Chicago Wolves triumph over Iowa Wild to lead in AHL Central Division
Chicago wins fifth in a row to extend lead in AHL’s Central Division
Rookie goaltender Eetu Makiniemi stopped 23 shots as the Chicago Wolves extended their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 victory over the Iowa Wild Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Forwards Maxim Letunov and Jack Drury scored for the Wolves (13-4-1-1), who have defeated Iowa twice in three days to build their Central Division lead.
Iowa (9-7-1-0) received four power-play opportunities in the opening 13 minutes and finally took advantage of one to take the 1-0 lead at 13:29. Recent Minnesota first-round draft pick Matt Boldy rifled home a one-timer from the left faceoff dot while holding a 5-on-3 advantage.
Letunov knotted the game at 6:25 of the second. The center won a faceoff in the defensive zone, accepted a pass in the neutral zone and fed it ahead to forward Dominik Bokk as he approached the blue line. Bokk returned the pass to Letunov in open space and he buried it past goaltender Hunter Jones.
The Wolves produced the game-winner 47 seconds into the third. After Chicago rushed back to break up Iowa’s odd-man rush, captain Andrew Poturalski claimed possession in the defensive zone and charged up the ice to ignite a 2-on-2 chance. Drury scissored toward Poturalski, who dropped a short pass back to the Winnetka native and he snapped it home from the left faceoff dot.
Makiniemi improved his record to 8-2-1 while Jones (0-1-0) notched 30 saves in his season debut.
The Wolves continue their five-game road trip with a 3 p.m. game Sunday at Iowa. Chicago returns to Allstate Arena at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16, to face the Manitoba Moose, then hosts the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18. To find holiday specials on Wolves tickets and merchandise, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
WOLVES 2, WILD 1
Chicago 0 1 1 — 2
Iowa 1 0 0 — 1
First Period—1, Iowa, Boldy 4 (Hicketts, Shaw), 13:29 pp.
Penalties—Bokk, Chicago (high-sticking), 2:32; Drury, Chicago (interference), 9:21; Mattheos, Chicago (cross-checking), 11:58; Smith, Chicago (cross-checking), 12:41; Swaney, Iowa (hooking), 15:18.
Second Period—2, Chicago, Letunov 6 (Bokk, Sellgren), 6:25.
Penalties—Giroux, Iowa (interference, roughing), 16:27; Keane, Chicago (fighting), 16:49; Shaw, Iowa (fighting), 16:49.
Third Period—3, Chicago, Drury 3 (Poturalski, Jacobs), 0:47.
Shots on goal—Chicago 11-12-9—32; Iowa 9-4-11—24. Power plays—Chicago 0-3; Iowa 1-4. Goalies—Chicago, Makiniemi (23-24); Iowa, Jones (30-32). Referees—Mike Campbell and Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen—Chad Evers and John Watson.
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