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Wolves Drop Battle At Rockford

ROCKFORD – In a riveting game that featured early goals and multiple lead changes, the Chicago Wolves suffered a 4-3 loss to the Rockford IceHogs in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest on Saturday night at the MetroCentre.

Forwards Philip McRae, Sebastian Wannstrom and Colin Fraser scored goals for the Wolves (3-1-2-0), who played their first road game of the season. Goaltender Jordan Binnington (0-1-1) notched 25 saves on 29 shots.

The Wolves needed just 55 seconds to open the scoring as McRae took advantage of Rockford's inability to clear Shane Harper's centering pass. McRae slid a shot from the low slot between goaltender Michael Leighton's pads for his first goal in a Wolves uniform.

Rockford (3-2-0-1) answered at 3:27 of the first on Dennis Rasmussen's wrister from the slot that flew past Binnington's glove. Rasmussen's goal was unassisted as he seized a Wolves clearing attempt.

The IceHogs claimed a 2-1 lead at 9:38 of the first period as Mark McNeill, Peter Regin and Philip Danault hooked up for a tic-tac-toe play that started just inside the blue line and ended with Danault tapping the puck into an open net.

Chicago made it 2-2 at 12:52 of the first on Wannstrom's first goal of the year. Wannstrom positioned himself just outside the crease to capitalize on a rebound of Rob Bordson's shot. Wannstrom's shot pinballed off Leighton and Wannstrom's skate before banking off sprawled defenseman Adam Clendening and sliding into the net.

The Wolves pushed to a 3-2 lead late in the second period when Cody Beach held the puck low in the left circle, spied Fraser slipping into the slot and fed him for a one-timer at 16:58.

Rockford secured the game's third tie at the 19:24 mark as the IceHogs forced a turnover deep in the Wolves' defensive end, made two passes and set up Klas Dahlbeck for a slap shot from the right circle that beat a screened Binnington.

The IceHogs claimed the game-winner at 8:53 of the third period when Binnington parried the onrushing Clendening's shot, but Brandon Mashinter waited alone on the doorstep and deposited the rebound in the net.

Rockford goalie Michael Leighton (1-2-1) recorded 29 saves in the win.

The Wolves travel to Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. Friday. The team returns to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Nov. 1, to face Milwaukee in an Amtrak Rivalry game that's part of a Salute to Military Families, presented by Kia.

-- Chicago Wolves

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