IOWA EARNS 5-1 VICTORY AGAINST CHICAGO IN CONVINCING FASHIONJan 4, 2020
-Wild power-play now 9-for-12 in last three contests-
Iowa Wild (20-12-2-2; 47 pts.) continued its stellar play with a convincing 5-1 victory against the Chicago Wolves (16-17-3-1; 36 pts.) Saturday night.
Forward Luke Johnson opened the scoring at 15:28 in the first period as he gave the Wild a 1-0 lead. While on the power play, forward Sam Anas had the puck on the right half-wall where he threaded a pass to Johnson. The center blistered a one-timer from the left faceoff dot and beat goaltender Garret Sparks (16 saves) over his glove for the tally. With his assist, Anas set the franchise record for career assists in a Wild sweater, passing the previous mark set by Cal O’Reilly.
Just 15 seconds later, forward Gerry Mayhew doubled the Wild’s lead to 2-0. Defenseman Nick Seeler broke up a Chicago breakout with a poke check and Anas picked up the loose puck before curling toward the slot. He then fed Mayhew down low, who chipped the puck over Sparks’ glove for his 22nd goal of the year. The 15 seconds between tallies tied a franchise record for fastest consecutive goals by the Wild.
At the end of the first period, Iowa led 2-0 while Chicago led in shots 12-8.
The Wild extended its lead to 3-0 as Johnson netted his second power-play goal of the contest at 7:42 in the second period. After winning an offensive zone draw, forward Kyle Rau caught a pass from Anas and immediately sent a cross-ice feed to Johnson inside the left faceoff circle. He then buried the shot into the open net for his sixth of the year.
Heading into the third period, Iowa led 3-0 despite Chicago outshooting the Wild 20-16.
Chicago finally got on the board at 2:40 in the third period as forward Tye McGinn solved goaltender Mat Robson (32 saves), ending his shutout bid. After a shot from forward Patrick Brown was saved, McGinn picked up the rebound and chipped it over Robson’s glove for his ninth of the season.
Iowa pushed its lead back to three goals as Mayhew notched his second tally of the contest to make it a 4-1 game at 3:54 in the final frame. Forward Nico Sturm won a draw at the left faceoff dot and Mayhew skated across from the wing to pick up the puck and lasered a shot past Sparks’ blocker for the tally.
Forward Connor Dewar iced the game for Iowa as he scored an empty-net tally at 17:38 in the third period, eventually giving the Wild the 5-1 victory. Final shot totals were 33-21 in favor of Chicago.
Iowa finished the contest 2-for-2 on the power-play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. The team is now 9-for-12 (75 percent) on the man advantage in its last three games and 12-for-20 (60 percent) in its last five games. Both marks are the best in the AHL during that stretch.
With his two goals tonight, Mayhew extended his point streak to eight games, the longest such stretch of his career. He has 15 points (9g, 6a) in those games and leads the AHL in goals and points during that stretch. His 23 goals lead the AHL and he ranks tied for fourth in points with 35.
Anas also extended his point streak to five games, where he’s amassed 13 points (2g, 11a) and in four of those five games, he’s recorded three points. Anas’ 11 helpers during that stretch are the most in the AHL and he currently sits tied for second in the league in assists with 28 and third in points with 37.
Iowa continues its road trip with a trek to California to take on the San Diego Gulls. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. CT Wednesday night.
The Iowa Wild 2019-20 regular season is presented by MercyOne Des Moines 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.