ROCKFORD, Ill. — Defenseman Brent Regner scored the game-winning goal with 11 seconds remaining in overtime to cap the Chicago Wolves’ thrilling 4-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs in an Ilinnois Lottery Cup matchup Friday night at the MetroCentre.
Center Colin Fraser tied the game with 1:06 left in regulation and right wings Ty Rattie and Shane Harper added tallies as the Wolves (12-6-3-0) earned two points in the Midwest Division battle.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisory Remains In Parts Of Illinois And Indiana; Lake Effect Snow Lingers
Goaltender Matt Climie (6-4-2) snapped his four-game losing streak while making a season-high 37 saves through regulation and overtime, including 18 in the third period.
The Wolves broke a five-game streak of surrendering the first two goals as Rattie gave the visitors the early lead 1:49 into the game. Defenseman David Shields pinched in and threaded a pass to the crashing forward, who tapped it past IceHogs goaltender Scott Darling for the 1-0 advantage.
The second period saw a resurgence by the IceHogs (15-4-1-1) as the league leaders scored the next two goals of the game. Left wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie knotted the score 2:23 into the middle frame after Chicago’s clearing attempt was thwarted. Labrie took a pass in front of the net and made a move to freeze Climie and put Rockford on the board.
Jamie Wise gave the IceHogs their first lead of the game just over five minutes later. Left wing Garret Ross lasered a cross-crease pass to the rookie, making his American Hockey League debut, who buried it for the 2-1 lead.
The back-and-forth action continued as Harper evened the score 2-2 at 13:30. Left wing Dmitrij Jaskin broke toward the net and had his initial shot denied, but tracked the puck behind the net and threw it out front for Harper to roof over a sprawled Darling and give the Wolves a tie going into the final frame.READ MORE: Snow, Black Ice Cause Multi-Vehicle Pile Up On Interstate 90
Rockford reclaimed the lead 6:22 into the final frame despite early chances by the Wolves. Defenseman T.J. Brennan unleashed a cannon from the blue line that was redirected through traffic in front by left wing Brandon Mashinter for the 3-2 lead.
With Climie pulled for the extra attacker, the Wolves tied the game with 1:06 remaining to extend it to overtime. Defenseman Brent Sopel released a shot from the point that Fraser tipped down and behind Darling for the late equalizer.
Regner completed the comeback in the extra session during an up-tempo 3-on-3 sequence that featured multiple chances on both ends of the ice. After Darling made two big stops on the Wolves and Climie thwarted a Teuvo Teravainen breakaway, Chicago brought it back the other way and Regner tipped in Jaskin’s shot to win it.
IceHogs goaltender Scott Darling (8-2-1) kicked out 24 of 28 shots.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday to host the Rockford IceHogs in the back-end of a home-and-home Illinois Lottery Cup feature.
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