DES MOINES, Iowa — The Chicago Wolves clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs with a 4-3 shootout victory over Iowa on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena as John Anderson earned his 700th regular-season win as a head coach.
The line of Pat Cannone (G, A), Shane Harper (G, A), and Michael Davies combined for all three goals in regulation for the Wolves. Goaltender Matt Climie (10-10-2) denied 41 of 44 Wild shots during regulation and overtime as well as five of six in the shootout as Chicago pulled within 2 points of Grand Rapids in the Midwest Division race with two games to play.
The Wolves (43-21-5-5) wasted no time getting on the board as they opened scoring 50 seconds into the game. During the first shift of the contest, Davies sent the puck low in the zone where it was picked up by Harper. The right wing sent a pass to the front of the net for Davies, who had circled back around, for the quick goal.
Iowa (27-36-6-5) amped up the pressure for the rest of the period, outshooting Chicago 15-8 and knotting the score 1-1 at 15:54. Forward Kurtis Gabriel received a pass from behind the net, whipped a shot on goal and tapped home his own rebound to even things up before intermission.
Scoring picked up in the second period as the teams exchanged two goals apiece. Harper kicked things off as he accepted a pass from defenseman Joe Corvo and blasted a slap shot past Iowa goaltender Johan Gustafsson at 8:31 for the 2-1 lead.
The lead did not last as the Wild responded with the next two goals over a span of 1:12. As Wolves center Alexandre Bolduc served a double minor, Iowa capitalized in the power play as center Jake Dowell tipped a shot through Climie’s five-hole. Left wing Jamie MacQueen gave Iowa its first lead of the game when he went top-shelf on Climie at 13:26.
Cannone completed his line’s hat trick as he tied the score 3-3 at 14:43, taking advantage of an Iowa player’s broken stick to steal the puck, cut in front of the net and slip a goal past Gustafsson.
Neither team tallied in the third period or in overtime as the game was decided in the shootout. Harper and center Alexandre Bolduc tallied for Chicago in the six-round ordeal as Iowa received its lone successful attempt from MacQueen.
Gustafsson (12-19-3) finished the night with 22 saves.