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By: Mike Peck
Photo by Ross Dettman
Two two-goal deficits too much for Rockford

Rosemont, Ill.- Same script, different game, same result. The Rockford IceHogs dug themselves an early hole against the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena, battled back, but eventually fell 4-3 to their West Division rivals.

The Wolves jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Wednesday. Nigel Dawes tallied first, capitalizing on a Hannu Toivonen miscue behind the Rockford goal. Dawes picked up the misplayed puck and wrapped in his team-best 25th goal of the season at 3:48.

A power play put Chicago up 2-0 at 7:27 of the opening frame. After Rockford failed to clear the puck out of the zone, Ryan Garbutt picked up a Jason Krog centering pass and shelved his 15th goal of the campaign.

Garnet Exelby put Rockford on the board in period two with his first tally of the season. Rockford’s team captain slapped his marker through traffic and past Drew McIntyre at 11:12 middle frame. Igor Makarov and Ryan Stanton assisted on the goal.

Skating 4-on-4 late in period two, both teams would tally. Jeff Taffe extended his team season-high point streak to 12-straight games when he buried a Ryan Potulny feed under McIntyre at 19:20, tying the game for the IceHogs.

But just 20-seconds later the Wolves reclaimed the lead. Mark Matheson skated behind the Rockford goal and fed Dawes in the slot who wristed in his second of the night, making it 3-2 heading into the second intermission.

The Wolves extended their lead to 4-2 just 39-seconds into the third period.  Frederick Petterson broke over the Rockford line and beat Toivonen glove side from on top of the left face-off circle for his seventh goal of the season.

Rockford’s deficit was reduced to a goal once again by a defenseman tallying his first goal of the campaign. Stanton skated end-to-end and blasted his first career goal past MacIntyre and off the inside of the far post and in at 9:27 of the third period.

The IceHogs, however, couldn’t solve McIntyre the rest of the way. Taffe had the best chance with a breakaway late in the third, but rang the potential equalizer off of the post.

Rockford was outshot 31-10 in the contest and came up empty on three power plays. Chicago converted one of three.

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