This Western Conference Semifinals series looks like it could go the limit as the Wolves and Marlies are well-matched. Both teams are well-rested as well, so expect a high-octane Game 1 tonight at Allstate Arena.
No. 3 Toronto Marlies (0-0) at No. 2 Chicago Wolves (0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TV: U-Too 26.2, XFinity 248 and 360, RCN 35, WOW 170
|3.20||Goals per game||4.33|
|3.00||Goals allowed per game||1.33|
|32.6||Shots per game||30.7|
|7 of 27||Power plays||6 of 23|
|19 of 27||Penalty kills||14 of 15|
A BRIEF PLAYOFF HISTORY
The Wolves are in the final eight for the eighth time in their 13 years as part of the American Hockey League. The Marlies are in the final eight for the third year in a row. They lost to Grand Rapids in the Western Conference Semifinals last season, but advanced to the Calder Cup Finals in 2012 before falling to Norfolk.
Chicago had to go to the limit to defeat Rochester. Meanwhile, Toronto crushed Milwaukee in three straight games by a combined 13-4 score. The Wolves were intrigued by that result because their first nine games with Milwaukee this season were decided by one goal. Wolves head coach John Anderson thinks his team’s more rugged road could be a benefit. “We’re a little battle-tested now, probably a little more than Toronto,” Anderson said. “We’ve faced elimination. So I think that works in our favor.”
NUMBERS TO KNOW
- The Wolves have won 21 consecutive playoff series in which they’ve won Game 1.
- Toronto’s power play ranked ninth among the AHL’s 30 teams during the regular season as the Marlies converted 19.9 percent. They improved that number during their sweep of Milwaukee as they clicked on 26.1 percent.
- T.J. Brennan led the Marlies with 12 power-play goals and 32 assists on the power play. He joined Hamilton’s Greg Pateryn as the only AHL defensemen to lead their teams in power-play goals.