Center Sean Malone’s rebound goal 1:43 into overtime lifted the Chicago Wolves to a 5-4 triumph over the Iowa Wild on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Forwards Anthony Richard, Phil Tomasino, Dominik Bokk and Sheldon Rempal reeled off four goals in a row midway through the game for the Wolves (15-4-0-1), who regained the best record in the American Hockey League.
Defenseman Frederic Allard earned the primary assist on three goals and goaltender Antoine Bibeau (3-1-1) rejected 35 shots, but the Wolves had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to earn the win.
For the sixth game in a row, the Wolves allowed the game’s first goal. A defenseman lost his blade edge in the defensive zone, which led to a turnover and a Will Bitten goal from just outside the crease at 8:31 of the first.
Iowa (9-9-4-0) increased its lead to 2-0 at 2:46 of the second on Damien Giroux’s power-play goal, but the Wolves responded with a pair of goals 37 seconds apart to pull even.
Rookie forward Jamieson Rees stole the puck in the defensive zone, then spied Richard ahead of the pack to set up a breakaway goal at 6:07 of the second. Iowa took a penalty shortly thereafter, which allowed Tomasino to deliver the next goal at 6:44. Allard stopped an Iowa clearing attempt, then he exchanged passes with Bokk before dishing the puck to Tomasino for a tying blast from the right circle.
Bokk snapped the tie at 2:54 of the third. He collected the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the right wing and capitalized when the lone Iowa defenseman lost an edge. Goaltender Dereck Baribeau got a piece of Bokk’s snapper, but the puck trickled through the paint and into the net for the 3-2 lead.
Rempal pushed the Wolves’ advantage to 4-2 with a shorthanded goal at 9:10. Baribeau thwarted Rempal’s initial shot, but he reclaimed possession, danced behind the net, moved out to the bottom of the right circle and wired a shot through traffic for his second goal of the year.
Iowa pulled within 4-3 with a Matt Boldy power-play goal with 1:51 left in regulation as the Wild yanked their goaltender to build a 6-on-4 advantage in the Wolves’ zone. Iowa pulled Baribeau again and knotted the game 4-4 on Mitchell Chaffee’s first pro goal with 1:09 remaining.
With help from a power play, the Wolves controlled the action in overtime and claimed the extra point shortly after the power play expired. Rees’ pull and drag got him open near the slot for a shot that Baribeau blocked, but Malone was right on the doorstep to clean up the rebound for the game-winner.
Baribeau (4-1-2) finished with 31 saves for the Wild.
The Wolves are scheduled to wrap up their five-game road trip at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Grand Rapids. Chicago’s next home game is slated for Wednesday, April 21, against the Rockford IceHogs.