DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (18-13-6-3; 45 points) defeated Chicago Wolves (19-15-5-2; 48 pts.) 5-2 at Wells Fargo Arena Wednesday night, in a game that saw 12 different Wild players register a point. With the win, the Wild moved into fourth place in the Central Division and back into a playoff spot.
After a scoreless first period, Wild defenseman Brennan Menell broke through at 8:31 in the second period for his fifth goal of the season. After a Chicago turnover, Menell weaved through two defenders before getting a stick caught between his legs. Falling to the ice, Menell threw a shot on net, which beat Wolves goaltender Max Lagace (nine saves) five-hole and gave the Wild a 1-0 lead. Menell’s goal was his second in as many home games.
Iowa forward Pavel Jenys doubled the Wild’s lead at 15:01 in the second period. Sneaking behind the Chicago defense, forward Mario Lucia hit Jenys with a lead pass, allowing him to go in on Lagace all alone. Jenys ripped a wrist shot past Lagace’s blocker for his first career AHL goal, giving Iowa a 2-0 lead.
At 15:53 in the second stanza, Lagace was replaced by Chicago goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (eight saves). Minutes earlier in the period, trainers attended to Lagace after a scramble in front of the net but stayed in the game. He did not return to the game after being removed.
Iowa headed into the final frame with a 2-0 lead, but Chicago out shot the Wild 28-14.
The Wolves cut the Wild’s lead to 2-1 just 50 seconds into the final period. Chicago forward Brett Sterling came down the left side of the ice and rifled a shot on net, which beat Niklas Svedberg (32 saves) over his blocker.
Less than a minute later, the Wild answered with a goal from forward Zack Mitchell. After a shot from defenseman Zach Palmquist, Mitchell found the puck on his stick with a wide-open net. He buried his chance for his seventh goal of the season and second goal in as many games.
In his 100th career AHL game, Wild forward Sam Anas extended his point streak to five games at 6:33 in the third period to increase Iowa’s lead to 4-1. After catching a pass from forward Justin Kloos, forward Gerry Mayhew saw Anas all alone in the slot. From behind the net, Mayhew hit Anas with the pass, who then snuck the puck under Kaskisuo’s pad for his 15th goal of the season, which leads the Wild. Anas’s goal gives him eight points (4g, 4a) in his last five games and five points (4g, 1a) in four games against Chicago this season.
The Wolves attempted to mount a comeback when Sterling netted his second goal of the game at 15:06 in the final frame. Svedberg made an initial save on a Chicago shot, but a scramble in front of his net allowed Sterling to poke the puck into the back of the net to make it 4-2.
Chicago pulled Kaskisuo for an extra skater and Wild forward Landon Ferraro potted an empty-netter at 19:38 to ice the game at 5-2 for the home team. Iowa forward Cal O’Reilly recorded an assist on the play, extending his point streak to four games. He has eight points (2g, 6a) in those four games.
Iowa returns to action Friday night against Bakersfield Condors for the first meeting in history between these two teams. Puck drop is at 7:00.
The Iowa Wild 2017-18 season is presented by Mercy Medical Center and runs from October through April. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.