ROSEMONT, Ill. – Defenseman Brad Hunt, the American Hockey League’s leader in points, nabbed two goals to help the Chicago Wolves navigate the Iowa Wild, 4-2, Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
In just his second game since Oct. 23, rookie forward Mackenzie MacEachern collected his first professional goal. Goaltender Pheonix Copley (3-3-1) made 19 saves for his second victory of the season versus Iowa.
“We’re on a pretty good run,” said Wolves head coach Craig Berube. “Solid goaltending, that’s where it starts. We do a good job of playing defense and limiting the amount of opportunities we give the other team. Then we have a good power play and we get pucks to the net.”
The Wolves (11-9-1-1), who won for the fifth time in six games, struck first just 1:18 into the first frame when rushing up the left wing Jordan Caron dropped a pass to Samuel Blais trailing near the top of the left circle. Blais whipped the puck over the glove-side shoulder of Iowa goaltender Alex Stalock (6-6-1).
On a nearly identical play on the opposite wing, Hunt sprung Caron on the rush up the wing. Caron again passed to the trailer, this time Hunt in the slot, and he slid a low shot past Stalock to double the Wolves lead, 2-0, at 8:49.
At 11:20 of the second period, Iowa (10-11-1-1) cut Chicago’s lead in half. Off a draw in the Wolves zone, Mike Reilly carried the puck around the left corner boards and below the goal line. From almost behind the net, he dished the puck between his legs to Grayson Downing camped out at the left net side. Downing chipped the puck past Copley, hugging the near-side post, to make it 2-1.
Shortly after, Landon Ferraro and MacEachern rushed up ice. Ferraro made the initial shot from the right wing and MacEachern slapped in the rebound chance from the slot at 14:20.
However, just 21 seconds later, Marc Hagel threw the puck on net from the right wing, and floating up the slot Adam Gilmour poked the puck past Copley to pull the Wild within 3-2.
The Wolves controlled the third period and took a 4-2 lead at 6:14 when Kenny Agostino fed a pass from the offensive right circle to Chris Butler at the left point. Butler then slid the puck to Hunt at the right point and he fired a shot through traffic for a power-play goal.
Stalock turned aside 21 shots in the loss.
The Wolves head to Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to face the Griffins at Van Andel Arena. Puck drop is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will stream live on AHLLive.com. For complete 2016-17 game and broadcast schedules, visit ChicagoWolves.com.