Victor Ejdsell scored two goals, including the game-winner with 2 minutes, 38 seconds left in triple overtime as the Rockford IceHogs completed a three-game first-round series sweep of the Chicago Wolves with a 4-3 win early Friday morning at Allstate Arena.
The IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, will face either Grand Rapids or Manitoba in the Central Division Finals. Grand Rapids shut out Manitoba 3-0 on Thursday to even the series 2-2. Game 5 is Monday in Grand Rapids.
Ejdsell scored his first AHL goal to break a 2-2 tie with 6:07 left in the second period.
SO FILTHY— x - Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) April 27, 2018
Ejdsell with his first AHL goal! Good guys lead! pic.twitter.com/fTbkFve5An
The Wolves tied it 3-3 on Wade Megan’s goal. The game would see almost three scoreless overtime periods until Ejdsell buried the game-winner to end the eighth-longest game in AHL history.
IT'S OVER!— AHL (@TheAHL) April 27, 2018
The @goicehogs win in triple overtime in the eighth-longest game in AHL history! They're going to the next round of the #CalderCup playoffs! #CHIvsRFD #AllOrNothing pic.twitter.com/FugB084kHf
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired Ejdsell in the Ryan Hartman trade with the Nashville Predators earlier this spring. Ejdsell had one assist in six NHL games with the Blackhawks.
The Wolves opened the scoring in the first period with Philip Holm’s goal. Keegan Kolesar doubled their lead midway through the second period.
Then the goals started to come for Rockford.
Cody Franson scored a power-play goal, Chris DiDomenico added another and Ejdsell capped the three-goal fury in under 4 minutes.
It was Franson’s 10th goal since being reassigned to Rockford in January, and his seventh on the man advantage. DiDomenico and Anthony Louis each had two assists.
Rockford goaltender Collin Delia stopped 52 of 55 shots in 117 minutes in net for the win. The Wolves’ Max Lagace made a franchise-record 72 saves.
It’s the first time Rockford has advanced to the second round since 2015, when it swept Texas in the first round but fell to Grand Rapids in four games in the next round. It’s also the first playoff series win over the Wolves, who beat Rockford in seven games in a second-round series in 2008.