Wolves push record home points streak to 17 with 4-0 victory over Wild
By Brian Sandalow For Sun-Times Media March 2, 2014 9:35PM
Updated: March 2, 2014 10:58PM
The Wolves knew they would have to weather a strong start Sunday by the Iowa Wild. They did, and they made some team history with a 4-0 victory at Allstate Arena.
Facing a team coming off a 9-1 loss Friday at Milwaukee and trying to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat, the streaking Wolves left little doubt they would prolong the Wild’s woes. Jake Allen made 29 saves for his fourth shutout, tying for the AHL lead with his 25th victory. Adam Cracknell had two goals, and Keith Aucoin and Ty Rattie also scored for the Wolves, who won their fourth in a row.
Not only did that allow the Wolves (33-17-4-2) to get within three points of idle division-leader Grand Rapids, it wrapped a weekend that started with a dominant 6-2 victory Friday against Rochester. After Allen stopped the Wild’s first three shots, Aucoin scored 1:41 in to give the Wolves the lead for good.
“We knew they were going to come out strong, and they did for the first five minutes. They had a real solid push and sort of outplayed us for the first five,” Allen said. “We pushed right back and sort of took the game over.”
While the Wolves were finishing a weekend in which they outscored their opponents 10-2, they set a franchise record by extending their home points streak to 17 games, breaking a mark set by the 2009-10 team. Before the streak began Dec. 8 with a 5-4 shootout win over Oklahoma City, the Wolves were 3-7 at Allstate Arena.
Clearly, something changed.
“I just think we got better. I don’t think it had anything to do with being home or away,” Wolves coach John Anderson said. “It’s just that our team has gotten better.”
After Aucoin’s goal, Rattie doubled the lead with his team-best 22nd with 1:49 to go in the first period. Cracknell then added two during the second.
“We knew Iowa was going to come in here hard after what happened in Milwaukee,” Cracknell said. “We just stuck to our game plan. We put pucks on net. We didn’t score pretty goals, we scored the goals that we needed to and Jake Allen played great for us.”
Earlier Sunday, forward Mark Mancari was traded by the St. Louis Blues to the Florida Panthers for Eric Selleck, who was assigned to the Wolves. The Wolves also acquired defenseman Doug Janik from the San Antonio Rampage.