Chicago’s offense found new life on Friday night and the Wolves are heading home needing one more win to earn a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Curtis McKenzie recorded a hat trick and Chicago erupted for a 7-4 road victory over Iowa in Game 5 of the Central Division Finals at Wells Fargo Arena.
The series returns to Chicago for Game 6 on Monday night with the Wolves up three games to two in the best-of-seven set.
The Wolves headed to Des Moines with a two-games-to-none advantage but managed just one goal over the next two games as the Wild tied the series.
But Chicago broke out to an early lead in Game 5 on a Matthew Weis goal 3:09 into the contest, and Stefan Matteau‘s shorthanded tally late in the opening frame put the Wolves ahead for good.
McKenzie, who has four goals in the last two games, scored two of the Wolves’ three power-play goals on the night. Iowa entered the contest 33-for-34 on the penalty kill in the postseason, but Chicago finished 3-for-6 in Game 5.
Gage Quinney registered a goal and two assists for the Wolves, and Oscar Dansk (5-3) made 24 saves in picking up the win.
Ryan Donato scored his first two goals of the postseason for the Wild.
Central Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C3-Iowa Wild
Game 1 – Wed., May 1 – CHICAGO 3, Iowa 2 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Thu., May 2 – CHICAGO 4, Iowa 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Sun., May 5 – IOWA 2, Chicago 0 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Wed., May 8 – IOWA 2, Chicago 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Fri., May 10 – Chicago 7, IOWA 4
Game 6 – Mon., May 13 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 15 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern