Chicago Wolves rally past Rockford IceHogs

Chicago Wolves rally past Rockford IceHogs
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Chicago Wolves rally past Rockford IceHogs

Chicago breaks out to 2-0 start during AHL’s opening weekend

Rookie center Seth Jarvis scored two goals set up by rookie Jamieson Rees as the Chicago Wolves erased an early deficit to claim a 5-4 road win over the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday afternoon.

Center Rem Pitlick produced the game-winning goal while defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald and forward Tanner Jeannot also scored for the Wolves (2-0-0-0), who won their second game in a 21-hour span and ruined Rockford’s season opener.

Goaltender Jeremy Helvig (1-0-0) posted 28 saves in his Wolves debut to pick up his second career American Hockey League win.

Rockford IceHogs beat Chicago Wolves Oct. 10, 2019 by a 3-2 score

Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Wolves Courtesy of the Chicago Wolves

Rockford (0-1-0-0) started quickly with power-play goals on each of its first two advantages. John Quenneville and Chad Yetnam delivered to give the IceHogs a 2-0 lead 8:25 into the game.

The Wolves bounced back to seize a 2-2 tie before the first 20 minutes ended. Rees, a 19-year-old forward playing his second game as a pro, Rees went coast-to-coast down the right wing and tried to jam the puck past goaltender Matt Tomkins (31 saves). Tomkins left the rebound in the crease and Jarvis cleaned it up at 17:22.

One minute later, Fitzgerald unleashed a blast from the left circle as center Tom Novak, skating backward down the right side, spied the wide-open Fitzgerald and delivered a perfect pass for the 2-2 tie.

Rockford regained the lead on its third power-play goal in as many chances — a blast by Wyatt Kalynuk at the 4:36 mark — but Jeannot responded just 35 seconds later with his own power-play goal. Defenseman Alex Carrier rifled a shot off the back boards that bounced into the slot and Jeannot rushed in to lift it over Tomkins’ right shoulder.

Then Rees and Jarvis teamed up again to give the Wolves the lead for good. Rees took a Joey Keane in the defensive zone, then slalomed his way through the defense and attacked the net. Jarvis met him in the crease and stuffed home a short pass to make it 4-3 at the 8:10 mark of the second — the 2020 NHL first-round draft pick’s third goal in two pro games.

Pitlick made it 5-3 with five minutes left in the second as he broke up a pass in the defensive zone, won the race to the puck and beat Tomkins top-shelf on a breakaway.

Rockford’s Matej Chapula cut the Wolves’ margin to 5-4 with 10:33 to play, but Chicago killed a 6-on-4 situation in the final two minutes to preserve the victory.

The Wolves return to the ice 2 p.m. Tuesday when they host Rockford at the Chicago Wolves Training Facility at Triphahn Center in Hoffman Estates. The teams added the game to the schedule Friday.

While fans can’t attend games at Triphahn Center this season, their smiling faces can be in the building with a personalized cutout in the Chicago Wolves Fan Gallery, presented by Hefty. To purchase yours, visit ChicagoWolvesStore.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

Ray Hanania

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