Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena | The U Too | Facebook

DAVID AND GOLIATH

Friday night the Chicago Wolves will face one of their toughest opponents, the league-leading Manitoba Moose. Since Nov. 1, the Moose have played 24 games and own a 20-3-0-1 record in that span. Additionally, the Wolves have yet to solve the Moose this season and are trailing the season series 0-3-0-0. However, Manitoba isn’t invincible — their last three regulation losses all came against Pacific Division opponents (Bakersfield; San Diego 2) while their lone shootout blemish was against the Milwaukee Admirals. All four losses were one-goal margins. Incidentally, Chicago has participated in a league-high 20 one-goal games and owns a 7-6-5-2 record.

Baker’s Dozen

The Chicago Wolves come into tonight’s game looking to push their point streak to 13 games, which would match last season’s longest streak from Feb. 12 to March 18 (9-0-4-0). If this season’s version of the Wolves can accomplish the feat, it would mark just the fifth time in franchise history a team has reached the 13-game mark and would be one game from the franchise record set in 2007.

Getcha Game On, Go Play

On Thursday, center Brandon Pirri was selected to represent the Chicago Wolves at the 2018 AHL AllStar Classic. This marks the third AHL All-Star honor for the 26-year-old Toronto native, who earned the Most Valuable Player title in 2014 with two goals and an assist against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. His first all-star appearance was 2012. This season for the Wolves, Pirri leads the team with 12 goals and 27 points and is clicking along at nearly a point-per-game pace (0.93), also a team best. He has missed six games due to injury.

BREAKING THE HABIT

Forward Tobias Lindberg scored in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The goals — scored Jan. 1 and 3 — broke his 11-game pattern of tallying every other contest for the Wolves. The welcome change also spurred his second multi-point game of the 2017-18 campaign. The goal-and assist performance was the second of its kind for Lindberg and his second amid Chicago’s 12-game point streak.

By the Numbers:

  • 1: Beau Bennett is averaging a point per game during the nine games in which he has appeared of the Chicago Wolves’ 12-game point streak. The 26-year-old California native has recorded two goals and seven assists in that span. He also collected his second three-assist performance of the season on Dec. 15. Bennett missed a stretch of three games (Dec. 21-27).
  • 3: On Thursday, in addition to Wolves forward Brandon Pirri, three former Chicago Wolves were also named to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic: goaltender Jordan Binnington, forward Ty Rattie and defenseman Jordan Schmaltz. All three players were members of the 2016-17 Central Division champion squad. Of the three, Binnington and Rattie own the longest tenures with the Wolves as each was with the team for four seasons (2013-17). Rattie joined the Edmonton Oilers organization over the summer while Binnington began the year on the Wolves roster before joining the Providence Bruins. Schmaltz, a first-round NHL draft pick, appeared in 113 games over two seasons with Chicago. Rattie and Schmaltz made their AHL debuts with the Wolves. Binnington appeared in one game with the Peoria Rivermen before coming to Chicago.
  • 4: Forward T.J. Tynan continues to be red-hot with four points (2G, 2A) in the last three games. On Wednesday, the 25-year-old netted his first point against his former team, the Cleveland Monsters. Prior to signing with the Vegas Golden Knights organization over the summer, Tynan spent four years as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and that included two seasons with the Monsters. In 2016, the Illinois native earned a Calder Cup with then-Lake Erie.
  • 6: The Chicago Wolves and Providence Bruins own the AHL’s longest active home winning streaks at six games apiece. That number also matches the Manitoba Moose and Syracuse Crunch for a league season-high. Both teams will look to extend their streaks to seven games tonight. The Wolves face the league’s best team, Manitoba, while Providence takes on the Hartford Wolf Pack.
  • 12: At 12 games, the Chicago Wolves own the AHL’s longest active point streak and are four games shy of matching the league’s longest streak of the season set at 16 contests. Tonight the Wolves and the owner of that streak, the Manitoba Moose, face off for the fourth time this season. The Moose come into tonight’s game as the league’s best team and with a 16-1-0-1 record in their last 18 games. The Wolves aren’t slouches, owning a 10–0-1-1 record in their last 12 and outscoring opponents 46-27 in that span.
  • 14: Since returning from injury in Game No. 3 of the Chicago Wolves’ 12-game point streak, forward Tomas Hyka has collected 14 points. In 10 games, the 24-year-old Czech has collected seven goals and seven assists for an average of 1.40 points per game. Additionally, Hyka as registered four multi-point performances. Most recently, he nabbed three points (G, 2A) on Wednesday against the Cleveland Monsters. On Dec. 15, Hyka collected four points (2G, 2A) for his first four-point effort in North American professional competition. In the last 10 games, Hyla has logged a +5 plus/minus rating, 20 shots on goal and has yet to visit the penalty box
  • 92: With an assist Wednesday night, Teemu Pulkkinen pushed his lifetime AHL totals to 92 goals and 92 assists. He has earned those 184 points in just 201 games. This marks the first full AHL season, though, where the league’s 2014-15 goal-scoring champ has registered more assists than goals

Game Rewind

Wednesday, Jan. 3 (at) Chicago 5, Cleveland 3

  • The Wolves pushed their point streak to a dozen games with a win over the Monsters.
  • Forward Tomas Hyka collected three points (G, 2A) while Tobias Lindberg collected two (G, A).
  • Cleveland rallied with three straight goals to tie the game before Chicago netted two third-period tallies for the win.
  • Forwards Beau Bennett, Bryce Gervais (GWG), and T.J. Tynan also scored.
  • Goaltender Max Lagace made 21 saves for his ninth win of the season.

Monday, Jan. 1 Chicago 2, (at) Iowa 1

  • Chicago extended its point streak to 11 contests in its first game of the season at Wells Fargo Arena.
  • Forward T.J. Tynan assisted on both Wolves goals.
  • Forward Tobias Lindberg netted the team’s fifth short-handed marker and Mackenzie MacEachern scored Chicago’s second tally.
  • Goaltender Max Lagace made 25 saves for his eighth victory of the season.