Jones, Wild Shelled by Wolves in Chicago, 10-2
Hoffman Estates, IL – Power play, short-handed, breakaways, even strength. It seemed like the Chicago Wolves used just about every possible way that a team can score a goal in their rout of the Iowa Wild on Saturday night, 10-2. Chicago got a pair of goals from Morgan Geekie, Seth Jarvis, and Rem Pitlick and three assists from Tanner Jeannot, Tom Novak, and Frederic Allard in the win. Novak finished with four points.
Chicago took complete control of this game from the start, scoring 19 seconds into the contest, one of four goals scored by the Wolves in the first eight minutes of the game. Allard fired a shot from the point that Wild netminder Hunter Jones saved, but the puck came right to Geekie who put in the rebound for his first goal of the year.
The early goal seemed to be a wake-up call for the Wild, who began to control the play over the next five minutes, but just before the six-minute mark, the Wolves extended their lead to two and that opened the flood gates. Novak had the puck along the boards in the Iowa zone. He passed it across the slot to Anthony Richard who was charging the net. All Richard had to do was redirect the puck in for his second goal of the season.
Less than a minute later the lead became three. Jamieson Rees battled along the end boards and was able to come away the puck, dishing it in front to Ryan Suzuki who fired a quick shot that Jones saved, but the puck came right back to Suzuki, who jammed it in for his second goal of the year.
Just 45 seconds left, the Wolves were back on the scoreboard. With Chicago on the power play, the Wolves used a perfect tic-tac-toe play. Jeannot had the puck near the goal line on the left side. He fed it to Geekie just inside the left faceoff circle, who made the one touch pass across the crease to Pitlick. Pitlick blasted the one-timer by Jones for his fourth tally of the year.
Chicago held a 4-0 lead coming out of the first intermission, but they quickly made it six a little over two minutes into the second. At 1:40, Novak set up just inside the Wild blueline. He fed the puck across to Jeannot who tapped it down near the goal line to Jarvis. Jones quickly moved over and looked like he was in position to stop the bad angle shot, but Jarvis was able to somehow blast it over the shoulder of the Wild netminder and in for his fifth goal of the year.
It only took 25 seconds for the lead to become six. Allard passed the puck back to Geekie at the right faceoff circle. He blasted the one-timer just past the glove of Jones for his second goal of the game.
The Wild simply had no answers. Right at the six-minute mark, Pitlick cruised across the crease, backhanding the puck just under the crossbar for his second goal of the game. Just before the nine-minute mark it was goal No. 8 of the game for the Wolves. Joey Keane passed the puck in front to Novak, who fired a shot that Jones saved, but he rebound came out to Cole Smith who blasted the one-timer through a crowd of people and in for his first goal of the year.
Nothing was going the way of the Wild in this game. At the 12:27 mark, Iowa was on the power play, hoping to get something going. Matt Register fired a shot from the point that Jeremy Helvig saved. Keane gained control of the puck, dumping it into the neutral zone. Jarvis outraced two Iowa defenders, heading in on Jones on a breakaway. He swept across the net, getting Jones down, before tucking the backhander inside the far post.
In the third, the Wild finally got on the board. At 4:50, Dmitrii Sokolov had the puck behind the net. He made a nice move to just wrap the puck around the net and just inside the right post for his third goal of the year.
Three minutes later, Mitch McLain cut the deficit to seven. Gabriel Dumont gained control of the puck in his own end, then sent a perfect pass through two Wolves defenseman and onto the stick of McLain, giving him a breakaway. McLain reached about 12 feet from the net before whizzing a shot just under the glove of Helvig for his first goal of the year. The assist by Dumont extended his consecutive point streak to five games.
There was at least a glimmer of hope for the Wild, but the Wolves added another power play goal by Novak at 13:04. That made it 10-2. The 10 goals were the second most in franchise history and was the fifth time in the 27 years that the Wolves reached double-digit goals.
The Wolves are now 6-0-0, the first time they have started the season with six straight victories since 2007-08 when they won the Calder Cup. Iowa dropped to 2-2-1. Special teams continue to struggle for the Wild. They were 0-6 on the power play while Chicago was 2-6.
These teams meet again on Sunday. Game time is scheduled for 3:00.
By Robert Pannier