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Tale of the Tape: Dec. 22

While the rest of the AHL’s 30 teams are off until after Christmas Day, the Wolves and the Griffins get to battle for the chance to enjoy one last victory together before scattering for the holidays.

Monday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m.
Allstate Arena

GR
Team Record: 14-10-3-0
Last Game: 4-3 SOW at Lake Erie (Dec. 20)
Season Series: 0-1-1-0
Last Meeting: 3-1 Home Loss (Nov. 5)
CHI
Team Record: 15-11-3-0
Last Game: 5-1 W at Iowa (Dec. 21)
Season Series: 2-0-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-1 Road Win (Nov. 5)

Storylines

  • While the rest of the AHL’s 30 teams are off until after Christmas Day, the Wolves and the Griffins get to battle for the chance to enjoy one last victory together before scattering for the holidays.

  • The Wolves are wrapping up an unconventional Saturday-Sunday-Monday three-in-three. They did not win either of the third games in their previous three-in-threes (4-1 loss on Nov. 2 at Milwaukee; 3-0 loss on Nov. 23 vs. Rockford).

  • While the Wolves struggled to light the lamp on several nights over the last month, they’re still averaging 2.93 goals per game for the season. That ranks 10th in the American Hockey League and Grand Rapids (3.0 avg.) is the only Midwest Division team ahead of the Wolves. 

  • Chicago is trying to recapture the winning groove it manufactured during October (4-1-2-0) and November (9-5-1-0). The Wolves have won just two out of seven games in December, but a victory today would provide the team’s first winning streak since Nov. 28-29.

By The Numbers

19.2 – The Wolves rank sixth among AHL teams on the power play with a 19.2 percent success rate. However, Chicago has converted just 2 for 18 power plays (11.1 percent) in its last five home games — with both tallies coming Nov. 29 vs. Rockford.

83.5 – The Wolves rank 15th among AHL teams on the penalty kill with an 83.5 percent success rate. Chicago has surrendered seven power-play goals in its last five home games (12 of 19; 63.2 percent).

.808 – The Wolves’ points percentage when scoring first (10-2-1-0), which includes ROB BORDSON’s opening goal Sunday at Iowa. That percentage ranks seventh in the league when potting the first tally, but the team has done so in fewer than half of its games (13 of 29).


Follow The Action

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. and can be seen on The U-Too (channel 26.2). U-Too also can be found on XFinity’s Chs. 230 (HD) and 360 (SD), RCN’s Ch. 35 and WOW’s Ch. 170. The game can also be 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.


Player Spotlight

17 JohnMcCarthy

#17 John McCarthy
Left Wing

At a time when the Wolves desperately needed someone to step up and help the recent lack-luster offense, John McCarthy erupted for two goals and an assist on Sunday afternoon in Iowa. 

The three point game was McCarthy’s first since March 9, 2012 when he was playing for Worcester. It was also his first two-goal game since Feb. 6, 2013. He would finish Sunday’s game with a +4 plus-minus rating and a 50% shooting efficiency.

If Sunday’s performance by McCarthy does anything, it’s that a spark is created from the Wolves’ offensie explosion.

Teemu Pulkkinen

#6 Teemu Pulkkinen
Right Wing

With Grand Rapids and Teemu Pulkkinen coming to town, two of the American Hockey League’s leading goal scorers will take the ice against each other. 

Pulkkinen and Wolves right wing Ty Rattie are both tied for second in the league for goals scored with 14. In his last two games, the 22-year-old has recorded three goals to bring his season total to 29 points — which sits fourth in the league.

In their first of two matchups this season, Pulkkinen tallied two assists in a 6-5 overtime loss. Game two was much different as Binnington shut down the Grand Rapids offense and Pulkinnen finished with zero points and a -2 plus-minus rating.