Rockford, Ill. — Mark Mancari produced two second-period goals to get the Chicago Wolves within one, but Rockford regained control for a 6-3 victory Friday night in a physical Illinois Lottery Cup affair at BMO Harris Bank Center.
Mancari’s pair of goals pushed his team-leading total to nine for the season. Rookie forward Anton Rodin earned the other goal for the Wolves (9-9-1-3). Darren Haydar assisted on Mancari’s second tally, which moved the perennial all-star within 1 point of becoming the 22nd American Hockey League player to reach the 700-point mark.
The Wolves opened the scoring at the 4:21 mark of the first period as defenseman Sebastian Erixon set up Rodin’s third goal of the year. Moments after the referee raised his arm to signal a delayed penalty on Rockford, Erixon pushed the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it back for Rodin in the slot. The 21-year-old winger flung a wrister over Carter Hutton’s left shoulder for a 1-0 lead.
Rockford (9-13-1-0) responded with four goals in a row over an eight-minute period that encouraged Wolves coach Craig MacTavish to bring in Eddie Lack to relieve starting goaltender Matt Climie (6-5-0). Climie finished with 8 saves in 11 shots while Lack posted 24 saves on 27 shots.
Mancari produced two goals in a 2-minute, 27-second stretch of the second period to pull the Wolves within 4-3. The veteran right winger started his spree with a wicked slap-shot for a power-play goal at 11:09, then he accepted a nifty cross-ice pass from Haydar and fired a wrister into the unguarded net at 13:35.
The Wolves never found the equalizer as Rockford’s Brett McLean and Rostislav Olesz answered with goals. Andrew Shaw led the IceHogs with 2 goals. Rockford goaltender Carter Hutton (1-2-0) rejected 32 Wolves shots to earn the win.
The Wolves host Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Saturday in an Amtrak Rivalry game at Allstate Arena. The free Fun Fest starts at 5 p.m. in the Skyline Room. For ticket information, visit chicagowolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
Chicago 1, 2, 0 — 3
Rockford 4, 1, 1 — 6
First Period — 1, Chicago, Rodin 3 (Erixon, Schroeder), 4:21; 2, Rockford, Froese 1 (Flick, Paradis), 5:08; 3, Rockford, Shaw 5 (Fahey, Paradis), 9:43; 4, Rockford, LeBlanc 7 (Hayes), 12:08; 5, Rockford, Shaw 6 (Fahey, Morin), 12:42. Penalties—Roussel, Chicago (fighting), 2:54; Bollig, Rockford (fighting) 2:54; Mancari, Chicago (slashing), 5:30; Morin, Rockford (slashing), 5:30; Parent, Chicago (slashing), 7:01.
Second Period — 6, Chicago, Mancari 8 (Reinprecht, Tanev), 11:08 pp; 7, Chicago, Mancari 9 (Matheson, Haydar), 13:35; 8, Rockford, McLean 7 (Morin), 17:25. Penalties—Haydar, Chicago (slashing), 3:18; LeBlanc, Rockford (interference), 3:53; Hayes, Rockford (delay of game), 10:33; Duco, Chicago (roughing), 15:28; Bolling, Rockford (roughing), 15:28; Flick, Rockford (roughing), 15:28; Tanev, Chicago (holding the stick), 16:42.
Third Period — 9, Rockford, Olesz 4 (Lavin), 13:10. Penalties—LeBlanc, Rockford (tripping), 5:11; Lavin, Rockford (cross-checking), 13:40; Davies, Chicago (misconduct), 17:14; Lalonde, Rockford (roughing), 17:14; Miller, Chicago (cross-checking, slashing), 17:14.
Shots on goal — Chicago: 12-12-11—35. Rockford: 16-12-10—38. Power plays—Chicago 1-5. Rockford 0-4. Goalies—Chicago, Climie (8-11), Lack (24-27). Rockford, Hutton (32-35). A—4,272. Referee—Tim Mayer. Linesmen—Al Stensland and Aaron Mills.
(Courtesy of Chicago Wolves)