It took the Rockford IceHogs over five periods to find their offense, but when they did, they were down 3-0. The IceHogs couldn't overcome that deficit and fell 5-3 in Rosemont at the Allstate Arena.
The IceHogs and Wolves didn't register a goal during regulation over their last two meetings but Chicago put an end to the streak to take a 1-0 lead at 7:46 in the first period. Brett Sterling found Andrew Ebbett above the right faceoff circle and he ripped a shot over Carter Hutton to put the Wolves in front. Kevin Connauton also factored in with an assist.
Chicago extended their lead to 2-0 when Nathan Longpre took advantage of a turnover in the IceHogs zone and slipped in a short-handed marker at 7:45 in the middle frame.
The Wolves added to their lead to open the third period. Brett Sterling fired a shot in on Hutton and it bounced off a skate in front of the net and trickled past to put the score at 3-0.
Rockford was finally able to solve Wolves netminder Eddie Lack as Jeremy Morin scored the IceHogs first goal of the season. Martin St. Pierre dished a pass for Morin to wrist in on the power play and bring the Hogs down a pair at 3-1.
Then, 1:52 later, the IceHogs took advantage of another power play. Marcus Kruger sniped a shot over Lack's shoulder at 7:28 to make it 3-2.
Moments later, however, the Wolves were on a power play of their own and extended their lead back to a pair. Steve Pinizotto found Longpre in the slot and winger fired his second goal of the game past Hutton at 9:46.
Rockford didn't let the goal slow their momentum. Just 29-seconds later Morin sniped his second of the night past Lack at 10:15 to make it a 4-3 game.
After more Rockford pressure, the Wolves countered and pushed their lead back to two. Zack Kassian slipped a pass to Bill Sweat in the slot and the winger beat Hutton at 17:16 to put the game out of reach.
After a shutout on Saturday, Hutton made 14 saves on 19 shots while Lack turned away 25 Rockford attempts.
Back to back State Champions.
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