Wild Skid Hits Eight in Loss to Wolves
DES MOINES, IA – The Chicago Wolves scored four unanswered goals, including three on the power-play to defeat the Iowa Wild on Tuesday evening, 4-1. Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 23 of 24 shots for Chicago and Max Lajoie had a goal and two assists. Sam Hentges had the only goal of the game for Iowa. The loss moved the Wild to 0-6-2 over their last eight games.
After a scoreless first period, Chicago dominated in the second, scoring two power-play goals and three goals overall. Malte Stromwell got things started 31 seconds into the frame when he netted his 12th goal of the season. With the Wolves on the power-play, Mackenzie MacEachern made a perfect pass into the slot to find Stromwall, who beat Jesper Wallstedt past his right pad to make it 1-0.
Almost exactly two minutes later, Josh Melnick added a power-play goal to extend the lead to two. Anttoni Honka fed the puck to Melnick at the right face-off circle, who fired a laser wrist shot past Wallstedt for his 10th goal of the season.
At 13:34, Ryan Suzuki gave the Wolves a three goal advantage. Joseph LaBate passed the puck in front to Suzuki, who waited for Wallstedt to slide too far to his left before putting a shot past the Wild netminder.
Lajoie extended the lead to four when he scored on the power-play at 10:23 of the third. Suzuki carried the puck on a rush into the Iowa end, then waited for Lajoie to enter the zone before feeding the puck to him. Lajoie fired a wrist shot that beat Wallstedt to the upper corner for his fifth goal of the season.
The Wild had no answers for Kochetkov through the first 59 minutes, but were able to finally get on the board with 50 seconds left in the game. Sammy Walker passed the puck back to Riese Zmolek at the point, who fired a slapshot that Hentges redirected past Kochetkov for his second goal of the year.
Wallstedt finished with 24 saves in the loss, dropping to 13-10-4. He is 0-3-1 in his last four decisions, this after winning eight straight games.
The Iowa Wild (22-20-9) are back on the ice on Friday when they welcome the Rockford IceHogs (25-17-8) to town. The puck drops at 7:00.
by Robert Pannier