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Wolves blast past Iowa

Chicago 5 | Iowa 1
Noesen scores two more goals and Poturalski posts two more points

Stefan Noesen added two more goals to his AHL-leading total and Andrew Poturalski added two more points to his league-leading total as the Chicago Wolves raced to a 5-1 victory over the Iowa Wild Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.

Defenseman Jesper Sellgren and forward C.J. Smith also scored goals for the Wolves (29-10-4-3), who swept both games against Iowa this weekend while maintaining their 10-point lead in the Central Division.

“It doesn’t matter the score, the time, the day, how many fans are in the building: We play a certain way,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “It has to be consistent because that’s our identity.”

Noesen, who produced his first career hat trick Saturday night, delivered his 27th and 28th goals of the season Sunday to give him five goals in a 21-hour stretch against Iowa (20-19-3-3).

But it was Sellgren who opened the scoring at 11:51 of the first period with his third goal of the year. Jack Drury started the play in the defensive zone with a pass ahead to David Gust, who dished to Sellgren on the left wing as they crossed the blue line. Sellgren threaded a pass toward the crease for Gust, but it deflected off an Iowa defenseman’s skate and flew into the net.

Noesen gave the Wolves a 2-0 lead at 16:26 of the first. Poturalski whistled a shot from the high slot that hit the crossbar and dropped into the crease, then Noesen poked home the rebound before goaltender Hunter Jones could turn around.

Noesen struck again at 4:49 of the second with assists from defenseman Daniel Brickley and forward Josh Leivo. Brickley’s pass from deep in the defensive zone found Leivo at the red line, then he fed it ahead to Noesen motoring down the right wing. Noesen took on a defenseman, executed a pull-and-drag and whistled a riser over Jones’ glove for a 3-0 lead.

Poturalski and Smith produced unassisted goals 61 seconds apiece to give the Wolves a 5-0 lead and inspire Iowa coach Tim Army to send in backup goaltender Zane McIntyre. Poturalski steered a wrister into the top left corner on the power play at 6:40, then Smith forced a turnover and carried it into the slot for his 15th goal of the year at 7:41.

Iowa’s Nolan Stevens broke up the shutout when he scored during 4-on-4 play at 17:14 of the second. Wolves goaltender Alex Lyon (13-6-2) finished with 24 saves in the win.

Jones (2-4-1) stopped 15 of 20 shots during his 27 minutes, 41 seconds of action while McIntyre posted 19 saves the rest of the way.

The Wolves travel to second-place Manitoba on Saturday and Sunday before returning to Allstate Arena on Wednesday, March 2, for a 7 p.m. game against the Texas Stars. To get the Craft Beer Night package that features a ticket and three beers for one low price, contact a team representative at [email protected].