ROCKFORD, Ill. --- The Chicago Wolves did not have one more rally in them as they forged a third-period tie before falling 6-3 to Rockford on Sunday afternoon in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest at the MetroCentre.
Right wing Ty Rattie scored twice and Michael Davies added a late tally for the Wolves (39-20-5-3), who saw their six-game point streak come to a close. Goaltender Jake Allen(29-16-2) stopped 32 of 36 shots as Chicago’s magic number for the playoffs stayed at 3.
Following a scoreless first period, play opened up in the middle frame as the teams combined to score four goals in 12 minutes, three in favor of the IceHogs (33-26-5-4).
A breakaway put Rockford ahead 4:32 into the period as defenseman Adam Clendening chipped a breakout pass up the ice to center Mark McNeill. The forward got behind the Wolves defensemen and released a quick wrist shot over Allen’s glove for the 1-0 lead.
The Wolves responded swiftly to knot the score 1-1 on Rattie’s team-leading 28th goal of the season. One minute, 18 seconds after Rockford’s opening tally, Rattie accepted a cross-slot pass in front of the net from center Alexandre Bolduc to beat Rockford goaltender Kent Simpson.
With a player from each team in the box, the open ice of 4-on-4 hockey benefited the IceHogs as they regained the lead at 6:56. Center Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defensemanMathieu Brisebois connected to get a shot on net, which Allen steered away. But center Joakim Nordstrom swooped in and roofed the rebound for the go-ahead goal.
Rockford took advantage of a lucky redirect to create a two-goal cushion. Left wing Brandon Mashinter picked up the puck low in the zone at the side of the net and sent a pass up ice through the crease, but it bounced off of Wolves defenseman Joel Edmundson’s skate for the 3-1 lead at 16:29.
Rattie scored his second of the night on a power play early in the third period to cut the Wolves’ deficit in half. Manning the point, the rookie released a laser through a heavy screen that eluded Simpson and pulled the Wolves to 3-2 at 3:02.
Chicago knotted the score at 5:53 as Davies and center Pat Cannone combined for a pretty passing play that ended with Davies slipping the puck five-hole for the tying goal.
The penalty kill sunk the Wolves midway through the final frame as Rockford converted a power-play opportunity. Bouchard sent a pass to center Brad Mills, who scored from a sharp angle for the go-ahead goal at 10:04.
Mashinter added his second of the night as he and center Phillip Danault each scored an empty-net goal in the final 1:20 as Allen was pulled for an extra attacker.
Simpson denied 28 shots to move to 10-14-1.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena to face Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Tuesday in an Amtrak Rivalry game. For special deals on tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.
ICEHOGS 6, WOLVES 3
Chicago 0 1 2 -- 3
Rockford 0 3 3 -- 6
First Period---None. Penalties---Janik, Chicago (hooking), 2:42; Hartman, Rockford (tripping), 8:25.
Second Period---1, Rockford, McNeill 16 (Clendening), 4:32; 2, Chicago, Rattie 28 (Bolduc), 5:50; 3, Rockford, Nordstrom 17 (Brisebois, Bouchard), 6:56; 4, Rockford, Mashinter 12 (A. Broadhurst, Nordstrom), 16:29 pp. Penalties---Hanson, Chicago (tripping), 6:24; Clendening, Rockford (interference), 6:45; Edmundson, Chicago (slashing), 13:37; Ponich, Chicago (slashing), 14:49; Bench, Rockford (too many men), 17:48; Ross, Rockford (hooking), 19:23.
Third Period---5, Chicago, Rattie 29 (Aucoin, Cracknell), 3:02 pp; 6, Chicago, Davies 9 (Cannone, Janik), 5:53; 7, Rockford, Mills 8 (Bouchard, Clendening), 10:04 pp; 8, Rockford, Mashinter 13 (unassisted), 18:42 en; 9, Rockford, Danault 5 (LeBlanc), 19:06 en. Penalties--- Ross, Rockford (hooking), 2:39; Peckham, Rockford (cross-checking), 3:51; Hakanpaa, Chicago (delay of game), 8:51.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 13-9-9—31; Rockford: 12-12-14—38. Power plays---Chicago 1-6; Rockford 2-5. Goalies—Chicago, Allen (32-36), Rockford, Simpson (28-31). A---5,925. Referees---Graham Skilliter and Garrett Rank. Linesmen---Trent Knorr and Alex Stagnone.