The Allstate Arena in Rosemont hosted the division rival Rockford IceHogs (25-35-9-3) against the Chicago Wolves (41-19-7-5) on Sunday afternoon, with the Wolves holding on for a hard-fought 3-1 victory.
Chicago forwards Kenny Agostino (22-59-81) and Wade Megan (31-31-62) had scored a whopping 29 points against the IceHogs entering Sunday’s contest. Agostino leads the entire AHL in scoring this year and Megan had a hat trick among four points against Rockford back on Dec. 28.
While Chicago already claimed the Illinois Lottery Cup earlier this season, the top scorers for the Wolves struck first just 4:29 in. Agostino netted a pass from Megan to open the scoring. At 14:15, a 2-on-1 Rockford break by Anthony Louis and Matheson Iacopelli resulted in a rebound goal by Michael Latta to tie it at 1-1. The Wolves answered two minutes later with Samuel Blais deflecting a shot out of the air past Hogs starter Jeff Glass.
The second 20 minutes began 2-1 home team, with both lineups skating mostly on special teams with penalty calls building up for each team. The goaltending held, keeping the score 2-1 heading to the third. The highlight of the second was a glove-dropper between Brandon Mashinter and Vince Dunn. The Hogs goal leader took offense to a questionable play by Dunn on a Rockford player and appeared to get the best of the Wolves defenseman.
Still 2-1 heading into the third, Wolves starting netminder Jordan Binnington made several good in-close saves to keep his team ahead. Glass picked up his play in net as well, keeping the Wolves off the scoreboard for over two periods of game time until an empty net goal by Agostino with 1:10 remaining set the final at 3-1 Chicago. The lineups combined to go 0-for-8 on power play chances with shots on goal for the game favoring Chicago, 33-29.
Rockford is back home at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Wednesday night it hosts the Milwaukee Admirals before traveling to Milwaukee on Friday. The last regular season game for Rockford is the home finale on Saturday against the Iowa Wild. All three games this final week begin at 7 p.m.