ROCKFORD — Goalie Oscar Dansk earned his eighth win in his last nine games, making 31 saves in the Wolves’ 3-2 victory over the IceHogs on Sunday.
Forwards Valentin Zykov and Tye McGinn and defenseman Dylan Coghlan scored for the Wolves (17-17-3-1), who took sole possession of third place in the AHL’s Central Division.
The IceHogs (17-16-0-1), who dropped their sixth consecutive game, opened the scoring at 6:36 of the first period on Jacob Nilsson’s goal. Dansk rejected Nilsson’s shot from the slot, but Nilsson chased down the rebound below the goal line and banked a backhander off Dansk’s back into the net.
The Wolves tied it 4:39 into the second period on Coghlan’s bomb from above the right circle. Forwards Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter outfought three IceHogs along the right half-wall for the puck, and Leschyshyn spun it back to Coghlan at the right point. When the IceHogs retreated, Coghlan took one big stride and put everything into a slap shot that sizzled past goalie Collin Delia’s glove.
Zykov gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead at 13:47 of the second with a power-play tally. Center Gage Quinney fired a wrister from the left circle that Delia (6-7-0, 27 saves)blocked with his shoulder, but Zykov pounced on the rebound and whacked it home.
McGinn pushed the lead to 3-1 at 1:56 of the third when he unleashed a slap shot from the left circle and put it in the top right corner of the net. Coghlan triggered the play from the defensive zone, feeding Keegan Kolesar in the middle of the ice. Kolesar sent a touch pass to McGinn surging across the blue line, and he was alone when he uncorked a shot for his 10th goal of the year.
The IceHogs closed to 3-2 on defenseman Dylan McLaughlin’s rising shot from just inside the blue line with 7:42 left. The Wolves complained IceHogs forward Tyler Sikura, locked in a battle with defenseman Jaycob Megna in front of Dansk (12-6-1), deflected the puck illegally with a high stick, but the officials ruled the puck hit Megna.
The IceHogs pulled Delia late with the man advantage for a brief six-on-four, but the Wolves killed the penalty. They had a power play for the final 1:27, and the IceHogs couldn’t mount an attack.
The Wolves wrapped up a stretch of six games in nine days.