DES MOINES, Iowa – The Chicago Wolves used their special teams to rally from a two-goal deficit on Friday evening, but Nick Swaney thwarted the comeback, scoring a shorthanded goal of his own to give the Iowa Wild a 4-3 victory. Swaney and new Wild forward Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist for Iowa. Zane McIntyre earned his first victory since being acquired by the Wild. The win snapped a two-game losing streak and was the first victory of the season for Iowa against Chicago.
Chicago took the lead with just nine seconds left in the first period. With the Wolves on the power-play, Max Lajoie blasted a shot from the point that beat McIntyre for his second goal of the year.
The Wild had given up the late goal, but responded with two goals of their own within the first minute of the second period. The first came off the stick of Mitchell Chaffee, who scored 34 seconds into the frame. Marco Rossi took a shot that was saved by Alex Lyon, but Chaffee was able to gather the rebound, putting it past the Chicago netminder for his fourth goal of the season.
Just 13 seconds later, Staal tied the score in his first game with the Wild. Kyle Rau passed the puck to Staal in the slot who buried the wrist shot to give Iowa a 2-1 lead.
The Wild kept the pressure on, extending their lead to two on Dominic Turgeon’s third goal of the season just before the five-minute mark. Joe Hicketts had the puck along the left half-boards, turning and lifting a wrist shot that Turgeon redirected past Lyon to make it a 3-1 game.
The early period onslaught had Iowa in control, but C.J. Smith pulled Chicago within a goal, scoring on the power-play at the 5:43 mark to make this a 3-2 contest. Chicago was quickly moving the puck when Stefan Noesen found Smith at the left face-off circle. He blasted a one-timer by McIntyre for his 11th goal of the year.
Iowa held the one-goal lead into the third period, but Andrew Poturalski scored a shorthanded goal 4:42 into the frame to tie the score at three. Noesen intercepted a pass attempt, sending Poturalski the opposite direction on a breakaway. Poturalski beat McIntyre between the legs for his 17th goal of the year and suddenly Chicago looked like they were in command.
However, with a little under six minutes left in the game, Swaney delivered a shorthanded goal of his own, putting Iowa back on top for good. This time it was Staal who freed his teammate, sending Swaney in on a breakaway where he beat Lyon for his ninth goal of the year.
With a little over a minute left in the contest, the Wolves pulled Lyon looking to tie the score. However, Iowa was able to hold on, earning the 4-3 victory. That moved the team to 13-13-4 and they are now 1-4-0 against Chicago this season.
McIntyre finished with 29 saves.
The same two teams will play again tonight at Wells Fargo Center. Faceoff is set for 6 pm CT.
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