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Gameday

TALE OF THE TAPE: APRIL 16


Saturday, April 16, 7:00 p.m. Allstate Arena

The Wolves wrap up their 22nd season with First Responders Night, presented by Turtle Wax. It’s just the fifth time Chicago won’t be using the regular-season finale as a springboard for the playoffs.

This year’s picture looked much brighter five months ago when the Wolves broke out to a 8-1-0-1 record, which served as the second- fastest start in franchise history. It ranked among the top four winning percentages in professional hockey on the morning of Nov. 13.

So what happened? For starters, a massive number of injuries struck the Wolves’ NHL affiliate and the Wolves themselves. Of the 20 players who suited up for Chicago on Opening Night — when the Wolves scored 3 power-play goals in the first period enroute to a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee — 11 of them left the team for the NHL at various points during the season.

In addition, a handful of key players missed anywhere from 25 to 90 percent of the Wolves’ season due to injury. During a 10-week stretch, the Wolves called up 14 players from the ECHL to bolster the roster.

By The Numbers

26: The next home game is 26 Saturdays from today when the Wolves host their 23rd home opener on Oct. 15 at Allstate Arena. The opponent will be revealed this summer.

22: If defensemen NICK PETRECKI is in the lineup tonight, he’ll become the sixth Wolves player to wear No. 22 this season (joining Konrad Abeltshauser, Drew Daniels, Dmitrij Jaskin, Mike Embach and Travis Walsh). That would be the second-busiest number in Wolves single-season history. In 1998-99, seven players donned No. 24 — a group that included Eddie Olczyk and Dallas Eakins.

0: ZACH O’BRIEN attempts to set the Wolves’ single-season record for most games played without committing a penalty. The gentlemanly forward has appeared in 61 games this year without any penalty minutes. The record for a Wolves skater is 12 games, which was set by center Brad Schell in 2006-07 (though he had 4 PIMS during the postseason). If you include goaltenders in this category, then Eddie Lack owns the record with his 46 whistle-free appearances in 2011-12.

Follow The Action

Today’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on WCIU The U Too and 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.


wolveslogo

Team Record: 32-35-5-3
Last Game: 3-2 SO W at Iowa (April 15)
2015-16 Season Series: 8-2-1-0
Last Meeting: 3-2 SO Road Win (April 15)

Iowa

Team Record: 24-40-5-3
Last Game: 3-2 SO L vs Chicago (April 15)
2015-16 Season Series: 3-6-1-1
Last Meeting: 3-2 SO Home Loss (April 15)

Player Spotlight

Danny Kristo

#29 Danny Kristo – Right Wing 

PAT CANNONE handed out 2 assists during Friday’s 3-2 shootout victory at Iowa and it came as no surprise that one of his recipients was right wing DANNY KRISTO, who has played alongside CANNONE almost every night this year.

KRISTO leads the Wolves with 24 goals and paces the AHL with 4overtime game-winners. CANNONE has assisted on 13 of those scores, including 3 of the overtime tallies.

The 25-year-old Eden Prairie, Minnesota, native is riding a three-game goal streak into tonight’s finale. He also enjoyed a three-game goal streak Oct. 16-23 and has posted 2-goal efforts at Rockford (Dec. 30), at Charlotte (Jan. 22) and at Lake Erie (Feb. 9).

KRISTO has set a professional-best for points (48) and tied his best for assists (24). He needs one more goal to tie the 25-goal output he produced as a rookie for the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2013-14.

Player Spotlight

mitchell

#23 Zack Mitchell – Right Wing 

Zack Mitchell impressed in his first pro season. He’s impressed even more in his second year with Iowa.

The Ontario native, who was signed to a three-year contract with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent in March of 2014, leads his squad with 22 goals and 20 assists in 69 games this year after posting 17 goals and 18 assists in 76 games in 2014-15 to finish second on the team in goals and fourth overall in points.

Mitchell scored at 4:31of the second period, reclaiming a 2-1 Iowa lead. Defenseman Mike Reilly and forward Grayson Downing tallied an assist each on the power-play goal. Downing corralled the puck above the right faceoff circle, sliding a pass to Reilly. The defenseman fired a shot along the ice from the point. Standing in the high slot, Mitchell tipped the puck up and over the shoulder of Copley for his 22nd goal of the season.

Mitchell’s goal sets a new Iowa Wild franchise record for most goals in a season.

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