The Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs battled through 49:38 of scoreless hockey before left wing Kyle Beach cracked the stalemate and gave the IceHogs a 1-0 victory before 12,053 fans at the Allstate Arena Saturday night.
Rockford netminder Hannu Toivonen (9-7-3) turned aside all 32 Wolves shots to hand the team its second shutout of the season and first since Oct. 20.
Chicago (21-19-2-3) has now dropped five straight contests – three of which have been by a one-goal margin – during their season-high seven-game homestand, which concludes on Sunday.
“We’re having a rough time winning the close games,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “Both goaltenders played very well, but we made one mistake and it ended up in the back of the net. It wasn’t from lack of effort, and that’s all you ask.”
Rockford (18-16-1-4) got the eventual game-winner at 9:38 of the third period. The IceHogs intercepted and clearing attempt near Chicago’s blue line and Beach walked in and fired a shot past Wolves goaltender Drew MacIntyre top shelf, short side.
MacIntyre (4-4-1) posted 26 saves on 27 shots for Chicago.
The Wolves conclude their weekend slate when they host the San Antonio Rampage at the Allstate Arena Sunday at 4 p.m.
Rockford 0 0 1 — 1
Chicago 0 0 0 — 0
First Period—None. Penalties—Olimb, Rockford (hooking), 4:58; Miller, Chicago (holding), 11:17; Klinkhammer, Rockford (slashing), 19:24.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Connelly, Rockford (tripping), 11:07; Stapleton, Chicago (hooking), 11:31.
Third Period—1, Rockford, Beach 9 (Stanton), 9:38. Penalties—Bollig, Rockford (miconduct), 3:43; Valabik, Chicago (tripping), 3:43; Pirri, Rockford (interference), 7:17; Matheson, Chicago (interference), 15:23; Beach, Rockford (holding the stick), 16:45;
Shots on goal—Rockford: 7-14-6–27. Chicago: 8-7-17–32. Power plays—Rockford: 0-4. Chicago: 0-5. Goalies—Rockford, Toivonen (32-32). Chicago, MacIntyre (26-27). A—12,053. Referee—Shaun Davis. Linesmen—Steve Walsh and Al Stensland.