Rookie center Ben Jones’ first professional goal snapped the game’s final tie and gave the Chicago Wolves a 4-3 victory over the Iowa Wild on Sunday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Wolves earned the win in their 1,000th regular-season road game with an engaged effort from start to finish.
McKenzie gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead 5:08 into the game. With the Wolves on the penalty kill, McKenzie extended his stick to break up a pass and trigger a 2-on-1 rush. Patrick Brown fed McKenzie in the slot and he deked a chip past Iowa goaltender Mat Robson for Chicago’s second shorthanded goal of the year.
Gerald Mayhew, Iowa’s leading scorer, made it 1-1 at 8:53 of the second period as he took advantage of Duke losing a skate blade near the Wolves goal. Mayhew skated away from the immobilized Duke, pounced on the rebound of a J.T. Brown shot and knocked it home.
Just 1:11 later, Rau collected a Connor Dewar pass just outside the crease and flipped a backhand past Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk to give the Wild a 2-1 edge.
Iowa (9-4-2-1) had a chance to build on its lead, but the Wolves killed a penalty and then Elvenes swiped a puck in the offensive zone and spied Duke behind him in the left circle. Duke whistled a wrister past Robson to make it 2-2 at 13:51 of the second.
The Wolves regained a 3-2 lead at 17:11 when Gage Quinney led a rush on the power play and found Elvenes flying down the right wing. Elvenes dangled past a defenseman to get to the crease and wrapped the puck around Robson while getting knocked down.
Iowa forged a 3-3 tie with 11:44 remaining when Dewar controlled a teammate’s shot outside the crease and lobbed a backhand through a sliver of open space for his first professional goal.
Jones responded quickly on behalf of the Wolves. He set up in the deep slot, accepted a pass from defenseman Jake Bischoff and blasted a slapshot past a screened Robson. His game-winner came at 9:45 of the third.
Dansk (3-4-0) rejected 31 shots to earn the win while Robson (2-2-3) posted 19 saves.
Approximately four hours before the game, the Wolves received forwards Brandon Pirri and Nicolas Roy on assignment from the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, but they did not have time to fly to Des Moines.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Tuesday to face San Antonio in their 1,000th regular-season home game.