Tonight’s Chicago Wolves game at San Antonio is not being televised. To watch or listen tonight, please go to AHLLive.com. The Wolves return to The U-Too on Dec. 17 against Adirondack. Follow live play-by-play on Twitter at @ChiWolvesLive.
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m.
Team Record: 14-6-2-0
Last Game: 2-1 W vs. Utica (Dec. 7)
Season Series: 1-0-0-0
Last Meeting: 2-1 Home Win (Dec. 7)
Team Record: 13-9-3-0
Last Game: 2-1 L vs. San Antonio (Dec. 7)
Season Series: 0-1-0-0
Last Meeting: 2-1 Road Loss (Dec. 7)
With Sunday’s 2-1 loss in San Antonio, the Chicago Wolves’ losing streak extended to three games, the team’s longest winless streak of the year and tying their longest road winless streak this season (Nov. 18-26); it marked the squad’s first regulation loss to a West Division opponent in 2014-15, but they still hold a winning record of 4-1-1-0 (.750 points percentage) thanks to wins over Charlotte and Iowa.
Once a top-three offense, the Wolves have sputtered with just 16 goals in the last 10 games and only topping two goals twice in that span; prior to Nov. 18, Chicago held a league-high 12.7 shooting percentage, a stat which has regressed to 9.6 percent in the 10 games since and is now much closer to 9.2, the league’s average team shooting percentage.
Making the offensive struggles more prominent is the fact that Chicago has lost its last three games by just one goal, moving it to 5-5-3-0 (.500) in that situation this year and surrendering 13 potential standings points to opponents in the process; last season the team excelled in tight matchups, posting a 22-7-5-5 mark (.692).
The last time the Wolves suffered three consecutive regulation losses to begin a month was in 2009-10, when they began their season in October with a 0-3-0-0 record, and the last time they did so in December came in 2007-08, when they kicked off the final month of 2007 by going 0-4-0-0.
By The Numbers
.389 – The Wolves’ points percentage over the last nine games since losing right wing SEBASTIAN WANNSTROM to injury; linemates ROB BORDSON and JEREMY WELSH have combined to produce just one assist since losing one-third of the BW3 trio, the team’s hottest line to start the season.
10 – Game-winning goals Mark Mancari recorded for the Wolves during the 2011-12 season, one of three players to achieve that record feat in the franchise’s first 20 seasons; the now-Rampage forward notched the winner against his former team in Sunday’s contest.
25 – Shots released by San Antonio on Sunday, tied for the second-fewest they have recorded in a game this season (17 on Nov. 14 vs. Charlotte, 25 on Oct. 31 vs. Rockford); the Rampage rank second in the league with 34.8 shots per game while the Wolves sit third in the circuit with 25.6 shots allowed on average.
Follow The Action
Tonight’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be streamed on www.ahllive.com.
#10 Philip McRae
As of late, Philip McRae has been playing at a different level than most of his teammates. Whether the puck has just been bouncing his way or he’s just seen the net soccer-sized, McRae has been helping keep the Wolves in games despite the three losses.
Averaging a point per game during this skid, McRae has two goals and an assist and is making his presence felt in the offensive zone. He’s been relatively consistent this season, tallying eight points in Chicago’s first 11 games and seven in just as many since.
Coach John Anderson has been moving the centerman around as of late, centering the line with Shane Harper — who has also been on a heater over the past six games — and left wing Dmitrij Jaskin Sunday against San Antonio. If he can continue to feed the hungry mouths of whoever he’s paired with, the goals should start piling up soon enough.
#26 Mark Mancari
The former 2011-12 and 2013-14 Wolves’ forward stung his former team on Sunday, tallying what would eventually become the game-winner.
After tallying nine goals and 31 points in 44 games last season in Chicago, Mancari was traded to San Antonio on March 2, 2014 for forward Eric Selleck — who now plays for the Portland Pirates. Mancari sits third in points for the Rampage with 19 points and is racking up the assists as he always has during his 10-year AHL tenure — totaling 217 goals to 313 assists in his AHL career.
Mancari would like nothing more than to sweep his former team, but if the Wolves can end his eight-game point streak that totals four goals and eight assists, they should get the much needed two points and get back on track after this three-game skid.