DES MOINES, Iowa – Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 25 shots to help lead the Chicago Wolves to a 5-2 victory over the Iowa Wild on Sunday afternoon. Maxim Letnunov scored two goals and Joey Keane added two assists for Chicago. Mitchell Chaffee continues his hot streak, scoring two goals giving him five points over his last two games. The loss seriously hampered Iowa’s playoff hopes.
Chicago took the lead on the power-play 14:45 into the contest when Andrew Poturalski scored his 24th goal of the year. Josh Leivo passed the puck to Poturalski, who buried a one-time or by Dereck Baribeau to make it 1-0 heading to the first intermission.
Chicago had dominated the first period, outshooting Iowa 11-5, but the Wild were able to get a little more pressure in the second, putting 13 shots on Kochetkov to 12 for the Wolves. However, it would be Chicago who would extend their lead to two as Jamieson Rees scored his fifth goal of the season 5:48 into the frame. Rees moved down the slot, beating Baribeau with a wrist shot to make it 2-0.
Chaffee got the crowd to their feet, scoring 33 seconds later to cut the deficit in half. Dominic Turgeon stole the puck inside the Wolves end, passing it to Chaffee at the right face-off circle, who blasted a one-timer by Kochetkov for his 16th goal of the year.
The one-goal advantage held for the next 25 minutes, but Chicago extended their lead when Letunov scored his first goal of the contest 12:06 into the third period. With the Wolves on the power-play, Jesper Sellgren took a shot that Letunov deflected past Baribeau for his 12th goal of the year.
Chaffee responded with a power-play goal for Iowa a little over two minutes later. Dakota Mermis passed the puck to Chaffee, who moved in for the right face-off circle before drilling a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Wolves netminder.
Iowa was down by just a goal once again, but Letunov sealed the victory when he scored his 13th goal of the season at the 16:18 mark. Keane took a shot that Baribeau saved, but no one cleared out Letunov, who put the rebound in to make it 4-2.
With 1:01 left in the contest, Kochetkov made a save, then passed the puck up to Jack Drury who put the puck in the empty net for his 17th goal of the year. That made it 5-2, which would be the final.
Baribeau took the loss, stopping 33 of 37 shots. The Wild netminder moved to 4-8-2 with a 3.07 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Baribeau is in a slump, going winless in his last eight decisions (0-6-2).
The Iowa Wild dropped to 24-26-8, six points behind the Grand Rapids Griffins for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. Iowa will get a chance to get back in the win column when they travel to San Diego to take on the Gulls for two-game starting on Friday. The puck drops at 9:00 Iowa time.
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