Cleat Geeks

Game Recap: Chicago Wolves vs. Iowa Wild

 

ChicagoWolvesROSEMONT, Ill. – While over 12,500 spectators packed the Allstate Arena for Star Wars Night, there was still a hockey game to be in between all of the Star Wars-related festivities.

Chicago came into this game on a three-game losing streak, while Iowa has earned just three wins and nine points in twenty games played and has the worst point percentage in the AHL up to this point in the season.

The first period shutout by both teams would lead one to believe that both defenses and goaltenders were lights-out; however, it was the mistakes by both attacking units that led to the lack of offensive production. Blown passes, missed opportunities in front of the net, and general lack of effort and aggression came together to produce one of the least entertaining 20 minutes of hockey of this still-young AHL season. The teams combined for a grand total of 11 shots during the first period, a very low mark for both teams considering the relatively high offensive output that has defined both teams for the better part of the season.

Both camps hoped for a more exciting and better disciplined second period and got what they were asking for, as Zach Mitchell took a poor pass and turned it into an incredible shot that gave Iowa the 1-0 lead. After the lone goal scored fairly early in the period (the goal was scored at the eleven-minute mark), the game definitely slowed down; however, the Wolves picked up the offense as they got 15 of their 22 shots on goal during the period – the only problem was that none of them went into the net.

Wolves#8Chicago needed a strong third period if they were going to go home with the victory. The Wolves started out strong, keeping the pace of the game very high and forcing the Wild to make more shifts than they were comfortable with. A tripping penalty gave the Wolves a prime opportunity to level the score with less than a minute gone by in the period, but it wasn’t until a quality pass allowed right winger Eriah Hayes to net the equalizer for his first goal on the season. After that, the back-and-forth nature of the game made it look like a game destined for overtime – well, unless you were saying that to Wolves right winger Jacob Doty, who put the game winner in the back of the net with seven minutes to go in the contest. A frantic five minutes came and went and the Wolves went on to take the victory, ending their losing streak and keeping Iowa in last place in the Western Conference.

Wolves right winger Jacob Doty has been pretty quiet up until tonight, only tallying one goal in seven games played; however, he was nothing but quiet tonight, as he netted the goal that gave the Wolves their ninth regulation win on the season. “It was awesome. We didn’t care who it was (who scored the game winner), but it had to be one of us three (Doty, Wolves center Spencer Asuchak, and Wolves right winger Cody Beach). And to get it that late in the game was huge for us and huge for the team. It was a good team win.”

The Wolves struggled early on, getting shut out by Iowa goaltender Leland Irving for more than two periods, Doty said: “We just talked about sticking to the plan. We knew we were getting the shots and getting the chances and we knew it was eventually going to go.” After, he was asked about his game winning goal, he went on to say: “We just knew we had to stick with the plan and it was going to happen for us. We did just that, we stuck with it, and it ended up going in.”

binnington_jordan150304_2On the other end of the ice, Wolves Jordan Binnington had an outstanding day, stopping 18 of Iowa’s 19 shots on goal and totaling two shutout periods in the first and third. He reflected on his performance, the team’s performance, and the game as a whole, saying “The team played great tonight. As a goalie, it was one of those games where they’re going to get a chance or two and you have to be ready and make the save [in order to] give your team the chance to win. Their goalie was playing very well and the puck wasn’t really bouncing our way, but we stuck with it and we came out with the win.”

When asked about how he and the team kept their composure despite letting the first goal go through early in the second period, he said: “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You have to be even-keel and control your emotions. As a goaltender and as a team we just have to believe in ourselves, stick with our system, stick with the game, and hopefully things go our way and turn out well. That’s what we did tonight and it turned out well for us.”

With the win, the Wolves move into second place in the Central Division and fourth place in the Western Conference, while the loss set Iowa even further back in the standings, totaling the least amount of points and the lowest points percentage in the League despite having played more games than any other team in the League.

The Wolves, who have now reached the 20 point mark on the season, will make the short trek north to Rockford for their November 27 match-up against Bryan Bickell and the Rockford IceHogs, while Iowa will continue their four-game road trip in Grand Rapids, where they will have a date with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

 

GAME RECAP

First Period            —   Penalties (2): Kurtis Gabriel (IOWA), Delay of game (11:13); Jeremy Welsh (CHI), Cross-checking (15:17)
Second Period       —  Goals (1): Zach Mitchell (IOWA), 5:25
Assists (2): Grayson Downing (IOWA), 5:25; Christoph Bertschy (IOWA), 5:25
Penalties (2): Matt Carey (IOWA), Slashing (8:48); Christoph Bertschy (IOWA), Holding (15:51)
Third Period          —   Goals (2): Eriah Hayes (CHI), 4:05; Jacob Doty (CHI), 12:57
Assists (4): Evan Trupp, Yannick Veilleux (CHI), 4:05; Cody Beach, Jordan Schmaltz (CHI), 12:57
Penalties (1): Christoph Bertschy (IOWA), Tripping (0:54)

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Raymond J. Cullen

    November 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I been to Iowa; there’s nothing wild there, but the crows in the cornfields—and their team proves it. Go Wolves!

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