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Weekly Reports

Wolves Weekly Press Notes for April 20


April 20, 2015

The Chicago Wolves closed out their 21st regular season last week and turn their attention to the postseason after learning their fate Sunday evening. Locked into the No. 8 position, the Wolves will face the top-ranked Utica Comets in the first round. The teams kick off the series this week with home games Wednesday and Friday in Rosemont. The Comets are one of four teams to earn 100 points this season (Manchester, Hershey, Grand Rapids) and are led by Jacob Markstrom, one of the top goaltenders in the American Hockey League. The Wolves are 2-2-0-0 against the Comets this season with a 1-1-0-0 record both at home and on the road. Each squad earned a shutout and a one-goal win against the other. Utica holds a slight edge in the season series in goals (9-8) and points (5-4), as one of its losses to Chicago came in overtime.

THIS WEEK:

2015 Calder Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals
Game 1
Wed., April 22*
vs. Utica Comets
Allstate Arena
7 p.m.

Game 2
Fri., April 24*
vs. Utica Comets
Allstate Arena
7 p.m.

*U-Too

GAMES WILL BE TELECAST LIVE ON THE U-TOO OR WCIU
Log on to chicagowolves.com for broadcast schedule, or to watch or listen to the action live online

SECOND SEASON

The Chicago Wolves closed out their 21st regular season last week and turn their attention to the postseason after learning their fate Sunday evening. Locked into the No. 8 position, the Wolves will face the top-ranked Utica Comets in the first round. The teams kick off the series this week with home games Wednesday and Friday in Rosemont. The Comets are one of four teams to earn 100 points this season (Manchester, Hershey, Grand Rapids) and are led by Jacob Markstrom, one of the top goaltenders in the American Hockey League. The Wolves are 2-2-0-0 against the Comets this season with a 1-1-0-0 record both at home and on the road. Each squad earned a shutout and a one-goal win against the other. Utica holds a slight edge in the season series in goals (9-8) and points (5-4), as one of its losses to Chicago came in overtime.

WOLVES HEADLINERS

Robby Fabbri (C): Racked up four points (G, 3A), five shots, two penalty minutes, and an even plus/minus rating in three games last week … Skated in his first pro game April 17 at Rockford … Became the first player in Wolves history to register multiple points (2A) in his pro debut … Notched his first professional goal April 19 versus Toronto … Was reassigned by St. Louis (NHL) from Guelph (OHL) on April 15 … Ranked sixth in the OHL this season with a 1.7 points-per-game average, accruing 51 points (25G, 26A) in 30 games for the Storm

Jordan Binnington (G): Continued his stellar April last week with a 1-1-0 record and four goals against in 85:10 of action … Has posted a 4-2-0 record, 1.81 goals-against average, .936 save percentage, and one shutout this month … Has held opposing teams to one or fewer goals in five of his seven appearances since April 1 … Finished his first full AHL season with a 25-15-4 record, 2.35 GAA, .916 save percentage, and three shutouts in 45 games … Posted the second-most wins by a rookie goaltender in Wolves franchise history, trailing only Ondrej Pavelec’s 33 (2007-08)

Rob Bordson (LW): Contributed three points in two games last week, including a two-goal outing Friday at Rockford … The tallies were his first points since Feb. 11, first goal and multi-point game since Dec. 21, and first multi-goal game since Nov. 9 … Collected 23 points (8G, 15A), a +7 plus/minus rating, and 33 penalty minutes in 61 games for the Wolves this season … Set an AHL career high in assists … Finished two points shy of his career high, but posted the best points-per-game pace of his AHL tenure (0.38)

Colin Fraser (C): Recorded points in both games he appeared in last week, handing out an assist on the team’s opening goal Friday and lighting the lamp on a breakaway Saturday for the game-tying marker … Has three points (G, 2A), a +6 plus/minus rating, and 14 shots on goal in nine games this month … Has produced 17 points (9G, 8A) and a +4 plus/minus rating in 59 games this season … Ranks third on the Wolves with 67 penalty minutes … Appeared in one game with St. Louis (NHL) in January, registering one shot and a -1 plus/minus rating

WOLF TRACKS

— The Wolves enter their first playoff game Wednesday with a 10-3 series record in conference quarterfinal/division semifinal matchups, with the three losses coming in 1995, 1997, and 2012. They are 7-0 under head coach JOHN ANDERSON (1997-2008, 2013-present).

