ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) Rockford scored a pair of power play goals in the third, but the IceHogs gave up three in the final period to fall to the Wolves 5-2 in the final showdown of 2019 in the Illinois Lottery Cup.
Neither the Hogs nor Chicago could find the back of the net in a tightly contested first period. The Hogs took a 14-11 shots on goal advantage into the first intermission.
However, in the second period, the Wolves scored twice. Tye McGinn beat Anton Forsberg after his initial shot was blocked by Brandon Hagel.
Less than two minutes later, Reid Petryk redirected Matt Hague's shot from the blue line for his first of the year.
With a crucial two points in the standings on the line, the Hogs came out firing in the third. Jacob Nilsson batted home the puck after it ricocheted off the end board for the power play goal, his 15th of the season.
Rockford was awarded a second power play in the period four minutes later, and the special teams came through again. Newcomer Chad Krys fed Victor Ejdsell just on top of the right circle for the one-timer. His 12th goal of the season tied the game at two with 16:32 to play.
But Curtis McKenzie put Chicago up for good with his 20th goal which looked like it deflected off an IceHogs skater and found twine.
Forsberg made 27 saves on 31 shots in the loss.
Rockford remains in seventh place in the Central Division with 74 points and just six games to go. The IceHogs look to get back on track Tuesday when they conclude a five-game homestand against San Antonio.