Chicago Wolves Shut Down Iowa Wild, 4-1
By Kevin Luckow
Special to Minor League Sports Report
Go after it, be the aggressor was the message that coach Iowa Wild Tim Army relayed before
Friday night’s game at Wells Fargo Arena. The aggressors ended up on the other bench as the
Chicago Wolves, the defending Calder Cup Champions, showed that they are going to have a
say on this year’s playoff as they defeated the Wild 4-1 in front of a Fan Appreciation Night
crowd of 8,207.
At the beginning of the season experts were wondering where the Iowa Wild
offense was going to come from, but after the last two games are now asking where it went
Both teams were feeling each other out with the first shot on goal not being registered until 3:41
into the game. The best early chance for the Wild was nearly nine minutes into the game when
Marco Rossi stripped the puck from a Wolves defender, broke in and tried to go short side on
Wolves goalie Zachary Sawchenko, but Sawchenko was up to the task and made the save.
Rossi created another chance with seven minutes left in the period but could not connect with
defenseman Joe Hicketts who was pinching in from the point. With a little less than two minutes
left in the first, Nick Swaney found himself open in the slot but missed the net, moments later
Iowa took a penalty, as Steven Fogarty took a minor for tripping. The Wolves cashed in as
Mackenzie MacEachern pounced on a rebound with nine seconds left in the period and gave
the Wolves a 1-0 lead. Assists went to Malte Stromwall and Ronan Seeley. It was the eighth
goal of the season for MacEachern. Shots on goal in the first period were 7-4 in favor of the
After the Wolves opened the second with a couple of shots on goal, the Rossi-Mikey
Milne–Sammy Walker had a sustained cycle in the Wolves zone that led to several good
chances, the the Wild were not able to cash in. Unfortunately the Wolves had some pressure of
their own resulting in a Tanner Kaspick hooking penalty at 4:11. In spite of some zone time by
the Wolves to start the power play, the Wild were able to kill off the penalty. With eight minutes
left in the second, Walker was sprung on a mini breakaway but shot wide. Jamieson Rees got
into a skirmish with Milne with 6:30 left in the second, Rees got the only penalty going off for
slashing. Iowa gave up a two on one but it didn’t cost them. Nic Petan had a look with thirty
seconds left in the power play but didn’t get all of his shot and was stopped by Sawchenko.
Walker had a backhanded attempt just as the power play ended but could not cash in. In spite
of a lopsided 16-6 shots advantage for Iowa, the Wild went into the third period still down 1-0.
Chicago struck 1:28 in the third period as Rees tapped in a back door feed from Zach Senyshyn
to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead, Vasily Ponomarev picked up the other assist on Rees’ 14th goal
of the season. At 7:38 the Wolves bumped their lead up to 3-0 as Ryan Suzuki scored his 11th
goal of the season as he beat Jesper Wallstedt from the right face off circle on a three on two
rush off a feed from Stromwall, MacEachern picked up the secondary assist. Suzuki struck
again for his 12th goal off a backhand feed from MacEachern on another odd man rush, the
other assist went to Stromwall, his third helper of the evening. Iowa pulled Wallstedt for the extra
attacker with over five minutes to go and the Wild cashed in as Fogerty scored his 18th goal of
the season off a cross ice feed from Petan. Rossi picked up the other assist as the Wild tried to
come to life. Shortly thereafter though, Dakota Mermis took a slashing penalty to kill any
momentum. The Wild were not able to solve Sawchenko again and in a big third period the
Wolves outshot Iowa 11-9 and outscored the Wild 3-1 and the Wolves went back to Rosemont
with a big 4-1 victory.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Mackenzie MacEachern 1 goal, 2 assists
2. Ryan Suzuki 2 goals
3. Zachary Sawchenko 29 saves on 30 shots
With the loss, the Wild lead over Rockford shrinks to one point as the IceHogs defeated
Milwaukee 3-2 on Friday night. Chicago closes to three points behind Iowa with a rematch in
Chicago tomorrow night. Both Rockford and Chicago have a game in hand on Iowa.
It will be even tougher for the Wild tomorrow night as they will be in Rosemont and will not have
the services of Marco Rossi. Michael Russo of the Athletic indicated on Friday afternoon that
Rossi will travel with the Wild but will not play on Saturday. Rossi will instead meet up with the
Minnesota Wild for their game versus the Blackhawks on Monday night at United Center. The
injury to Joel Eriksson Ek has prompted the promotion of Rossi to the NHL where he saw action
earlier this season but struggled only picking up a single assist in 16 games.
The Wild brought in famous crowd entertainer Cameron Hughes for the game on Friday night.
Hughes who performs at sporting events throughout North America, did his usual shtick of
dancing in the crowd and wearing multiple T-shirts, peeling each off and throwing them to fans.