Rosemont, Ill. ---Chicago Wolves captain Darren Haydar delivered a power-play goal with 29 seconds to play Sunday afternoon, but it couldn’t prevent a 2-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest before 11,133 at Allstate Arena.
Haydar’s team-leading 17th goal came on a feed from Andrew Ebbett as the Wolves (26-17-4-3) suffered their first home loss in regulation since Feb. 2. Chicago goaltender Matt Climie (14-14-2) rejected 29 of 31 shots.
“Give credit to Rockford, they were all over us from the beginning,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “They didn’t give us much room to work and we didn’t have the energy we needed.”
Rockford (27-25-1-1) opened the scoring at 11:52 of the first when Adam Clendening fired a shot from the point that Climie tipped with his glove. The puck popped over his head and, as Wolves defensemen tried to clear it away, IceHogs center Brad Mills lunged with his stick and tipped the puck across the goal line.
Rockford boosted its lead to 2-0 with 31 seconds left in the first on Martin St. Pierre’s power-play goal. Jeremy Morin initiated the play by feeding the puck into the slot for Jimmy Hayes. When Hayes tried to put the puck on his forehand side, two Wolves sandwiched him and the puck slid right to St. Pierre for an unchallenged close-range shot.
Haydar ruined IceHogs goaltender Henrik Karlsson’s bid for his first North American shutout when he rifled a shot from the slot past the screened netminder. Karlsson (3-2-0) finished with 23 saves.
The Wolves hit the road for a four-game trip that opens on Friday at Texas. They return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, March 9, for an Amtrak Rivalry game against Milwaukee. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.
Rockford 2 0 0 -- 2
Chicago 0 0 1 -- 1
First Period---1, Rockford, Mills 1 (Clendening, Pirri), 11:52; 2, Rockford, St. Pierre 19 (Hayes, Morin), 19:29 pp. Penalties---Beach, Rockford (slashing), 6:40; Beach, Rockford (fighting), 6:40; Connauton, Chicago (fighting), 6:40; Desbiens, Chicago (tripping), 8:45; Morin, Rockford (delay of game), 8:45; Flick, Rockford (tripping), 12:10; Archibald, Chicago (delay of game), 17:00; Vandermeer, Chicago (slashing), 18:21.
Second Period---None. Penalties---Bench, Chicago (too many men), 3:13; Lalonde, Rockford (high-sticking), 8:01; Beaudoin, Rockford (high-sticking), 10:05.
Third Period---3, Chicago, Haydar 17 (Ebbett), 19:31 pp. Penalties---Broadhurst, Rockford (interference), 9:15; Davies, Chicago (boarding), 16:17; Smith, Rockford (hooking), 19:17.
Shots on goal---Rockford: 11-11-9—31; Chicago: 8-10-6—24. Power plays---Rockford 1-4; Chicago 1-6. Goalies—Rockford, Karlsson (23-24), Chicago, Climie (29-31). A---11,133. Referee---Pierre Lambert. Linesmen---Peter Cichy and Aaron Mills.