IOWA GETS BACK IN WIN COLUMN WITH 7-3 VICTORY VS. CHICAGOApr 6, 2018
Wild sets record for most goals in single game at home
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild (31-26-9-6; 77 points) snapped its nine-game winless streak in decisive fashion, defeating the first-place Chicago Wolves (38-22-7-4; 87 points) by a score of 7-3. In the win, the team scored five first period goals, setting a record for tallies in the opening frame, and the seven scores were the most in a single contest at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa opened the scoring just 3:36 into the game, as Zack Mitchell potted his 16th of the season. Wild forward Ryan White, circling behind the net, sent a pass to forward Cal O’Reilly on the left half-boards. O’Reilly found Mitchell right in front of Wolves goaltender Max Lagace (17 saves), who tipped the pass behind him to give the home club a 1-0 lead.
Chicago answered back with its own goal at 5:28 in the opening period when forward Stefan Matteau beat Wild goaltender Steve Michalek (27 saves) after a quick drop pass from forward Beau Bennett.
The Wild then rattled off four goals consecutive goals, including a stretch of three in a 3:39 span. First off was defenseman Alex Grant’s 11th of the season, where he walked a Chicago defenseman by faking a slapshot. After taking the defender out of the play, Grant wristed a shot into the bottom left corner of the net to regain the lead. His goal at 7:40 put the Wild up 2-1, while forwards Pat Cannone and Kurtis Gabriel earned assists on the play.
Forward Sam Anas made it 3-1 at 9:48 for his 24th goal of the season. Mitchell sent a bouncing puck to Anas in the slot, who slapped it on net and found twine through Lagace’s five-hole. O’Reilly recorded his second assist of the night on the score. Anas’ goal also chased Lagace from the net, as goaltender Oscar Dansk (1 save) took over netminding duties.
Just more than two minutes after Anas’ tally, defenseman Mark Auk, making his professional debut, raced down the left side of the ice on a 2-on-1. Auk ripped a shot on net and sniped Dansk over his left blocker. Auk’s tally was his first professional goal and stood as the eventual game-winner. His unassisted goal gave Iowa the 4-1 lead.
Forward Gerry Mayhew capped off the most prolific first period in Wild history with his 14th of the season and first power-play goal of the contest for the home team. Mayhew did a give-and-go play with forward Kyle Rau, who was behind the net, putting a shot past Dansk and giving Iowa the 5-1 lead.
After 20 minutes, Iowa held a 5-1 lead and a 12-10 shot advantage.
Chicago put Lagace back in net to start the second period and the visitors got back on the board with a goal just 10 seconds into the frame. Forward Wild player Teemu Pulkkinen put a puck past Michalek for his 24th of the season.
But Iowa countered with a goal of its own, this time from Rau. While on the power play, Iowa had sustained pressure in the offensive zone. The puck found its way to Rau near the right face-off dot and he cashed in for his 20th goal of the 2017-18 campaign. With his goal, the Wild had multiple 20-goal scorers for the first time in franchise history. His goal came at 8:05 in the second period, giving the Wild a 6-2 lead, with Mayhew and forward Justin Kloos notching assists.
The Wolves netted its third goal of the game when Bennett found the back of the net with a shot from the point at 18:00 in the middle stanza.
Through two periods, Iowa held a 6-3 lead, while Chicago had a 22-17 shot advantage.
Anas recorded his second goal and third point of the game at 9:21 in the third period. After passes from Rau and O’Reilly, Anas caught the puck at the top of the slot and snapped a shot on net. The puck snuck under Lagace’s glove, giving him 25 goals on the season. The team’s seven goals are the most in a single home game in team history.
The Wild finished the game 3-for-5 on the power play. The team’s victory was its 17th home win, which ties a franchise record, set last season.
Iowa hits the road for a game against Milwaukee Admirals, with a 3:00 p.m. puck drop Sunday at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
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.