Gerald Mayhew and Luke Johnson scored two goals apiece to pace the Iowa Wild to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Left wing Tye McGinn scored for the third-place Wolves (16-17-3-1), who missed a chance to narrow the gap with the second-place Wild (20-12-2-2).
“I thought we had a good start,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “I actually thought we were playing really good. We missed a few good opportunities and then they got that power play and quickly scored. And then our guys lost focus for just a few seconds.”
That’s when Iowa scored twice in 15 seconds to take a 2-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first period. Johnson scored on the power play at 15:28 when Sam Anas whistled a pass from the right half-wall to the left circle for a one-timer. Fifteen seconds later, Anas found Mayhew in the left circle for a quick wrister.
Johnson earned his second power-play goal of the night at 7:42 of the second when Anas and Kyle Rau started a tic-tac-toe that finished with Johnson burying a one-timer from the left circle.
The Wolves got on the board 2:40 into the third. Reid Duke won a puck along the back boards and centered it toward the crease. Patrick Brown got a piece of it, then McGinn swooped in and deposited the puck over goaltender Mat Robson’s glove to make it 3-1.
Iowa’s Mayhew waited just 74 seconds to restore Iowa’s three-goal advantage. Nico Sturm won a faceoff in the Wolves zone and Mayhew pounced on it at the top of the left circle and whistled it top-shelf in a blink. Mayhew assumed the AHL lead in goals with his 22nd and 23rd of the year.
Iowa’s Connor Dewar added an empty-net goal with 2:22 to play.
Wolves goaltender Garret Sparks (4-11-3) finished with 16 saves. Robson (6-7-3) stopped 32 shots in the win.
The Wolves travel to Rockford at 4 p.m. Sunday for an Illinois Lottery Cup televised on My50 Chicago. The Wolves return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Jan. 18, to face Milwaukee.