Wolves then had two powerplay opportunities in the first period but failed to capitalize on both. But, the Wolves lead the shot category 10-6 and have been way more aggressive. One thing the Wolves are doing really well is possession within their own zone. If that keeps up, their shots will turn into goals in a hurry.wolvesPuck

To no prevail, the IceHogs tied the game up in the first half of the second period.  C Tanner Kero scored off of a weird angled shot near the boards to put us at 1-1.

The Wolves powerplay struggles continued as not only did they not score, but failed to get any quality shots on the net. The Wolves lead the shots once again in the second frame 10-8.  Rockford responded to the Wolves physicality with their own, which to their advantage opened up a lot of odd man rushes. For the Wolves, they failed to control the puck in between the blue lines which gave the Hogs a lot of chances.

It was a give it your all period as the score was all tied up heading into the third period.  The Wolves got yet another powerplay chance but failed to even get a shot on goal.  Shortly after, Ryan Hartman of the IceHogs scored on the powerplay off a rebound to put the Hogs up 2-1.

WolvesPuckDropBut the Wolves were not done yet.  At 14:42, Wolves RW Zach O’Brien scored top self on Hogs goalie Leighton to tie it at 2.  And that proved to be the tiebreaker as headed to overtime at the Allstate arena.

The Wolves were outshot 12-4 in the third period, a totally different outcome than the first two periods.

With three players to aside, it will come down to hustle and stellar defense in order to pull out a win tonight. And it only took the Wolves a 1:02 to score and giving them another victory in the Illinois Lottery Cup.  All Star Andre Benoit lit the lamp of the net to give the Wolves a win heading into the All-Star break.

This year’s AHL All-Star game is held in Syracuse, NY.  On January 31st, the AHL skills challenge will take place and the All-Star game itself to follow on February 1st.  You can catch all the action on your local cable television; just check your local listings.

The Wolves grab their first win since January 2nd vs. Rockford.  What better ways to go into the All-Star break with an OT win over your rivals!

The Wolves will be on the ice next on February 5th @ Iowa.  The next game to be played at the All-State Arena will be February 6th vs. Iowa in yet another home-and-home series for the Wolves this season.

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