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Tale of the Tape: Game 2 of Western Conference Quarterfinals

The Chicago Wolves and Utica Comets provided an entertaining Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday, extending the tilt into a second overtime before the Comets’ Bobby Sanguinetti ended it at 83:10. The defenseman’s tally gave the Comets a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five opening round after the top-ranked squad was forced to the extra session by a feisty Wolves team that rallied from two goals down in the third period, tying the game with 1.0 left on the clock.

 

Friday, April 24, 7 p.m.
Allstate Arena

UTI
Regular Season Record:
 47-20-7-2
Game 1: 3-2 W (2OT) at Chicago (April 22)
2014-15 Postseason Series: 1-0
 
CHI
Team Record: 40-29-6-1
Last Game: 2-3 L (2OT) vs. Utica (April 22)
2014-15 Postseason Series: 0-1

Storylines

  • The Chicago Wolves and Utica Comets provided an entertaining Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday, extending the tilt into a second overtime before the Comets’ Bobby Sanguinetti ended it at 83:10. The defenseman’s tally gave the Comets a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five opening round after the top-ranked squad was forced to the extra session by a feisty Wolves team that rallied from two goals down in the third period, tying the game with 1.0 left on the clock.

  • It was the 11th time in franchise history that the Wolves have required more than one overtime in a postseason contest, with the loss moving them to 5-6 all-time in those games. 

  • In the playoffs, Chicago has posted a 5-8-1 record all-time in games following overtime losses (3-4-1 when the loss comes at home) and an 0-2-1 record (0-1-1) following double overtime losses. Their postseason series record stands at 2-4 (1-2) when dropping Game 1 in overtime and 0-2 (0-1) when dropping Game 1 in double overtime.

  • In 2002, when the Wolves captured the Calder Cup in their first season of American Hockey League play, the team dropped Game 1 in the first four rounds (Qualifying Series, WCQF, WCSF, and the WC Final). That squad was guided by head coach JOHN ANDERSON and the roster included now-assistant coaches BRAD TAPPER and BOB NARDELLA.


By The Numbers

5– Times during the regular season that the Wolves rallied when trailing after two periods to earn a point (1-28-3-1), becoming the last team in the league to earn a win in that situation with their April 10 victory. Chicago rallied from two goals down Wednesday before succumbing in the second overtime.

2 – Of the Wolves’ eight overtime wins during the regular season that occurred during 4-on-4 play. Five of their extra-session wins came 3-on-3 and one came during a 4-on-3 advantage. Three of their six losses came 4-on-4, two during 3-on-3 play, and one in 4-on-3 competition.

8-5 – The Wolves’ all-time record in Game 2 of conference quarterfinal/division semifinal series.


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

23 Magnus Paajarvi

#23 Magnus Paajarvi
Left Wing

Magnus Paajarvi picked up essentially right where he left off in the regular season after having a three-goal, eight-assist month in nine April games.

Left wing MAGNUS PAAJARVI stole the show for the Wolves in their opening game of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, leaving his mark with two goals in the third period to force overtime. The forward did so in dramatic fashion, notching his first 1:25 into the third period and his second with 1.0 remaining on the clock. It was his first multi-goal pro postseason game in North America, but not the first time he has given goaltender Jacob Markstrom fits late in a contest. The sniper beat his fellow Swede and the then-Rampage netminder with a game-tying tally with 10 seconds left on May 5, 2012, en route to an overtime and series win for Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Semifinals.

He has compiled 13 points (4G, 9A), a +5 plus/minus rating, 49 shots on goal, and two penalty minutes in 15 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Barons (2012) and Wolves (2015).

Hunter Shinkaruk

#9 Hunter Shinkaruk
Left Wing

Shinkaruk’s first name is only ironically fitting to what he’s been to the Wolves this season, tallying three goals in their three regular-season matchups.

Hunter rolled that into Game 1, recording the game’s first goal to get Utica started and the secondary assist on the game-winner in double overtime. The 20-year-old AHL rookie earned 16 goals and 15 assists in his first professional hockey season. He was tied for first amongst league rookies for game-winning goals in the regular season with seven.

Shinkaruk showed no signs of jitters in his first professional playoff game, scoring his goal just 1:56 into the 1st period. If that’s any demonstration of his mindset on the road of his first postseason appearance, the sky is the limit for the youngster for Utica.