DES MOINES, Iowa – Forward Kenny Agostino tied a franchise record with his first career four-goal performance to power the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory over the Iowa Wild on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Agostino joined Dan Currie, Nigel Dawes and Steve Larouche as the only players in the Wolves’ 23-year history to score four goals in one game.
The starting line of Agostino, Ivan Barbashev and Andrew Agozzino factored on all five goals and tallied 12 of the Wolves’ 15 points as Chicago (18-11-3-2) extended its winning streak to a season-high five games. With five points – the most for any American Hockey League player in a game this season – the 24-year-old Agostino pushed his scoring streak to seven games and his AHL-best points total to 43 (14G, 29A).
Wolves rookie netminder Ville Husso (3-1-0) turned aside 27 shots, including all 15 in the opening period, for his third consecutive win of the season.
The Wolves nabbed the lone goal of the first frame 4:46 into the game as the Wild allowed Agostino to cruise around the offensive zone. The former Yale University Bulldog skated up the right wall and curled over to the inside of the same-side circle for an easy shot to give the Wolves the 1-0 lead.
Just 38 seconds into the second period, Chicago extended its lead to 2-0 as the Agostino-Barbashev-Agozzino combo connected again. From behind the Wild net, Agostino threw the puck out to Agozzino at the top of the blue paint. Agozzino slipped the puck to Barbashev standing to the right of the net for an easy tap-in tally.
Past the midway point of the same session, Agostino netted his second marker of the night. From the left corner, Agozzino dished a pass across the slot to Agostino waiting near the bottom of the right circle to stretch the Wolves lead to 3-0.
With less than two minutes to play in the middle stanza, Agostino completed his first professional hat trick as he wrangled the puck to the side of the net and tucked it behind Wild goaltender Alex Stalock (9-9-2).
Iowa snapped Husso’s shutout bid at 3:20 of the third period as Gustav Olofsson wired a shot between the Wolves defense and past Husso. The Wild then cut the Wolves lead in half, 4-2, when Kurtis Gabriel lasered a shot, standing alone in the slot, on a feed out the left offensive corner from Zach Palmquist.
Down by two goals, Iowa decided to pull the goaltender in a four-on-four situation. The gamble paid off for Agostino at 16:10 of the third as he collected his fourth goal, and fifth point, of the contest.
Wild netminder Stalock stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss.
Chicago returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 3, as the Charlotte Checkers visit Allstate Arena for the first time this season. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will stream live on AHLLive.com. For ticket information or complete 2016-17 game and broadcast schedules, visit ChicagoWolves.com.