TALE OF THE TAPE: JAN. 30
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Saturday, Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m. Allstate Arena
After posting a 3-2-0-0 record during a five-game road trip that took them to Grand Rapids, Charlotte, Iowa and Rockford, the Chicago Wolves get to enjoy their first home game in 14 days as they play host to the Rockford IceHogs at Allstate Arena in an Illinois Lottery Cup clash.
For the first time in almost exactly one year, the Wolves and the IceHogs are meeting on back-to-back nights. On Jan. 30, 2015, Rockford claimed a 3-2 overtime win on its home ice before the Wolves recovered quickly on Jan. 31, 2015, to post a 4-1 victory at Allstate Arena. Chicago seeks another quick recovery as Rockford picked up a 6-0 win on Friday night at the MetroCentre.
The Illinois Lottery Cup is earned by the team that picks up the most wins during the 12-game season series, regardless of whether the game is decided in regulation or extra time. Rockford owns a 5-2 lead in this year’s series as the IceHogs have taken full advantage of playing five of the first seven games on their ice.
By The Numbers
2: The Wolves are in the middle of a scheduling quirk that finds them with just two home games from Jan. 17 to Feb. 17. When the Wolves return home to face Iowa on Feb. 18, it starts a run of five games in a 10-day span at Allstate Arena.
5: The Wolves and IceHogs engaged in five fights on Friday night, which led to a total of 45 penalty minutes for Chicago and 53 penalty minutes for Rockford.
440: Total penalty minutes between Chicago (57-201 PIMs) and Rockford (72-239) in the season series. They combined for a season-high 132 penalty minutes on Dec. 19.
Follow The Action
Today’s game begins at 7:00 p.m and can be seen on WCIU The U Too or 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.
Team Record: 20-19-1-2
Last Game: 6-0 L at Rockford (Jan. 29)
2015-16 Season Series: 2-4-0-1
Last Meeting: 6-0 Road Loss (Jan. 29)
Team Record: 27-10-2-4
Last Game: 6-0 W vs Chicago (Jan. 29)
2015-16 Season Series: 5-1-1-0
Last Meeting: 6-0 Home Win (Jan. 29)
Tonight’s game serves as the Wolves’ 43rd and final game before the All-Star Break. While most of the Wolves have four days to rest and recharge for the stretch run, center PAT CANNONE and defenseman ANDRE BENOIT will catch a plane Sunday morning and head to Syracuse, N.Y., for the 2016 AHL All-Star festivities.
CANNONE and BENOIT will take part in Sunday’s All-Star Skills Competition (7 to 9 p.m. on CSN Chicago) as well as Monday’s All-Star Challenge (6 to 9 p.m., CSN Chicago Plus) that features a series of 3-on-3 games between four teams split up by division. CANNONE and BENOIT will represent the Central Division.
CANNONE, the team captain, earned his first All-Star nod as he paces the Wolves in goals (16), points (37) and plus/minus rating (+15) in 40 games. BENOIT, who was named to play the 2013 All-Star Game while playing for Binghamton but withdrew when he joined Ottawa (NHL), has posted 4 goals and 21 assists in 39 games.
Forward Mark McNeill hasn’t skipped a beat since returning to the Rockford IceHogs from his brief NHL stint.
The 22-year-old extended his point streak to a season-best eight games during Friday night’s dominant 6-0 win over the Chicago Wolves. The British Columbia native returned to Rockford Wednesday after making his NHL debut on Jan. 26 at Carolina, recording three hits in 12:44 of ice time.
The first round pick of the Blackhawks in 2011 has posted 9 goals and 12 assists for the IceHogs in 31 games this season.