The Chicago Wolves rallied to forge a late tie after spotting Rockford a 3-goal lead, but the IceHogs broke the knot with 1:31 to go and added an empty-net goal to claim a 5-3 victory in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest Friday night at Allstate Arena.
Defenseman Evan Oberg paced the Wolves (2-3-0-0) with a goal and 2 assists, while right wing Tyler Shattock and center Alexandre Bolduc added goals.
Forwards Jimmy Hayes and Jeremy Morin each had a goal and an assist for Rockford (3-2-0-0).
"The game was lost in the first period," said Wolves coach John Anderson. "We weren't prepared to play. They jumped on us right away."
Rockford got on the board 47 seconds into the game when Hayes fed a pass to left wing Terry Broadhurst in the slot. Broadhurst launched a shot top-shelf past screened Wolves goaltender Jake Allen.
The IceHogs pushed the margin to 2-0 on Morin's goal at 12:16 of the first period. Rockford's Drew LeBlanc retrieved the puck from the end boards and passed it to Morin, who was stationed right in front of Allen.
Rockford bumped the lead to 3-0 at 14:47 as Hayes flipped in a backhander from the slot. Allen got a piece of the puck, but not enough to stop it from trickling across the goal line.
The Wolves cut the lead to 3-1 at 13:44 of the second period on Shattock's first goal of the season. Oberg claimed the puck at the red line and carried it along the left boards before finding Shattock at the top of the right circle for a wrister past Rockford goaltender Kent Simpson.
Bolduc pulled the Wolves within 3-2 with a short-handed goal at 16:38. Bolduc and Oberg roared down the ice on a 2-on-1 and Bolduc fed the puck to Oberg, who nudged it back to Bolduc in the crease for a tap-in past Simpson's right leg.
Oberg made it 3-3 with a power-play goal at 17:24 of the third. Chris Porter chased down the puck behind the goal and passed it to Oberg, who was waiting on the doorstep and lifted it over a lunging Simpson.
Klas Dahlbeck delivered the game-winner at 18:29 of the third as he stepped into a one-timer from just above the left circle and drilled it through traffic. Mark McNeill added an empty-net goal with 15.2 seconds to play.
Allen (2-1-0) posted 35 saves for the Wolves. while Simpson (2-1-0) stopped 19 shots for the IceHogs.
The Wolves are in Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Saturday for an Amtrak Rivalry game.