ROCKFORD, ILL – After a poor performance during game one, the Chicago Wolves needed to bounce back against the Rockford IceHogs Sunday afternoon at BMO Harris Bank Center down 1-0 in the best-of-five series.
This, plain and simple, did not happen.
With as unhappy as head coach Rocky Thompson was after Saturday’s 2-1 loss, he has to be even more so after the IceHogs embarrassed the Wolves Sunday afternoon.
The visitors got off to a great start, dictating play immediately after the game’s opening faceoff. Fresh out of the penalty box, Wade Megan kick-started the game’s scoring when he put the rebound off Collin Delia into the net at 9:12 of the opening frame. However, the opening lead would end just four minutes later, and that was the only lead Chicago would have the entire game (and series, thus far).
William Pelletier tied the game for the home team when he beat goaltender Oscar Dansk off a pass from a failed Wolves clearing attempt. All night long, Rockford would continue to capitalize on mistakes a playoff, and division champion, team should not be making.
Just like Saturday, the IceHogs made the Wolves pay shorthanded. To kick things off, Luke Johnson potted the game’s first power-play goal with less than a minute to play in the opening frame when he jumped on the rebound. Johnson was Scooter Vaughan‘s man to cover on the play, but Johnson capitalized on a split-second of hesitation by the forward to give his team the 2-1 lead.
Another Wolves player fresh out of the box, Zac Leslie would tie the game with a power-play goal of his own with a fraction of a second left in the first period to make up for his penalty which had resulted in Rockford’s second goal, and the two teams were knotted at two headed into period two.
The IceHogs would continue to bait the Wolves into taking costly penalties, and Matthew Highmore made the Wolves pay when he went cross-cage and high off Dansk. Quite literally, as it went off the arm of Dansk and in for the 3-2 lead. Chicago would get a chance for the equalizer on a 5-on-3 power play, but was unable to capitalize.
Rockford would not make the same mistake as Chicago and be held scoreless on a 5-on-3, and this time it was Chris DiDomenico who was left alone for the backdoor pass which he easily put past Dansk to give his team the 4-2 lead entering the third.
Rocky Thompson would pull Dansk for the extra attacker with three minutes left, but only the IceHogs would capitalize on this with Lance Bouma getting the empty-netter.
With the 5-2 win, the IceHogs go up two games to none over the Wolves in the best-of-five series. It’s do-or-die for the Wolves now with game three set for Thursday at Allstate Arena.
Rockford went 3-for-6 on the power play on the evening, while Chicago was 1-for-5.
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