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Chaffee Scores Natural Hat Trick to Lead Wild

Chaffee Scores Natural Hat Trick to Lead Wild, 6-1
Photo Courtesy: Iowa Wild

DES MOINES, Iowa – Mitchell Chaffee scored his first professional hat trick on Saturday evening and did it in style. Chaffee scored two power-play goals as part of a natural hat trick to start the contest as the Iowa Wild defeated the San Diego Gulls, 6-1. Calen Addison added three assists, and Zane McIntyre stopped 24 of 25 shots.

The Wild took the lead 1:13 into the contest when Chaffee netted his first power-play goal. Francis Marotte saved Marco Rossi’s shot, but Chaffee gained control of the rebound, putting a backhander past the San Diego goaltender for his fifth goal of the year.

Almost exactly seven minutes later, Chaffee was back on the board. Mason Shaw made a beautiful cross-ice feed to the back door where Chaffee blasted a one-timer in to extend the lead to two.

The lead became three 13 minutes after his first goal when Addison took a shot from the point that was knocked down in front, but the puck was loose in the slot. Chaffee pushed the puck through the legs of Marotte to record the natural hat trick. It also would be the end of the night for Marotte, who stopped just four of seven shots before being pulled.

Changing goaltender did not change the fortunes for San Diego, as Bryce Misley scored his first goal since coming from the Iowa Heartlanders. Just before the 16-minute mark Damien Giroux found Misley in the slot, who fired a wrist shot past Olle Eriksson Ek to extend the lead to four.

Iowa took just ten shots on net in the first frame, scoring four times, but San Diego began to pressure in the second period. The Gulls outshot the Wild 9-4, coming away with a goal to pull back within three. That occurred at 8:22 when San Diego entered the Iowa zone on a 2-on-1 break. Brent Gates passed the puck to Nikolas Brouillard, just inside the left face-off circle. He beat McIntyre over the shoulder for his sixth goal of the year.

In the third, the Wild poured it on. Rossi scored the third power-play goal of the night for Iowa 10:42 into the frame. Shaw went across the slot to Rossi, just below the right face-off circle. He fired a laser that beat the San Diego netminder for his 11th goal of the year.

At the 17:30 mark, Iowa moved into the Gulls zone on a 3-on-1 break. Adam Beckman left the drop pass for Cody McLeod, who lifted a wrist shot over the shoulder of Eriksson Ek for his second goal of the season. That made it 6-1, which turned out to be the final score.

The Iowa Wild power-play finished at 3/6 while the penalty-killing units killed all five San Diego power-plays.

The victory moves the Wild to 18-16-4, 0.014 ahead of the Milwaukee Admirals for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. Iowa is now off until Friday when they welcome the Rockford IceHogs to town. The puck drops at 7:00.

 

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    Robert Pannier covers the Iowa Wild for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHWild.

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