ROCKFORD, ILL – The Rockford IceHogs handed the Chicago Wolves their fourth overtime loss of the season Friday night at BMO Harrisbank Center. While the Wolves were able to climb back from a 3-0 deficit, they could not capitalize on their comeback momentum with a victory.
The IceHogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to Ville Pokka. Pokka notched an assist on the first goal of the night as his shot went off Tomas Jurco’s head and past Wolves’ goaltender Michael Leighton. Wanting a goal of his own, Pokka would then beat Leighton at 17:36 of the first. The defenseman grabbed the shot off the boards and put it in for his third of the year. Though the Wolves had two power play opportunities in the period, the IceHogs played shutdown defense, and Jeff Glass made 11 saves in the period to keep Chicago off the scoreboard.
Andreas Martensen would make it 3-0 3:35 into the second, as he found the puck among a cluster of bodies in front of the net and pushed it in through all the chaos.
The Wolves would finally make the IceHogs pay on their third power play opportunity of the evening as Brandon Pirri’s one-timer off the pass from Beau Bennett beat Glass clear. Brett Sterling pulled Chicago within a goal at 18:52 of the second as he was able to capitalize on his second breakaway opportunity of the night.
Teemu Pulkkinen tied the game at three with 4:42 remaining in the third. Pirri won a footrace and dished the puck back to the winger whose one-timer triggered the goal light.
Both teams earned a point as the game went into overtime, but Vinnie Hinostroza played overtime hero as his wrister deflected off a Wolves’ skate and into the net after 37 seconds of bonus hockey.
The Chicago Wolves are still looking for their sixth win of the season (5-10-4-1), and they face the Grand Rapids Griffins at home at the Allstate Arena Saturday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. As always, be sure to follow @SinBinWolves for up-to-date Wolves’ news and game updates.