Wolves squander chances in loss to IceHogs

Collin Delia made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season, but the Wolves didn’t take advantage of their best opportunities.

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The Wolves’ Brandon Pirri hits the crossbar against IceHogs goalie Collin Delia during Sunday’s game.

Rockford IceHogs

There are games a team shows positives but isn’t opportunistic enough to get a victory. That happened to the Wolves in their 2-0 loss Sunday to the IceHogs at Allstate Arena.

‘‘We did a lot of good things and generated good opportunities,’’ coach Rocky Thompson said. ‘‘We just didn’t hit the net on a lot. The ones we did hit the net, I didn’t think we forced [IceHogs goalie Collin] Delia to make enough good saves. I thought we hit him with the puck a little bit. And those really good looks we had, we didn’t hit the net at all.’’

Delia made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season, and second-period goals by Tyler Sikura and Gabriel Gagne were enough for the IceHogs. The loss snapped the Wolves’ five-game points streak.

It was just one of those days for the Wolves. Thompson said he was encouraged by how his defensemen moved the puck and got to the right areas, but he regretted they couldn’t finish their chances.

‘‘I thought we played well enough that we could have won,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘You can’t win when you don’t score. There was a lot of game-play stuff that was positive.’’

The Wolves lost despite outshooting the IceHogs 34-18 and coming in with momentum after their 4-1 victory Saturday against the American Hockey League-leading Admirals.

‘‘We did a lot of good things tonight,’’ Wolves defenseman Zach Whitecloud said. ‘‘You look at some of the mistakes, and those cost you. . . . With everyone in our division, you can lose on any given night and you can win on any given night. That’s just our division.’’

Perhaps the biggest mistake the Wolves made was not taking advantage of their opportunities. Thompson credited Delia for what he did but bemoaned the chances the Wolves squandered.

‘‘When you look at the chances, we missed the net on a lot of these good looks that we had,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘We didn’t have to defend very much tonight, just a few times. You would think we’d have to defend a lot more, considering that we’d probably be a little bit more tired, but we didn’t.’’

The Wolves’ power play, which entered the day ranked 16th among 31 AHL teams at 18.2 percent, went 0-for-4 against an IceHogs penalty kill that was ranked 29th at 77.6 percent. Obviously, some production with an advantage would’ve helped the Wolves.

‘‘Disappointed in our power play because that’s a great opportunity,’’ Thompson said.

Despite the loss, Thompson said he likes the Wolves’ progress.

‘‘A month or longer before, we would have been outshot, we would have been holding on and we maybe would have been the team that would have been fortunate to get a point,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘Today, all things considered, we probably played well enough that we could have gotten points in this game or even won it. But we needed to bear down a little bit more.’’

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