ROSEMONT, Ill.—In their first game following the AHL All-Star break, the Chicago Wolves rolled past the Iowa Wild 5-0 on Friday night at Allstate Arena.
Vasily Ponomarev had a goal and an assist, Josh Melnick, Nathan Sucese, Jack Drury and Ryan Suzuki also scored and goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made 28 saves to record the shutout as the Wolves won their second game in a row.
“We are trying to make changes by putting pucks more behind (opponents’) backs and then just shoot the puck,” Ponomarev said. “We’re building and we’re going to stick together and keep going.”
William Lagesson and Malte Stromwall each added two assists to help the Wolves snap Iowa’s 14-game points streak. It marked the Wild’s first regulation loss since the Wolves defeated their Central Division rivals Jan. 3 at Allstate Arena.
After a scoreless opening period Friday, the defending Calder Cup champions reeled off three goals in the second to take a commanding lead.
First, Melnick notched his ninth goal of the season after Ponomarev led a Wolves odd-man rush into the Iowa zone, flipped a pass to the center and Melnick went backhand-forehand to beat Wild goaltender Zane McIntyre to the glove side.
Late in the second, Sucese and Drury struck 1 minute, 8 seconds apart to give the Wolves a 3-0 advantage.
Sucese scored his ninth goal of the season when the winger scooped up a loose puck near the slot, spun and sent a shot toward the Iowa goal that deflected off the Wild’s Marco Rossi and slid past a surprised McIntyre. Lagesson and Logan Lambdin earned assists on the score.
With the crowd still buzzing, Jamieson Rees found a streaking Drury and put the puck right on his teammate’s stick and Drury did the rest, picking his spot and firing it past McIntyre to the stick side. In addition to Rees’ assist, Lagesson recorded his second helper of the game on the play.
The Wolves kept coming and Ponomarev’s goal :11 into the third put the game out of reach for Iowa. Stromwall took the puck hard to the net and Ponomarev knocked a rebound home during a goal-mouth scramble.
“It’s my job to get to the net no matter what is happening and after the whistle we’ll see if it’s a goal or no goal,” Ponomarev said.
With the clock winding down, Suzuki banged home his eighth goal of the season with the Wolves on the power play.
With his first shutout of the season, Kochetkov improved to 7-4-1-0 while McIntyre (25 saves) suffered the loss for the Wild.
The Wolves upped their record to 17-22-3-1 and Iowa fell to 22-15-5-4.
Up next: The Wolves travel to Iowa to face the Wild on Saturday (6 p.m., AHLTV).
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.