IceHogs take lead in rivalry series with 3-2 victory over Wolves
Rockford scored three times in the first period and made the lead stand up. The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allstate Arena.
ROCKFORD — The first time the Wolves and Rockford IceHogs met, exactly 12 years ago Saturday, Corey Crawford handled the net for the IceHogs.
Since that Oct. 19, 2007, contest, which the Wolves won in overtime, there hasn’t been a tighter rivalry in pro sports. Before Friday night’s clash at the BMO Harris Bank Center, each team had 68 wins against the other.
The IceHogs gained the edge in the all-time series with a 3-2 win Friday night, scoring three times in the first period and making the lead stand up. The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allstate Arena.
The IceHogs (1-3-0-0) took a 1-0 lead at 5:28 of the first period on Dylan Sikura’s third goal of the season. Moments after the Wolves killed off the game’s first power play, Sikura set up just outside the crease and redirected Brandon Hagel’s rising wrister past Wolves goaltender Garret Sparks.
Shortly thereafter, the Wolves (1-3-0-0) enjoyed six consecutive minutes of power-play time, but the IceHogs were the only ones to capitalize.
Alexandre Fortin and John Quenneville triggered a 2-on-1 short-handed rush, and Sparks rejected Fortin’s blast, but the long rebound bounced off a Wolves skate back to Fortin. He set up Quenneville, who swatted the puck out of the blue paint into the net for a 2-0 lead at 12:48.
IceHogs forward Anton Wedin added another goal at 18:23 of the period for a 3-0 lead.
After being outshot 17-4 in the first period, the Wolves came out rejuvenated and sliced into the IceHogs’ lead five minutes into the second period as rookie forward Lucas Elvenes (two goals, five assists) continued to create chances for himself and others. Elvenes carried the puck from the slot into the left corner, which lured IceHogs goaltender Collin Delia out of the crease to cut down the angle. Elvenes spied defenseman Jaycob Megna stepping up to the top of the left circle, and Megna whistled the puck into the heart of the open net for the Northbrook native’s first goal with the Wolves.
The Wolves made it 3-2 with 7:52 to go when Curtis McKenzie fed center Gage Quinney going back-door for a power-play goal, snapping a streak of 17 consecutive power-play chances without a goal. Elvenes earned his second assist of the night as well.
Sparks (1-2-0) stopped 30 shots, while Delia (1-2-0) finished with 29 saves.