ROSEMONT — Adam Clendening netted the game-winning goal 2:05 into the second period and Collin Delia stopped 31 shots Saturday to push the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena in Game 1 of the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs.
The IceHogs earned their first playoff victory since a May 13, 2015, meeting against Grand Rapids with their efforts Saturday, and took a 1-0 lead in their current five-game series with the Wolves.
Clendening collected a pass from Chris DiDomenico at the blue line and unleashed a blazing wrist shot past netminder Oscar Dansk to lift Rockford to a 2-0 lead at the time. The goal was the IceHogs’ second of the game with the man-advantage, and gives the Hogs a power-play goal in eight consecutive games against the Wolves.
Tyler Sikura also found twine in the tilt, pushing the IceHogs to an early 1-0 lead in the first period as he deflected Cody Franson’s shot-pass from the right faceoff circle past Dansk. Franson assisted on both Rockford tallies to join Clendening as the only players to log multi-point efforts in the affair.
Chicago managed to get on the board at 5:31 of the final frame as Teemu Pulkkinen batted home a power-play marker, but Delia and the Hogs shut the door the rest of the way to take the road win.
Dansk countered Delia’s 31 saves by stopping 27 of 29 shots in the opposite crease.
The series now shifts to the BMO Harris Bank Center for Game 2 at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Next Home Game
The Rockford IceHogs open up their home slate of the 2017-18 Calder Cup Playoffs with Game 2 (Ticket A) against the Chicago Wolves. Puck drops at 4 p.m. R.