ROSEMONT, ILL – The Chicago Wolves snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 4-3 win against the Rockford IceHogs at home in the Allstate Arena Saturday night. Four different players lit the lamp for Chicago, and ten total players tallied at least one point in the victory.
Petteri Lindbohm, the unsung hero of the Wolves thus far, opened the night’s scoring as his shot from the point beat IceHogs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube at 8:00 of the first. Rockford would tie the game two and a half minutes later as Tomas Jurco’s own shot from the point beat Kasimir Kaskisuo. The IceHogs were extremely effective at using Wolves players to create a screen in front of their own goaltender, which made their outside shots all night all the more dangerous.
5:30 into the second, the 1-1 tie was broken by Jason Garrison. Chicago’s second goal of the night by a defenseman came as his outside shot beat Berube low-blocker side. Though the Wolves would take six penalties on the night, the only odd-man goal allowed was Ville Pokka’s point shot halfway through the second to knot the game at two. The 2-2 tie held entering the final period of regulation.
Matheson Iacopelli gave Rockford its first lead of the game at 3:59 of the third as his shot from the top of the circle seemed to catch Kaskisuo off guard. Not wanting to suffer another loss, Stefan Matteau would tie the game back up less than a minute later. Brett Sterling notched the game-winner a minute and a half later as he put the feed from Ivan Barbashev past Berube.
With the win, the Chicago Wolves improved to 5-9-3-1 on the season.
Head coach Rocky Thompson sang Lindbohm’s praises after the game.
“Lindbohm makes a huge block there at the end. He really played well, he had a goal and an assist. He was doing it at all ends of the ice, and he played probably the most minutes tonight for us on defense, so I’m really impressed and proud of his effort… I was pretty hard on him early in the year, challenged him on areas of his game… He’s a battler, he’s a warrior and you could see that tonight.”
Matteau’s tying goal in the third really shifted the momentum for Chicago. He echoed its significance, saying,
“I think it was pretty important. It was the tying goal, and then Sterling came back a couple shifts later and got the game-winner.”
You could certainly feel the shift in energy after the game with the win.
“It feels awesome. You can feel it in the [locker] room,” said Matteau. “Music’s going, guys are happy, but as fun as it is we’ve got to put it behind us and we’ve got a new one tomorrow.”
No one had a bigger smile on their face postgame than Rocky Thompson.
“It feels good. It feels good to get a win. It’s been a long time, and our guys – it was a really gutty win tonight, too. We were down there in the third period after having some momentum and stuff early. Our guys on the bench, you should have heard them, it was really good. They were positive and they had hope for the first time.”
The Chicago Wolves take on the Iowa Wild at home Sunday at 3 p.m. as they play the third game of their three-in-three schedule.
“…We’re playing a rested team tomorrow that has the energy and probably has the advantage over us. But it doesn’t matter right now. We’re going to take what we felt today and we’re going to take that into tomorrow,” said Rocky Thompson.
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