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ROCKFORD, Ill.– The Chicago Wolves couldn’t find the equalizer in the third period and fell to the Rockford Icehogs 2-1 in an Illinois Lottery Cup match Friday night at the MetroCentre.
Wolves defensemen Nolan Baumgartner scored Chicago’s only goal of the game. Rockford goaltender Alexander Salak (4-6-0) held off a late charge by the Wolves and finished with 28 saves.
Rockford (21-23-1-4) opened up scoring at 3:19 of the first period when right wing Ben Smith rebounded a shot by center Peter LeBlanc and knocked the puck through the legs of Chicago goaltender Eddie Lack.
Baumgartner was knocked down in the crease after receiving a pass from forward Anton Rodin, but stayed with it, got back to his feet and sent the puck into the back of the net on a power play at 12:45 of the first period. Rodin and Steve Reinprecht earned assists on the play for Chicago (26-18-1-3).
After Lack made two terrific saves early in the second period, Rockford defenseman Brian Fahey took back the lead 2-1 with a slapshot from the top of the ice at 1:26 on a power play in the second period. Lack was screened by IceHogs captain Brandon Segal on the play.
Lack (12-12-3) stopped 27 of 29 shots while seeing his three-game winning streak come to a close.
The Wolves continue their back-to-back slate against the Icehogs at 7 p.m. Saturday at the MetroCentre. The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Grand Rapids.
–The Chicago Wolves