— Chicago has won 21 of 22 series all-time when capturing Game 1. They have won just eight of 19 series when dropping Game 1.

— The Wolves’ last three first-round matchups (Rochester in 2014, San Antonio in 2012, and Milwaukee in 2010) have required the full series to determine a winner. Chicago won those series in 2010 and 2014.

— This will be the first AHL postseason that the Wolves enter as the No. 8 seed. Their lowest previous seed in a conference format was No. 7 (2002, won Calder Cup) and lowest in a divisional format was W3 (2004, lost in division final).

— The Wolves posted a 17-19-2-1 record (.474) against other playoff teams during the regular season.

— Forward Jeremy Welsh notched his 20th goal of the season on Sunday against Toronto. It is his first season hitting 20 goals as a professional and gives the Wolves their first 20-goal trio (Shane Harper, Ty Rattie) since 2011-12 (Mark Mancari, Darren Haydar, Jordan Schroeder).

— The tally was shorthanded, giving Welsh four (and on the ice for six) of the team’s eight this season, good for the AHL lead and the most on the Wolves since Derek MacKenzie (5) in 2006-07.

— Right wing Shane Harper finished the season ranked third in the league with 32 goals, two behind leader Teemu Pulkkinen. He paced the circuit in shooting percentage (22.2) and game-winning goals (10) and was tied for fourth with a 10-game point streak.

— Chicago was one of three teams (Bridgeport, Oklahoma City) not to receive a penalty shot this season.

— The Wolves’ 19 wins and 42 points at home tie the franchise record for fewest in a season.

— The team went to a shootout just twice this season, the lowest mark in franchise history for seasons in which shootouts were in effect.

— The Wolves power play finished the season with a 13th-ranked 17.2 percent conversion rate (50-for-290), including a top-ranked road unit at 23.1 percent. The team’s penalty killing ranked 19th, killing off 223 of 270 chances (82.6 percent).

— Chicago finished with a goals-for average of 2.76, the second-lowest in franchise history. Its goals-against average of 2.61 ranks as the fourth-best in franchise history.

— The Wolves extended their streak of wins when leading after two periods to 47 regular-season games, dating back to Dec. 28, 2013. It extends to 64 games without a regulation loss (April 7, 2013).

WOLVES REWIND (1-2-0-0)

Sunday, April 19
Toronto 5, (at) Chicago 2
— Three third-period goals put the Wolves at an insurmountable deficit as they dropped their regular-season finale to the Marlies at Allstate Arena
— The Wolves finally solved goaltender Antoine Bibeau in the third period with goals from Jeremy Welsh and Robby Fabbri, his first pro tally
— Goaltender Matt Climie stopped 17 of 21 shots in the loss

Saturday, April 18
(at) Chicago 4, Milwaukee 3 (SO)
Terry Broadhurst’s tally in the seventh round served as the only score of the extra session and propelled the Wolves to their first shootout win of the season in an Amtrak Rivalry game at Allstate Arena
— BROADHURST, Colin Fraser, and Colton Parayko scored during regulation as the Wolves answered each time Milwaukee took a lead
— Goaltender Jordan Binnington snuffed 38 of 41 shots during regulation and overtime and all seven he faced in the shootout

Friday, April 17
(at) Rockford 4, Chicago 3
— Forward Rob Bordson scored twice in the third period but it was not enough to catch the IceHogs in this season’s Illinois Lottery Cup finale at the MetroCentre
— Left wing Yannick Veilleux also scored for the Wolves while rookie Robby Fabbri handed out two assists in his professional debut
— Goaltender Matt Climie stopped 16 of 19 shots before being replaced by Jordan Binnington, who saved five of six chances and took the loss

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