The Iowa Wild fell into an 0-2 hole in the Central Division Final, dropping Thursday night's Game 2 against the Chicago Wolves 4-3 at Allstate Arena.
The game marked the end of what turned into a five-game, nine-day road trip for the Wild, which began in Milwaukee more than a week ago.
An eventful first period saw Chicago and Iowa score a combined five goals. Chicago opened scoring as forward Brooks Macek got the game's first tally for the second consecutive contest. He knocked in a rebound after goaltender Andrew Hammond (26 saves) bobbled a shot from defenseman Griffin Reinhart just 89 seconds into the game.
The Wolves then doubled their lead when Matthew Weis recorded his first career Calder Cup Playoff goal. Forward Stefan Matteau intercepted a Wild clear and sent the puck to Weis, who beat Hammond glove side for the tally at 4:42.
Iowa got on the board as forward Gerry Mayhew scored his postseason-leading seventh goal at 10:15 of the opening frame. With the Wild on a power-play, forward Sam Anas sent a pass down low to forward Kyle Rau, who immediately forwarded the pass to Mayhew in the slot. His blast beat goaltender Oscar Dansk (22 saves) for his third goal of the series.
With his secondary assist, Anas extended his assist streak to four games and his five assists rank second in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Wild forward Luke Kunin then tied the game at 2-2 at 17:50, backhanding a rebound across the goal line for his fourth of the playoffs.
Just 38 seconds later, however, Chicago regained the lead as defenseman Zach Whitecloud -- a former Bemidji State standout -- potted his second of the playoffs. Serving as a trailer in the offensive rush, he one-timed a pass from Macek past Hammond for the 3-2 lead after one period.
The Wolves once again pushed its lead to two when forward Tobias Lindberg netted his first of the postseason at 6:07 of the second. Matteau sent a pass to Lindberg and he took a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Hammond top shelf.
Kunin's second of the night cut Chicago's lead to 4-3 with 58 seconds remaining in the second period. A failed clear by the Wolves gave Kunin the puck at the right point and he wristed a shot through traffic.
Iowa outshot Chicago 11-4 in the final period, but could not find the equalizer. The Wolves finished the game with a 30-25 advantage on the shot chart.
The best-of-7 series now shifts to Des Moines beginning with Game 3 on Sunday at 3 p.m. Game 4 will be Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and if necessary, Game 5 would be Friday, May 10.