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Tale of the Tape: March 19


Chicago looks to rebound tonight as it hosts Texas for the first time this year. The Wolves were swept at the Cedar Park Center in January and have dropped six straight games to the Stars, four of which have come by a one-goal margin and the other pair by three goals each.

 

Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m.
Allstate Arena

TEX
Team Record:
 29-18-13-1
Last Game: 3-2 OTW vs. Lake Erie (March 17)
2014-15 Season Series: 2-0-0-0
Last Meeting: 5-4 Home Win (Jan. 24)
 
CHI
Team Record: 29-24-6-1
Last Game: 3-4 L vs. Rockford (March 15)
2014-15 Season Series: 0-2-0-0
Last Meeting: 4-5 Road Loss (Jan. 24)

Storylines

  • Chicago looks to rebound tonight as it hosts Texas for the first time this year. The Wolves were swept at the Cedar Park Center in January and have dropped six straight games to the Stars, four of which have come by a one-goal margin and the other pair by three goals each.

  • After stringing together wins against Milwaukee and Utica at Allstate Arena, the Chicago Wolves suffered losses last weekend to Utica and Rockford to drop in the standings. The team is now 3-6-1-0 in its last 10 but three of its last four losses have come by just one goal. 

  • The Stars have solidified their playoff positioning thanks to a 6-1-3-0 mark in their last 10 games, including the five-game point streak (4-0-1-0) they bring to Chicago. They sit in the No. 7 spot in the conference with 72 points in 61 games but are creeping up on the Wolves’ Midwest Division rival Milwaukee (73/63).

  • The Wolves have only recorded back-to-back winless seasons against one team currently in the American Hockey League: Hamilton, which they went 0-1-0-1 against in 2008-09 and 0-2-0-2 against in 2009-10. Since then, Chicago has gone 9-2-0-0 versus the Bulldogs.


By The Numbers

6 – Number of the Wolves’ last eight goals that have come in the third period. Five of those were in the final 10 minutes and three in the final minute of play.

2.68 – Chicago’s average goals-for this season, which would tie the 2012-13 squad for lowest in team history.

3 – Games of the team’s last seven in which they have been shut out. All three goaltenders — Grand Rapids’ Petr Mrazek, Lake Erie’s Calvin Pickard, and Utica’s Jacob Markstrom — were in the NHL within eight days of the blankings.


Follow The Action

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. and can be seen on WCIU The U (channel 26). The game can also be streamed on www.ahllive.com.

Those away from a TV or computer can follow @Chicago_Wolves or @ChiWolvesLive on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.


Player Spotlight

Cracknell

#25 Adam Cracknell
Right Wing

Despite not having the best of luck in the win column as of late, the addition of Cracknell has been a big piece for the Wolves and gain in production.

It took him seven games to tally his first goal in the burgundy and gold this season, but he’s recorded four assists during that time and had two multi-point games in his last three appearances. After recently being added to a line with leading-scorer Shane Harper and Magnus Paajarvi, it seemed to pay off as he tallied a goal and assist on Sunday against Rockford. Harper recorded two goals and an assist with Cracknell on the ice for each goal. 

The forward has five points (G, 4A), a -2 plus/minus rating, and 24 shots on goal in his short seven-game tenure with the Wolves this season after posting seven points (3G, 4A), a -3 plus/minus rating, and 38 shots on goal in 18 games with Springfield (AHL).

Brendan Ranford

#19 Brendan Ranford
Left Wing

The 22-year-old left wing for the Stars had one heck of a season in his first season last year, tallying 12 goals and 21 assists in 65 games with the Stars. This go around has been even better, as Ranford has tallied 15 goals and 26 assists in seven fewer games to this point. 

The second-year forward made his presence felt in the first two match-ups between Texas and the Wolves back in January, finding the back of the net in each game while adding on an assist in game 2. He’s made just one appearance with the NHL’s Dallas Stars but saw just 13 shifts and 9:19 of ice time against San Jose on Feb. 19.

The Stars are currently riding a four-game winning streak — all coming at home — while averaging 4.75 goals scored per game in that span. Needless to say, Ranford won’t be the only player in green to watch out for tonight.  

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