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Tale of the Tape: March 6

The Chicago Wolves head to Cleveland this weekend for a pair against Midwest Division foe Lake Erie. The Wolves will try to keep up the momentum from a 4-1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday while the Monsters look to reverse their current fortunes (0-4-1-0 in last five) and rebound from their 3-0 loss to the Admirals on Wednesday.

Friday, March 6, 6:30 p.m.
Quicken Loans Arena

LE
Team Record: 24-23-5-3
Last Game: 0-3 L vs. Milwaukee (March 4)
2013-14 Season Series: 3-2-0-0
Last Meeting: 5-1 Road W (Jan. 16)
CHI
Team Record: 27-21-5-1
Last Game: 4-1 W vs. Milwaukee (March 1)
2013-14 Season Series: 2-3-0-0
Last Meeting: 1-5 Home Loss (Jan. 16)

Storylines

  • The Chicago Wolves head to Cleveland this weekend for a pair against Midwest Division foe Lake Erie. The Wolves will try to keep up the momentum from a 4-1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday while the Monsters look to reverse their current fortunes (0-4-1-0 in last five) and rebound from their 3-0 loss to the Admirals on Wednesday.

  • Six points separate the Wolves (62) and Monsters (56) in the standings and this weekend could have important playoff implications with six weeks left in the season. Chicago (55GP) currently hovers on the postseason bubble in ninth place, within striking distance of No. 7 Hamilton (65PTS/58GP) and No. 8 Texas (63/56) but precariously close to No. 10 Adirondack (61/54) and No. 11 Toronto (59/55).

  • This week’s two-game series against Lake Erie marks the lone road games in a span of 41 days and Chicago’s first away contest since Feb. 7. The Wolves have yet to win in Cleveland this season, dropping the first two games at Quicken Loans Arena this season in early December.

  • After capturing the first two games of the season series, the Wolves have dropped the last three tilts against the Monsters, almost half of the team’s total regulation losses against Lake Erie all-time (7).


By The Numbers

3 – Teams (of 13 faced) that the Wolves have a losing record against this season: Adirondack (0-2), Lake Erie (2-3), and Texas (0-2). In the eight years the teams have played each other, Chicago has never posted a losing record against the Monsters.

24.8 – The Wolves’ power-play success rate (28-for-113) on the road this season, ranking first in the league. Chicago will look to snap out of a six-game man-advantage slump (0-for-17), the team’s longest since March 3-13, 2010 (0-for-12).

+12 – The Wolves’ second-period goal differential, fourth-highest in the AHL. Chicago has posted a -7 differential in the first period and +8 in the third.


Follow The Action

Tonight’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. and can be streamed on www.ahllive.com.

You can also follow @Chicago_Wolves or @ChiWolvesLive on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.


Player Spotlight

Brendan Bell

Brendan Bell
Defenseman

The Chicago Wolves welcome their new defenseman Brendan Bell, as he takes the ice this weekend for the first time in the burgundy and gold.     

The 31-year-old has compiled 23 points (G, 22A) and 20 penalty minutes in 47 games for the Norfolk Admirals this season. Overall he has accumulated 253 points (54G, 199A) and 464 penalty minutes in 486 career AHL games with Norfolk (2014-15), Connecticut (2011-12), Syracuse (2009-10), Peoria (2009-10), Binghamton (2008-09), San Antonio (2007-08), Toronto (2005-06), and St. John’s (2003-05). In 22 career Calder Cup Playoff matchups, he has recorded 13 points (2G, 11A) and 26 penalty minutes.

His numbers this season make him the leading scoring defenseman for the Wolves and sixth on the team in points. While Bell has only tallied one goal in his 23 points, any kind of production from the blue line is something much needed by the Wolves as of late. 

Stefan Elliott

#46 Stefan Elliott
Defenseman

The Monsters’ leading scorer Joey Hishon got the call to the big show to start the month, and even prior to that, Lake Erie was finding it tough to outscore opponents. 

Elliott was recalled by their NHL affiliate Colorado Avalanche in late January, but held a four-game point streak with Lake Erie between his last two games before his call up and the two games he returned, tallying two goals and three assists. That streak came to an end with the Monsters’ shutout loss at the hands of Milwaukee on Wednesday. The defenseman is second among active players in goals scored and second among defenseman in total points. 

In these two team’s last meeting on Jan. 16, Elliott netted two goals en route to a 5-1 victory at Allstate Arena. That is something the Wolves would definitely like to avoid as they begin their final stretch towards a playoff spot.