Rockford, Ill – Mother Nature did her best to interfere with Friday night’s matchup at the BMO Harris Bank Center, but the Rockford IceHogs snagged a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves.
After losing a 2-0 lead early in the second period, Rostislav Olesz—who has missed the last five games due to an injury—got the lead back for Rockford at the 10:12 mark. The winger carried the puck over the blue line and weaved around several Chicago players, trying to get a shot on goal. After Matt Climie turned away Olesz’s initial shot, he regained control of the puck and flipped it behind Chicago’s sprawling netminder to give Rockford a 3-2 lead. Chris DiDomenico and Brian Fahey factored in on the play with assists.
Carter Hutton and the IceHogs held the Wolves off the board the rest of the way to earn their second win in as many games.
Rob Flick gave Rockford an early 1-0 lead to start the game with his second goal of the season. Brandon Bollig made a pass from inside the IceHogs’ zone to Flick, who skated through the neutral zone and around two Wolves defenders before sliding the puck under Climie at 1:20 of the opening frame.
Then, at the 12:41 mark in the first period, Brandon Pirri increased the Hogs’ advantage to 2-0. Jeremy Morin carried the puck into the neutral zone and fed a pass to Pirri, who fired a shot that Climie blocked down. The second-year center picked up his own rebound in the right corner and rifled the puck to the back of the net for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Chicago cut the IceHogs lead in half at 6:33 of the middle frame. With a scramble in front of Hutton and the IceHogs net, Jordan Schroeder found a loose puck and poked it in to make it a 2-1 game.
Just two minutes later, Darren Haydar picked up a pass from Schroeder, and his shot bounced off the right goal post and past Hutton, tying the game at 2-2.
Neither Rockford nor Chicago converted on the power play, with the IceHogs going 0-for-5 and the Wolves failing to tally on three opportunities.
Hutton now leads all IceHogs goaltenders with seven wins after turning away 20 shots on Friday. Climie was tagged with the loss, making 22 saves.
Next Home Game: Sunday, Jan. 22 vs. Milwaukee Admirals. Rockford battles the Milwaukee Admirals on Blackhawks Night at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Game time is 5:05 p.m. Current Blackhawks players Bryan Bickell and Nick Leddy, along with Assistant Coach Mike Haviland, will be on hand to sign autographs and meet with fans. Jim Cornelison will sing the National Anthem.
For every goal that the Rockford IceHogs score in 2011-12, IceHogs head coach Ted Dent will make a donation to children’s cancer research. BMO Harris Bank will also make a donation for every goal to the “BMO Harris Bank Goals For Grades”