After a pair of wins last week for the Wolves, the Central Division leaders looked to continue their winning ways. Entering this game with a six-game win streak, the Wolves hoped to make it lucky #7 on Wednesday night in Rockford.
Beck Warm was set to make his first start since mid-March with the Wolves on Wednesday. Warm spent some time up with Carolina and their taxi squad due to Petr Mrazek’s injury. With Mrazek now healthy, Warm resumes his duties with the Wolves.
In unusual fashion, the Wolves actually found themselves behind in the first ten minutes of Wednesday’s opening period. At the 7:00 mark of the period, forward MacKenzie Entwistle found himself on a breakaway behind the Wolves’ defense, and he beautifully snuck the puck past Beck Warm for his third goal of the season.
Despite the IceHogs jumping out to a lead early, they didn’t let their foot off the gas. Just 40 seconds after the IceHogs took the lead, Rockford tallied yet again. This time it was former Wolves forward Brandon Pirri lighting the lamp.
IceHogs forward Josiah Slavin made an excellent pass on the play through traffic to find Pirri open in the slot. A true sniper like Pirri doesn’t miss many of those opportunities.
The Wolves out-chanced the IceHogs in the first period, but trailed in the game. The Wolves outshot the IceHogs 13-8 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Wolves finally broke through in the middle frame thanks to the team’s top line. Tanner Jeannot continued his offensive outburst by setting up Philip Tomasino on a beautiful backhand feed. The pass eluded a Rockford stick and landed perfectly on Tomasino’s blade for an easy one-time opportunity.
Although the Wolves found some momentum, the IceHogs quickly zapped the energy away from the Wolves. Just under four minutes after Tomasino cut into the IceHogs’ two-goal lead, Brandon Pirri struck again for the home side. Nicolas Beaudin and Josiah Slavin picked up the assists on the marker.
Pirri wasn’t done, after netting two goals, Pirri finished off the hat trick with a nice one-timer from the high slot.
Pirri was in a perfect spot for the feed from Andrei Altybarmakian off the wall. The big shot from Pirri was too much for Beck Warm, and the IceHogs found themselves ahead 4-1 after 40 minutes at BMO Harris Bank Center.
Despite holding the IceHogs to just 14 shots through two periods, the Wolves found themselves in a three-goal hole. If there is one thing Wolves fans have learned about this team this season, it’s that they never quit. In usual fashion, the Wolves struck back in the first four minutes of the third.
Tanner Jeannot, the team’s Superman, scored at the 3:53 mark of the third to cut the ‘Hogs lead to two. Jeannot made an excellent play, falling to the ice as he tapped the puck in for his 10th goal of the season.
The first half of the period was very kind to the Wolves, and Philip Tomasino was once again in the heart of the action. After making a sensational pass across the slot, Tomasino’s feed set up Dominik Bokk for a beautiful goal to bring the Wolves within one.
The Wolves scored twice, and held the IceHogs to three shots in the third period, but could not get the win. The IceHogs held on and won 4-3 on Wednesday night. A season-low 17 shots against was still enough to defeat the juggernaut Wolves in Rockford.
Although the Wolves played fairly well, they finally lost for the first time in a month. The last Wolves’ loss came on March 6 against the Cleveland Monsters, who defeated the Wolves 3-1 that day. Since then, the Wolves won six-straight games with five different goaltenders, showing incredible roster depth in this weird 2021 AHL season.
A big positive for the Wolves was the play of Philip Tomasino. The young Predators prospect had a goal and two assists in the loss, giving him 18 points in 16 games this season. He is having an incredible campaign and the Predators have to be pleased with how he’s played at the AHL level, considering he wouldn’t have been with the Wolves under “normal” circumstances.
Dominik Bokk adding another goal is also key. Bokk is one of the multiple first round picks on the roster this season, so high expectations have been attached to him all year long. That said, Coach Ryan Warsofsky noted after Saturday’s win how good Bokk has been of late. Seeing him catch fire this late in the season is a big bonus for the Wolves down the stretch.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about Tanner Jeannot. Jeannot has been an all-around great player for the Wolves. He leads the team in scoring, plays a tough, physical game, and does everything the coaching staff asks of him. He’s having the type of season that gets him an extended look with the Predators at some point.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Wolves are back in action on Friday and Saturday night against the Iowa Wild. Puck drops are scheduled for 7:00 PM and 6:00 PM CDT, respectively. The Wolves look to get back to their winning ways this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.