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Tale of the Tape: April 11


The Wolves also can move up a notch in the Western Conference standings with a win tonight. Oklahoma City (84 points) holds a 1-point edge over the Wolves for sixth place, but the Wolves hold one game in hand on the Barons.

 

Saturday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Allstate Arena

OKC
Team Record:
 38-26-5-3
Last Game: 0-4 L vs. Iowa (April 10)
2014-15 Season Series: 0-2-1-0
Last Meeting: 1-4 Home Loss (March 22)
 
CHI
Team Record: 38-26-6-1
Last Game: 4-1 W vs. Milwaukee (April 10)
2014-15 Season Series: 3-0-0-0
Last Meeting: 4-1 Road Win (March 22)

Storylines

  • The Wolves also can move up a notch in the Western Conference standings with a win tonight. Oklahoma City (84 points) holds a 1-point edge over the Wolves for sixth place, but the Wolves hold one game in hand on the Barons.

  • The Chicago Wolves maintained their march toward the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 4-1 victory on Friday night at Milwaukee that reduced their magic number to 4. The Wolves scored four goals in the third period to earn their first win this season when trailing after 40 minutes — becoming the final AHL team to achieve that feat.

  • In winning for the ninth time in their last 10 games, the Wolves boosted their point total to 83 with five regular-season games remaining. There are two scenarios in which Chicago can clinch a playoff berth tonight: 1) The Wolves win while neither Hamilton (78 points/72 games) nor Adirondack (76 points/71 games) wins or 2) The Wolves get one point while Hamilton and Adirondack both lose in regulation.

  • The Wolves clinched the Amtrak Rivalry trophy with Friday’s victory over Milwaukee. Ray Lang, the chief for State Government Affairs with Amtrak, will present the trophy to Wolves general manager Wendell Young prior to the Chicago-Milwaukee game on April 18.


By The Numbers

.786– The Wolves’ points percentage in April over the last two regular seasons. The team went 6-1-0-2 last season in April as it rallied to win the Midwest Division. This year, the Wolves have gone 4-1-0-0 with five games remaining in April.

8 – Teams that still have a shot at the other four Western Conference playoff spots: Texas (86), Oklahoma City (84), Chicago (83), Toronto (79), Milwaukee (79), Hamilton (78), Adirondack (76) and Lake Erie (74). 

99 – According to the website Sports Club Stats, which calculates teams’ playoff chances in many professional leagues, the Wolves have a 99 percent chance to getting into the playoffs. The same site pegged the team’s chances as 26 percent prior to the 9-1 streak.


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

9 ShaneHarper

#9 Shane Harper
Right Wing

Shane Harper joined an exclusive club with the Chicago Wolves last night after tallying his league-leading 10th game-winning goal of the season. That total ties the franchise record with Chris Marinucci (1998-99), Brett Sterling (2007-08) and Mark Mancari (2011-12) for the most game-winners in a season. 

His 32 goals also ties Simon Gamache, Ramzi Abid, Darren Haydar and Jason Krog as the only Wolves’ players to score 32+ since they joined the AHL prior to the 2001-02 season. If there was a breakout player of the season for the AHL, there would be a strong case for the California Kid, who has already scored 19 more goals than he has in any other AHL season and 10 more than his previous career high. 

Harper also recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season last night in Milwaukee, and has put his team in a potential position to clinch a playoff spot tonight. If the Wolves can win tonight AND Hamilton loses in regulation, overtime or shootout to Texas AND Adirondack loses in regulation, overtime or shootout to Lake Erie, they will clinch a playoff berth.

Laurent Brossoit

#31 Laurent Brossoit
Goaltender

The Barons haven’t had the best of luck on the ice over the last month, seeing an unbelievable amount of injuries and resulting in more pressure place upon goaltender Laurent Brossoit. 

Up until last night, Brossoit had started 25-consecutive games for the Barons, posting a 9-14-2 record while facing 30+ shots in 11 of those games. That stretch has included three match-ups with Chicago, and the Wolves barely squeaked out two of the three wins. Brossoit put up an impressive 33-save, one-goal against game on February 13, but Jordan Binnington raised him a shutout for the win. The second meeting took extra time to decide, where the Wolves won in 3-on-3 hockey. 

Brossoit needs goal support, as the Barons have only scored two goals in the last three games and just as many in the three battles with the Wolves.

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