Center Wade Megan netted his first career hat trick to help power the Chicago Wolves to a 6-2 Illinois Lottery Cup victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday night in Rockford.
Megan’s three goals were part of a five-point effort. Four other Chicago (16-11-3-2) players – Kenny Agostino (G, A), Jordan Caron (2A), Vince Dunn (2A) and Petteri Lindbohm (G, A) – registered multi-point performances.
Rookie goaltender Ville Husso (2-1-0) turned aside 33 of 35 shots faced for his second career AHL win in just his third start.
After a scoreless first period, Rockford (10-15-2-3) got on the board just 2:10 into the middle frame when Spencer Abbott accepted a cross-slot pass from Mark McNeill for an easy tap-in marker.
Less than two minutes later, Agostino took the initial shot, then grabbed his own rebound and tapped it past IceHogs goaltender Lars Johansson (7-9-2) to knot the game 1-1.
Megan nabbed his first goal of the contest at 8:45 of the stanza on a shot from near the middle of the right circle.
Later on the penalty kill, Megan made an outlet pass to spring rookie wing Mackenzie MacEachern up the left-side boards. MacEachern caught the Rockford defense flat-footed and got by them to roof a shot top shelf over Johansson to extend Chicago’s lead 3-1.
The Wolves killed off the first of two Rockford power plays. However, the IceHogs climbed back within a goal on their second man advantage at 17:56 of the second period.
Chicago answered 1:22 later when Agostino threw the puck into the slot from behind the Rockford net. Megan was waiting at the top of crease and chipped the puck over Johansson for give the Wolves a 4-2 lead.
Just 1:57 into the third period, Lindbohm rocketed a shot from the right point for his first tally of the season. Following the Wolves’ fifth marker of the night, the IceHogs elected to bring in Mac Carruth (3-5-3) to relieve Johansson.
Megan completed his hat trick at 16:20 of the final frame. Rookie Samuel Blais bobbed around a couple Rockford defenders and dished a pass to Megan slightly trailing in the slot for a point-blank chance and the 6-2 final score.
Carruth made five saves on seven shots, while Johansson made 20 saves and earned the loss.
The Wolves return to action on Friday (Dec. 30) against the Milwaukee Admirals for their final home game of 2016.