DES MOINES, Iowa — The Chicago Wolves watched two leads evaporate as they dropped a 4-3 overtime decision Friday night to the Iowa Wild in a back-and-forth Midwest Division battle at Wells Fargo Arena.
Right wing Sebastian Wannstrom, defenseman Taylor Chorney and right wing Adam Cracknell tallied for the Wolves (26-16-3-2) while goaltender Matt Climie (6-8-0) kicked out 18 of 22 shots.
Following a scoreless first period, the Wild (20-16-5-4) struck early in the middle frame to take the lead. Left wing Curt Gogol forced a turnover at Chicago’s defensive blue line and fed the puck to right wing Jim McKenzie in front of the net. McKenzie deked and beat Climie with a backhand at 2:22 to go up 1-0.
The Wolves found the equalizer midway through the period as Wannstrom tied it off a faceoff. Center Christian Hanson won the draw and directed it toward the center of the zone. Wannstrom pounced and chipped it on net, evading Iowa goaltender John Curry as the puck deflected off a Wild defender’s stick and floated into the back of the net.
With 1:15 left in the period and on the penalty kill, Chicago went ahead on a shorthanded tally. Chorney received a pass from forward Nathan Longpre in the low wall and streaked up the ice on a two-on-one. Chorney looked to send a pass mid-offensive zone, lost the puck, then picked it up again and slid it past Curry.
The lead did not last long as the Wild knotted the score with 10.1 seconds left in the second period. Iowa won a faceoff and center Warren Peters sent a backhander on net that slipped behind Climie to once again tie the game.
The back-and-forth action continued in the third period as Chicago and Iowa exchanged goals in the first seven minutes of action. Cracknell buried a rebound from below the faceoff dot at 5:26 to put the Wolves up 3-2. Just 1:13 later, the Wild tied it on the man-advantage with a quick shot from left wing Kris Foucault.
Forward Justin Mercier sealed the Wild’s win 1:59 into overtime as he snuck behind the Wolves defense to tap in a pass from defenseman Steven Kampfer.
Curry (5-2-2) finished the night with 32 saves.
Chicago travels to Milwaukee on Sunday for a 1 p.m. matchup. The team will return to home ice after the All-Star Break with an Amtrak Rivalry contest at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, against Milwaukee at Allstate Arena.
— Chicago Wolves