Despite a feverish conclusion, the Rockford IceHogs came up just short of the Chicago Wolves, falling 2-1 in front of a sold out BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night.
Down a goal in the final frame, Rockford kept the puck in the Chicago zone for a majority of the stanza, but couldn't light the lamp on any of their 13 shots during the period. Wolves goaltender Joe Cannata managed to shut the door on numerous IceHogs scoring opportunities, finishing the night with 32 saves.
The Wolves jumped out to an early lead just 1:12 into the opening frame. Peter Andersson took a shot from the point that Carter Hutton turned away, but Darren Haydar was there to pick-up the rebound and send it to the back of the net to give Chicago the 1-0 lead.
But the Hogs got it back a few minutes later. With Brandon Svendsen positioned in the corner, the winger found Shawn Lalonde alone in the right faceoff circle, and Lalonde fired a shot past Cannata to even the score at 1-1. Svendsen and David Gilbert each picked up their first point of the season.
The Wolves retook the lead in the second period when Andersson took a shot from the corner that deflected in front for Haydar to poke in for his second of the night, giving Chicago the 2-1 advantage.
Entering the contest, the IceHogs penalty kill unit had allowed seven power-play goals on their last 13 chances, however Rockford managed to kill off all five Chicago power play opportunities.
Hutton excused 31 Wolves shot attempts, while Rockford delivered 33 on Cannata as each squad finished with 33 shots on goal.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 26 vs. Oklahoma City Barons. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. as Rockford and Oklahoma City meet for the first time this season. The first 2,500 fans through the turnstiles of the BMO Harris Bank Center will receive an IceHogs team trading card set courtesy of the Rockford Register Star.