TALE OF THE TAPE: MARCH 19
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Saturday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. MetroCentre
For the 11th time this season, the Chicago Wolves are playing the same opponent on consecutive days. The Wolves posted a 4-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night in Illinois Lottery Cup action at Allstate Arena, but the scene shifts today to Rockford’s MetroCentre.
The Wolves have not fared well this season when facing the same foe on back-to-back days. During the first 10 occasions, the team has forged a collective 6-12-2-0 mark (.350) and has yet to pull off a sweep. The only other time the Wolves and IceHogs played successive days, Rockford won on Jan. 29 at home and Chicago recovered to earn an overtime win on Jan. 30 at Allstate Arena.
Following Friday’s game, the Wolves and IceHogs ranked 1-2 among Western Conference teams in penalty minutes with 1,059 and 1,040, respectively. It’s fair to say their totals have been enhanced by the number of encounters between the teams.
The teams have combined for 526 penalty minutes in their 10 contests, which accounts for 25.1 percent of their collective PIMs even though they’ve played only 16 percent of their games against each other.
By The Numbers
4: The Wolves are in the middle of their fourth and final 3-in-3 weekend of the season. Chicago went 0-3-0-0 during the first set, 2-1-0 in the second set and 1-1-1-0 in the third set, so the team is 4-5-1-0 to date during 3-in-3s.
24: Defenseman JÉRÉMIE BLAIN turns 24 years old today.
+10: The Wolves have outscored their opponents 88-78 in 31 home games this season.
-38: The Wolves have been outscored 112-74 in 32 road games this season. That ranks 29th in the AHL as the Manitoba Moose have a minus-52 differential on the road.
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.
Team Record: 34-17-7-4
Last Game: 4-1 L at Chicago (March 18)
2015-16 Season Series: 6-2-2-0
Last Meeting: 4-1 Road Loss (March 18)
Team Record: 27-28-5-3
Last Game: 4-1 W vs Rockford (March 18)
2015-16 Season Series: 4-5-0-1
Last Meeting: 4-1 Home Win (March 18)
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.
Photo: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves
Right wing DANNY KRISTO scored during the third period of Friday’s 4-1 home victory over Rockford, but he takes extra pride in producing when the Wolves are on the road. He has appeared in 31 of the team’s 32 road games this season and produced 15 goals and 15 assists. Chicago has scored 74 goals on the road this season, which means KRISTO has either scored or assisted on 41 percent of the team’s tallies.
The Eden Prairie, Minn., native kicks it up a notch when playing on Rockford’s home ice. He owns 3 goals and 2 assists in the Wolves’ five appearances at the MetroCentre, so he has had a hand in 63 percent of the team’s 8 goals in Rockford.
KRISTO,who spent the past two seasons with Hartford (AHL), hit the 20-goal mark for the third year in a row when he delivered Friday night to give the Wolves a 3-0 lead. He paces the Wolves in overtime goals (3) and shots (151) and shares the lead in goals (20) while ranking second in points (41).