The Chicago Wolves (5-0-0-0) defeated the Rockford IceHogs (03-1-0) on Tuesday night inside BMO Harris Bank Center.
Chicago jumped on the scoresheet early in the first. Less than two minutes in, Anthony Richard lit the lamp to give the Wolves an early 1-0 lead. The Central Division's best team struck again with just over seven minutes left in the frame. Ryan Suzuki tallied a goal of his own to double the lead and make it 2-0 Wolves. Chicago more than doubled Rockford in shots at 15-7 in the period.
The IceHogs battled back in the second to even the play a bit, but Chicago still managed to find the back of the net. With six minutes left, Philip Tomasino grabbed his third goal of the season from Seth Jarvis and David Cotton to make it 3-0 Wolves. Rockford had plenty of power play chances in the period, but a much-improved penalty kill kept the Hogs' power play at bay. Wolves' goaltender Beck Warm made a few great saves to keep the IceHogs scoreless.
The final 20 minutes marked quite the change for the IceHogs. Their offense pressured Warm and the Wolves out of the gate, resulting in a pair of goals just 19 seconds apart. Chris Wilkie notched his second goal of the season and Isaak Phillips earned his first professional tally to pull the Hogs within one with plenty of time to go. However, the Wolves' pesky defense aided their triumph in the final few minutes. Rockford struggled to get goalie Matt Tomkins to the bench for the extra attacker, but when they did, they received a power play chance with just under 20 seconds left. Cody Franson fired a shot that just missed the post, but that was as close as the Hogs would get. Warm and the Wolves prevailed at The BMO by a final score of 3-2.
Wolves Analysis: Ron Luce
The Wolves came out flying once again in their fifth game of the young season. Early on, the Wolves dictated play and stepped up to coach Ryan Warsofsky's ask for his players to be difficult to play against. The Wolves did just that tonight, taking it to the IceHogs for most of the game. Seth Jarvis' goal streak sadly ended, but he did register another point tonight. Big games from Anthony Richard, Philip Tomasino, and Ryan Suzuki, who picked up his first professional goal in tonight's game, led the Wolves to victory. Overall, it was a game the Wolves should be proud of, but they need to play with their relentless pace for a full 60 minutes. If they do that, they will be wildly successful this season.
IceHogs Analysis: Josh Barlog
A rough start for Rockford really crippled them for the rest of the game. Having to make up for two goals against a very talented Wolves squad is easier said than done. Credit to the young guys on the team, though, for battling all game. Tomkins made some timely saves to keep the game in reach, especially after the pair of goals in the third. After their hot start to the season on the power play, the Hogs went 0-for-5 in the game and have been cold on the man advantage for a few games now. Head coach Derek King will have to go back to the drawing board as the team looks for their first win against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM CT at BMO Harris Bank Center.