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Wolves Battle for an O.T. Win Over IceHogs

#AHL | The Battle of Illinois raged again, this time needing the extra frame as the @Chicago_Wolves took the 3-2 final over the rival @goicehogs. @FPHWolves has the recap of the action here

Vasily Ponomarev watched the puck ring off the crossbar. Photo courtesy: Don Carlson

Wolves Battle for an O.T. Win Over IceHogs

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Coming off a road trip to Tucson that saw them getting thoroughly outplayed, the Chicago Wolves returned home to – once again – try and right the ship. With the Rockford IceHogs coming into town on a six-game losing streak, the opportunity to collect some points on the weekend homestand was there for the taking.

The Wolves led off the weekend with top prospect Pyotr Kochetkov (4-3-1, 3.00, .905%) in the pipes, while the IceHogs countered with Arvid Soderblom (1-5-1, 4.61, .842%) across from him.

Despite worrying signs early on, the Wolves showed resilience to fight through adversity and come away with a 3-2 win in overtime.

First Period

The Wolves kicked off the period with great pressure. They forechecked intensely and created turnovers in Rockford’s end that ended up in chances that Soderblom had to be sharp on to turn away. That pressure combined with the Wolves’ motor running and jump on the puck created three power play opportunities for the home team.

“I think we talked a lot about getting back to the way we’ve been playing before the trip to Tucson.” Head Coach Brock Sheahan said of the first period. “Our tempo, our pace, our style of play has ben to where we like to see it, and the guys responded.”

Despite the chances, however, the Wolves couldn’t cash in. On the other end, the IceHogs were as opportunistic as ever. On their second shot of the period with just over two minutes to play, Bobby Lynch got a stick on the Jakub Galvas shot to give the visitors the 1-0 lead and quiet the crowd laden in Marvel costumes for Superhero Night.

Despite a 12-4 advantage in shots, and with the puck in the offensive end for most of the period, the Wolves found themselves heading into the first intermission trailing. Still, the positives were all over the ice to build upon going forward.

Second Period

Rockford came out of the second looking to build on their lead, and their early pressure forced Kochetkov to come up with some big saves to bail his team out. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

A battle in front of Kochetkov’s net led to Isaak Phillips giving Jack Drury a high cross-check to the face, bringing both sides together and eventually leading to a Chicago power play. Just as the man advantage was about to end, a tic-tac-toe play from Ryan Suzuki found Ronan Seeley in the slot, who blasted the one timer past Soderblom to tie the game.

The goal was the first in the pro career for Seeley, a 7th round pick of the Hurricanes in 2020.

“Yeah, I mean I wasn’t too worried about it.” Seeley said of his first professional goal. “I’m a d-man, I’m not trying to score every night, but it does feel good. It was a good game.”

“Missing Laggy [D William Lagesson] is huge hole for us.” Sheahan said. “I think Seels has been coming recently and you saw that tonight. It wasn’t just the goal – he was great in the D zone. Line rushes against was really good, his puck play was great, I’m really happy where he’s at in his process.”

The Wolves rode the wave of Seeley’s marker to the third period tied up 1-1, leaving it all up for grabs in the third.

Third Period

Rockford came out and threw the first punch of the final frame. Less than three minutes in, a turnover from Max Lajoie ended up in the slot and on the stick of Carson Gicewicz, who beat the surprised Kochetkov to give Rockford their second lead of the night.

Putting themselves behind the eight ball further, Logan Lambdin tripped up an IceHog to put the Wolves on the penalty kill. Rockford would give one back as Cole Guttman took his fourth penalty of the game, opening the window for Chicago. As a fresh Lambdin got out of the box, Lajoie hit him with the stretch pass for the breakaway. All alone, Lambdin made a forehand move to deke out Soderblom and deposit the equalizing goal into the net with 15 minutes to play.

Following Lambdin’s goal, Drury got two excellent rush chances in on the IceHogs that Soderblom had to step out for and make excellent saves to keep the game from getting away from them. The Wolves worked for another power play chance to take a late lead in this one, but ultimately couldn’t enter the zone to set up what would be the go-ahead goal.

“I think when we execute our game plan, our entries are pretty good.” Sheahan said of his power play. “They pressured really hard, and there were a couple of times we were caught out there with mixed units. It’s all about speed and support and I thought we were a little disconnected at times.”

Sixty minutes weren’t enough in this one – we’d need a third point to decide a winner.


As it is in 3-on-3 hockey, overtime was filled with rush chances up and down the ice. Big defensive plays from Seeney eventually opened up the door, and Jamieson Rees would be the one to pounce. Stealing the puck at Rockford’s blue line, Rees shoveled a pass into open ice where Lajoie was waiting. The Wolves’ captain and All-Star representative slid the puck in through Soderblom’s five hole, just narrowily squeaking through for the overtime winner.

“He’s so good all over the ice.” Seeley said of Lajoie. “He’s a guy that I try to watch as much as I can. It’s been a pleasure playing with him. He’s a great human being too, that’s great to see off the ice. On the ice, his stick and his positioning is so good. I just try to piece my game after his.”

Three Stars:

  1. Max Lajoie – OT goal, 1 assist
  2. Logan Lambdin – 1 goal
  3. Ronan Seeley – 1 goal


  • There won’t be a lot of pretty wins with this Wolves team, but this is a character one. Plenty of times you can play a strong period and get demoralized when you’re finding yourself down. This team rallied, didn’t give up, and ultimately came away with a huge extra point.
  • The Wolves have been hit again with injuries, and these unfortunate circumstances come with adversity. They also come with opportunity. Losing William Lagessonin the Tucson series hurts, but Seeley stepped up with the added minutes and responsibility.
  • Jack Drury won’t remain in the AHL for much longer. Defensive responsibility is one of the hardest skills to teach a young forward – he’s had it since day one. Drury was dominant in the faceoff circle and had the opportunity for several goals. The stats and the numbers of course tell their story, but it’s the little things that are perhaps most impressive about Drury’s game.

Looking Ahead:

The Wolves are back in action Sunday afternoon at 3 PM CST to host the Grand Rapids Griffins at Allstate Arena.

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    Andrew Rinaldi covers the Chicago Wolves for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHWolves.

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