The Chicago Wolves opened the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs last week, earning a 1-1 split at Allstate Arena in their best-of-five Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utica Comets. The team now travels to New York for the remainder of the series, facing off against their top-ranked opponent Wednesday and Friday with the series-deciding tilt slated for Saturday if necessary. The Wolves are 6-1 in conference quarterfinal/division semifinal series when splitting the first two games, including a 3-0 mark when starting at home and 4-1 record in best-of-five rounds. Chicago has never lost a CQF/DSF series during head coach JOHN ANDERSON’s AHL tenure (7-0).
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.
With three wins in four games last week, the Chicago Wolves clinched a spot in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs. With their odds of making the postseason at less than 30 percent (according to Sports Club Stats) just one month ago, the team has posted 10 wins in its last 12 games to jump from No. 11 in the Western Conference to No. 7. With three games remaining in the Wolves’ regular-season slate, Chicago has the opportunity to move up as high as the No. 5 seed. The Wolves close out their schedule with a trip to Rockford on Friday before hosting Milwaukee on Saturday and Toronto on Sunday. The team will learn its playoff opponent and schedule following the regular-season finale against the Marlies.
The Chicago Wolves enter the second-to-last week of the season with a league-high seven games remaining and magic number of 11 to secure a postseason berth. Following big wins in Toronto and Hamilton last week, both teams that are fighting for one of the final seeds, the Wolves saw their seven-game win streak snapped at the hands of the Texas Stars on Saturday. The team has the chance to rebound quickly as they host Lake Erie tonight before closing out the season with Friday/Saturday/Sunday three-in-three sets this weekend and next. Chicago (79 points/69 games) leads a group of six squads battling for the No. 7 and 8 positions in the Western Conference, with Milwaukee (79/71), Hamilton (76/70), Toronto (75/69), Adirondack (74/69), and Lake Erie (74/69) still in contention.
The Chicago Wolves put forth an impressive effort last week as they posted a 3-0-0-0 record to run their winning streak to a season-high five games. It is the team’s first five-game regular-season streak since Nov. 7-16, 2013, and included its first three-in-three sweep since Jan. 6-8, 2012. While the wins bumped up the team from No. 11 to No. 7 in the Western Conference over the weekend, the Wolves will be tested this week with back-to-back road games in Toronto and Hamilton followed by a visit from Texas, a team Chicago has not defeated in its last seven tries. The Stars sit just above the Wolves at No. 6 with 78 points in 67 games, with Chicago (75/66), Hamilton (75/68), Milwaukee (75/68), Toronto (73/66), Adirondack (72/66), and Lake Erie (70/66) trailing and all in contention.
After dropping their first game of the week 3-0 to Texas at Allstate Arena, the Chicago Wolves embarked on this season’s lone trip to Oklahoma City. There the Wolves pulled off a weekend sweep of the Barons, pushing their winning streak over OKC to four games and earning the team a crucial four points to remain in the hunt for the playoffs. This week could prove to be a make-or-break moment for the team as they play a home-and-home with Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday and host Iowa on Sunday. Since their 3-2 overtime loss at Allstate Arena on Feb. 11, the seventh-ranked Admirals have gone 4-11-2, leaving their playoff position vulnerable with Adirondack (70 points/63 games played), Hamilton (70/65), Chicago (69/63), Toronto (69/63), and Lake Erie (66/63) lurking in the No. 8-12 spots.
The Chicago Wolves are down to the stretch run with just 16 contests left following a three-game slate last week. The Wolves started strong with an overtime win over Utica on Wednesday before dropping tilts to the Comets and Rockford on Saturday and Sunday. Chicago closes out a four-game homestand Thursday against Texas before hitting the road for a two-game weekend series in Oklahoma City. The Wolves sit in the 10th spot in the Western Conference with 65 points in 60 games, above Toronto (65/61) but trailing Texas (70/60), Hamilton (69/63), and Adirondack (67/60).
The Chicago Wolves salvaged one point from the weekend, getting swept in two games in Lake Erie but taking the Monsters to overtime on Friday. The team returns to Allstate Arena this week for the first three games of a tough four-game homestand against Utica (twice) and Rockford, the Western Conference’s No. 3 and 4 teams, respectively. Chicago will need to earn some points if it hopes to climb back into the playoff race, dropping to the No. 10 seed over the weekend. The Wolves are in a five-team battle for the final two spots as Hamilton, Texas, Adirondack, Chicago, and Toronto (Nos. 7-11) are all separated by just two points. The Wolves have the third-best points percentage and the most home games remaining of those five teams, but face difficult competition.
The Chicago Wolves collected a win on Sunday against Milwaukee to rebound from a 5-0 loss to Grand Rapids on Saturday, the team’s largest margin of defeat this season, and salvage a weekend split. The Midwest Division competition continues as the Wolves travel to Cleveland for a two-game set against the Lake Erie Monsters. As Chicago attempts to regain its playoff spot (one point behind No. 8 Texas with one game in hand), the Monsters are four points behind the Wolves with one game in hand but host Milwaukee on Wednesday. The postseason race remains tight as just five points separates Nos. 7-11 in the Western Conference (Hamilton, Texas, Chicago, Adirondack, and Toronto, respectively).
The Chicago Wolves closed out their four-game season series with San Antonio last weekend, earning a weekend split and season series split with the Rampage following a win on Saturday and loss on Sunday. The team’s attention turns back to the Midwest Division as two rivals --- Grand Rapids and Milwaukee --- roll into town for another busy weekend. The Griffins and Admirals are tied atop the division standings, slightly edging out Rockford, who has the same amount of points but with an extra game played. In addition to that trio, the Wolves are clinging to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, making four of the eight teams currently in playoff spots members of the Midwest Division.
With victories in their first two tilts last week, the Chicago Wolves strung their winning streak to four games before seeing it snapped in a loss to Grand Rapids on Sunday. The team has five days off before its next matchup, when it will face San Antonio in the first game of a home doubleheader this weekend. The two games will close out the season series between the squads, who split a pair in Texas in early December. The Rampage sit one spot ahead of the Wolves in the standings, slotting in at the No. 6 spot (60 points in 50 games) in the Western Conference while the Wolves rank No. 7 (58 points in 51 games), with Texas, Adirondack, and Hamilton close behind in spots 8-10, respectively.