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Tale of the Tape: April 17

The Chicago Wolves enter the final weekend of the season with a game against in-state rival Rockford, pitting two of the Western Conference’s hottest teams against each other. Since their last meeting on March 15, the Wolves have posted a 10-3-0-0 record while the IceHogs have gone 11-3-0-0.

 

Friday, April 17, 7 p.m.
MetroCentre

RFD
Team Record:
 45-22-5-2
Last Game: 5-1 W vs. Charlotte (April 15)
2014-15 Season Series: 0-2-1-0
Last Meeting: 4-3 Road Win (March 15)
 
CHI
Team Record: 39-27-6-1
Last Game: 1-0 W vs. Iowa (April 12)
2014-15 Season Series: 3-0-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-4 Home Loss (March 15)

Storylines

  • The Chicago Wolves enter the final weekend of the season with a game against in-state rival Rockford, pitting two of the Western Conference’s hottest teams against each other. Since their last meeting on March 15, the Wolves have posted a 10-3-0-0 record while the IceHogs have gone 11-3-0-0.

  • Both squads already have punched their ticket to the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs (Rockford on April 4 and Chicago with its win Sunday), but are jockeying for position as the season winds down. The Wolves are looking to move up in the standings and could potentially reach as high as No. 5 while the IceHogs are in a down-to-the-wire battle with Grand Rapids for the Midwest Division title.

  • Chicago and Rockford could potentially face each other in the first round. Rockford’s last playoff victory was in Game 5 of the 2008 West Division Final against the Wolves. Chicago rallied from a 3-2 series deficit and went on to capture the championship that season.

  • While tonight’s game marks the final of the season between the Wolves and IceHogs, Rockford has already claimed the series win and Illinois Lottery Cup with seven wins and 15 points. Chicago surrendered the trophy with its 4-3 loss on March 15 at Allstate Arena, unable to defend the title it won last season with a 7-4-0-1 record against its rivals.


By The Numbers

6– Consecutive wins on the road for the Wolves entering tonight’s contest, a season-high and the team’s most since Nov. 2-16, 2007.

.700 – The Wolves’ points percentage (10-4-1-0) when playing three games in three days this season, including a 5-1-0-0 mark in the last month. Tonight kicks off their sixth of six three-in-threes in 2014-15.

17 – Playoff berths in 21 seasons for the Wolves after punching their ticket Sunday. This includes 10 in 14 AHL seasons and 12 in 13 years under head coach JOHN ANDERSON.


Follow The Action

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. and can be seen on WCIU The U (channel 26). 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

Robby Fabbri

#13 Robby Fabbri
Forward

The Chicago Wolves received a nice prize for clinching a playoff spot this week, as forward Robby Fabbri was reassigned from the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League on Wednesday. 

The first-overall pick by the St. Louis Blues (NHL) in 2014 recorded 25 goals and 26 assists in 30 games played this season in the OHL. The 19-year-old played in all nine of the Storm’s recent playoff games, tallying a goal and three assists. Fabbri missed nearly half of the season with a high-ankle sprain suffered during the World Junior Championships with Team Canada in January. His 2013-14 season included 45 goals and 87 points in just 58 games.

Adding an additional scorer to the front lines for the Wolves is huge after losing second-leading goal scorer, Ty Rattie, to a call up just over two weeks ago. Fabbri is expected to slide right into Rattie’s old spot on the line with forward’s Jeremy Welsh and Adam Cracknell.

Spencer Abbott

#13 Spencer Abbott
Right Wing

Since being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in late February, Spencer Abbott has erupted offensively for Rockford, helping the IceHogs win 13 of the 17 games he’s appeared in since March 6. 

In those 17 games, he’s recorded nearly double the goals (12) he scored in his first 46 games this season with the Toronto Marlies (7). The 26-year-old is riding a six-game point streak with 11 total points and a four-game goal streak with five during that stretch. Abbott tallied 24 points in those 46 appearances with the Marlies while already posting 21 since joining Rockford.

The IceHogs have won seven of their last 10 games and have slowly climbed the standings with the playoffs on the horizon. Abbott has found himself atop Rockford’s scoring list and has helped them keep a steady pace heading into the postseason.