ROCKFORD, Ill. --- The Chicago Wolves were unable to overcome Kyle Beach’s three-goal effort as they fell to the Rockford IceHogs 4-3 in Saturday night’s Illinois Lottery Cup game at the Rockford MetroCentre.
The Wolves (10-9-0-2) received goals from left wing Dmitrij Jaskin, center Christian Hanson, and defenseman Taylor Chorney as they narrowed an early 3-0 deficit to 4-3 in the final minute. Goaltender Jake Allen (9-5-2) kicked out 22 shots in the loss.
Rockford (12-11-1-0) opened scoring early as Beach tallied 21 seconds into the game. The right wing entered the zone on a 3-on-2 and released a shot that hit Allen in the shoulder before finding the back of the net.
The IceHogs increased their lead minutes later with a goal from center Joakim Nordstrom. Phillip Danault streaked down the left wall and deked around a Wolves defenseman. Danault sent a cross-crease pass to an open Nordstrom at the side of the net, which allowed him to tap the puck past Allen.
Only 27 seconds into the middle frame, Beach added his second of the night to put Rockford up 3-0. The IceHogs took advantage of a turnover to send the puck on net and Beach picked up the rebound, banking an angled shot in from the side of the cage.
The Wolves got on the scoreboard at 13:14 of the second period with a two-man advantage. Defenseman Cade Fairchild sent a heavy pass to right wing Ty Rattie at the side of the net. Rattie made a heads-up play to get the puck to Jaskin in the middle of the ice to bury it.
Beach finished off his hat trick short-handed 17 minutes into the second. Taking advantage of a 2-on-1 rush, Beach held the puck and released a shot from just above the faceoff circle to beat Allen short-side.
Chicago rallied in the third period, but it was not enough to overcome the early deficit. Hanson scored for the Wolves at 9:02 from the crease and Chorney added another with an empty Chicago net at 19:23 to get the Wolves within one.
Rockford goaltender Kent Simpson (5-6-0) stopped 32 shots to earn the win.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena for a weekend series against the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.. For tickets, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit ChicagoWolves.com.