Wolves edge delayed IceHogs before season-high crowd
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media January 18, 2014 11:28PM
Wolves players whoop it up after Nathan Longpre’s goal in the first period. The game against the IceHogs at Allstate Arena attracted a crowd of 16,005. | Ross Dettman/Wolves
Updated: February 20, 2014 6:57AM
The Rockford IceHogs had a tough time getting to Saturday’s game. The Wolves made sure the outcome was just as difficult to take.
Ty Rattie’s re-direction of a Dmitrij Jaskin shot with 7:29 left in the third period held up as the game-winner for the Wolves in their 2-1 victory over the IceHogs. Nathan Longpre also scored, and Jake Allen stopped 23 shots for the Wolves (21-14-2-2), who killed all four Rockford power plays, including one called with 2:16 left in the third.
In their last game in Rosemont until Feb. 1, the Wolves recovered from seeing their seven-game home winning streak dashed Friday. And they did it in front of a season-high announced crowd of 16,005, boosted by Girl Scouts Night.
“I thought we played a real strong game,” Wolves coach John Anderson said.
Pat Mullane scored for Rockford and Jason LaBarbera made 34 saves for the IceHogs, who lost their second straight and fell to .500 at 18-18-4-2.
Getting to the game was a challenge for Rockford.
Already dealing the inclement weather, the IceHogs’ trip from Rockford was set back further by a flat tire that forced them to stop in Arlington Heights. The team was picked up by a shuttle bus filled with passengers heading to O’Hare
Because of the IceHogs’ late arrival, the game started at 7:31 p.m. instead of the scheduled 7 p.m.
“That wasn’t really an issue. It was a flat tire and it happens. We got here,” Rockford coach Ted Dent said. “It wasn’t an issue in the game at all.”
The travel might not have been an issue, but the IceHogs were without all-star center Brandon Pirri for the eighth straight game. Pirri is day-to-day after he suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 30.
With Pirri missing out, the Wolves outshot the IceHogs 24-13 over the final two periods. Despite that, the Wolves didn’t take the lead for good until Rattie scored his 13th of the season when he tipped Jaskin’s shot from the high slot past LaBarbera.
“That was the feeling. I think you have one of those games where you’re skating really well and your line’s clicking and you get a lot of chances,” Rattie said.