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TALE OF THE TAPE: MARCH 18


Friday, March 18, 7:00 p.m. Allstate Arena

Chicago begins a 3-in-3 weekend starting tonight with an Illinois Lottery Cup game at Allstate Arena. The home-and-hone series shifts to Rockford tomorrow night before the Wolves host Milwaukee in an Amtrak Rivalry game on Sunday.

The home team has won 8 of 9 games in this year’s Illinois Lottery Cup series.

It’s been nearly a month since the Illinois Lottery Cup rivals last played with the IceHogs recording a 4-2 win on Feb. 20. Tanner Kero broke a 2-2 tie with 5:08 left in regulation and Dane Walters added an empty netter as the IceHogs clinched the Illinois Lottery Cup for 2015-16.

This year’s series has produced its share of physicality with the teams combining for 151 penalty and 506 penalty minutes. The Dec. 19 encounter alone, generated 35 total penalties for 132 PIMs. At other times, the series has been more civil – only 6 total penalties for 12 PIMs during the Jan. 30 meeting and just 7 whistles for 14 PIMs on Jan. 2.

The IceHogs did the Wolves a favor on Tuesday night, knocking off Charlotte, 1-0. That leaves the Wolves eight points behind the team they’re chasing (Charlotte) for a possible Calder Cup “crossover” playoff berth. There are still 28 more points available for Chicago as 14 games remain on the docket.

By The Numbers

24: Defenseman JÉRÉMIE BLAIN turns 24 years old tomorrow.

196: Career points for PAT CANNONE, who need just 4 more to reach 200 for his AHL career. Only ANDRE BENOIT (203) has more career AHL points on the Wolves squad.

.783: Chicago’s winning percentage when scoring the game’s first goal. The Wolves are 17-4-2-0 when they strike first, but have accomplished that feat just once in their last 10 games.

Follow The Action

Today’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on WCIU The U Too and 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.


ChicagoWolves

Team Record: 26-28-5-3
Last Game: 4-0 L vs Grand Rapids (March 13)
2015-16 Season Series: 3-5-0-1
Last Meeting: 4-2 Home Loss (Feb. 20)

Rockford

Team Record: 34-16-7-4
Last Game: 1-0 W vs Charlotte (March 15)
2015-16 Season Series: 6-1-2-0
Last Meeting: 4-2 Road Win (Feb. 20)

Player Spotlight

0222-rattie

Danny Kristo, Ty Rattie 

With a goal last Saturday against Milwaukee, DANNY KRISTO recorded his third-straight 40-point season. He needs just one more goal to register his third-consecutive 20-goal campaign.

KRISTO, who spent the past two seasons with Hartford (AHL), leads the team in overtime goals (3) and shots (149), while ranking second in goals (19) and points (40) and third in power play goals (4).

It is on the road, however, where KRISTO does most of his damage, compiling a team-best 30 points (15G, 15A) in 31 contests.

TY RATTIE owns points in 2 of his last 3 games and recorded his third, 3-point game of the season with a goal and 2 assists in Chicago’s 4-2 win over Milwaukee in Amtrak Rivalry on March 12. RATTIE scored the game-winner just 1:01 into the third period off a turnover forced by JEREMY WELSH.

Despite missing 14 games this year, RATTIE still ranks third in Wolves scoring, compiling 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 48 contests.

Player Spotlight

mcneill

#28 Mark McNeil – Center 

The Rockford IceHogs earned their fourth consecutive home victory with a 1-0 win over Charlotte on Tuesday and Mark McNeill recorded a feat of his own, becoming the first IceHogs player to reach the 20-goal plateau.

The 23-year-old, who made his NHL debut earlier this season, has recorded 38 points in 49 games this season. The Alberta native led the IceHogs with 23 goals during his second pro season.

The 2011 first-round draft pick recorded 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists) in 63 regular season games during the 2014-15 season with Rockford, then added another four points (two goals, two assists) in eight playoff games. The previous year — his first in the AHL — McNeill had 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) in 76 games.

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