Stefan Noesen and Andrew Poturalski scored two goals apiece to spark the Chicago Wolves to a 6-2 victory over the Iowa Wild Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Sam Miletic and Ivan Lodnia also scored for the Wolves (21-5-1-1), who won for the 13th time in their last 14 games to maintain their six-point Central Division lead.
Goaltender Michael Lackey, who made his AHL debut Friday night, earned his first AHL victory as he posted 11 saves before leaving due to injury at 8:23 of the second period. Backup Daniel Mannella, signed earlier in the day, stopped all 16 shots he saw in his first AHL game.
“We were obviously not good last night, so the way we responded was important,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “The first goal was obviously important — and we built off it. It was a really good 60-minute effort.”
The Wolves jumped on top just 1:28 into the night when Noesen redirected defenseman Jesper Sellgren’s centering pass from the left point. Iowa (12-13-2-2) responded with defenseman Joe Hicketts’ snapper at 5:46.
Chicago regained the lead at 7:15 as Iowa couldn’t clear the puck out of its own zone. The Wild’s last attempt was intercepted by Max Lajoie staring down the goaltender near the blue line. He wristed the puck toward the net and Noesen tipped it from the slot, but goaltender Zane McIntyre got his pad on the redirect. Miletic was right on the doorstep to finesse the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
The Wolves pumped the lead to 3-1 at 2:11 on Poturalski’s power-play goal. C.J. Smith rushed the puck through the neutral zone, then fed it to Jack Drury in front of the Wolves bench by the blue line. Drury flipped it ahead to Poturalski slashing toward the net. Poturalski kicked the puck to his stick, faked McIntyre with a dangle and stuffed it across the line.
Iowa’s Adam Beckman answered at 5:11 to cut the margin to 3-2, but the Wolves’ top line teamed up again to restore a 4-2 lead at 6:11. Poturalski got his stick on an Iowa clearing pass and knocked it to Noesen, who started a quick give-and-go with Miletic for his second goal of the night.
Chicago increased its margin to 5-2 on Lodnia’s first professional goal in North America. Spencer Smallman nudged the puck ahead to Dominik Bokk, who raced into the offensive zone and fired a wrister off McIntyre. Lodnia chased the rebound by the back boards and banked it off McIntyre.
Poturalski, the AHL’s leading scorer with 37 points, notched his second goal of the night at 14:17 of the third as Miletic and Lajoie set him up just outside of the crease to make it 6-2.
McIntyre (2-3-0) posted 39 saves in the loss.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday to host the Cleveland Monsters for a Papa Johns Family Sunday game. To get the best ticket deals, contact a Wolves representative at [email protected].