Sunday, Oct. 23 | 3 p.m. | AT&T Center
Spread the Streak
The Chicago Wolves arrived in San Antonio riding three consecutive losses to start the year. When the Rampage scored the first two goals Saturday night, the Wolves appeared headed to their first 0-4-0-0 start in franchise history. But Chicago’s losing streak came to a close as the offense scored in every fashion — reeling off four goals in a row to claim a 4-2 victory.Center Ivan Barbashev started the rally at 15:56 of the second period when both teams had five skaters on the ice. Then center Wade Megan delivered the team’s first short- handed goal of the year to pull the Wolves even, 2-2. Then Kenny Agostino notched a power-play goal to give Chicago the lead and Megan capped the four-goal streak with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Role Player on a Role
For much of his AHL career, Wade Megan has served as a third- and fourth-line center whose job is to do the little things: Kill penalties, check the opponent’s top line and make sure everything runs smoothly. If he provides some offense, then it’s a bonus. On Saturday night, Megan’s role as one of the Wolves’ top defenders enabled him to post the third two-goal game of his AHL career. The 26-year-old center, who led the AHL last season with 7 short-handed goals, hustled his way into a short-handed goal during the second period Saturday night. He added an empty-net tally with 0:53 left while doing his utmost to stop San Antonio, from getting a rush together in search of the tying score. P.S.: Megan’s first two-goal effort in the AHL came as a member of the San Antonio Rampage on March 1, 2014, in a 5-4 shootout win over the Texas Stars.
The Start of a Run
When the Wolves have won division titles in recent years, they usually have needed a little time to get rolling. In 2013-14, the Wolves started 3-5-0-1 (.389) and wound up winning the Central Division. In 2011-12, the Wolves suffered two losses and two shootout losses in their first four games — only to roll to the Midwest Division title.
This weekend’s games versus San Antonio mark the second of 13 times this season that the Wolves face the same opponent on back-to-back days. Chicago opened the season with losses to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct. 14-15. Last year, the Wolves played the same team back-to-back on 15 occasions. The team swept three, earned 3 points in one back-to-back, split six, earned 1 point one time and suffered four sweeps.
Saturday, Oct. 22 Chicago 4, (at) San Antonio 2
The Wolves rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn their first win of the season. Wolves winger Kenny Agostino delivered the game-winning goal with 5:29 to go while Wade Megan contributed a short-handed goal and an empty-netter and Ivan Barbashev got the comeback started late in the second period with a goal. Jordan Binnington rejected 30 of 32 shots to pick up his first win of the year.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 Milwaukee 2, (at) Chicago 1
In the first of 12 Amtrak Rivalry contests, Chicago fell 2-1 to the Milwaukee Admirals. Wolves winger Kenny Agostino opened scoring at 14:12 of the first period; Danny Kristo and Brad Hunt registered assists on the play. Just 39 seconds later, Milwaukee’s Trevor Smith notched the equalizer, and Austin Watson netted the game-winner at 8:36 of the second period. In his season debut, Pheonix Copley turned aside 28 shots; he was pulled in the final 1:23 for an extra attacker while the Wolves searched for the tying tally. Milwaukee netminder Juuse Saros stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced in the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
4: The Wolves have won their last four games on San Antonio’s home ice, which is the team’s longest active road winning streak at this time except for Iowa (the Wolves have won their last 12 at Wells Fargo Arena). Also, in each of their last three victories at San Antonio, the Wolves have stacked up 4 goals.
3: Center Wade Megan played in his 194th American Hockey League contest on Saturday night. When he red home an empty-net goal with 53 seconds to play, Megan wrapped up the third two-goal game of his AHL career. He became the first Wolves player to score 2 goals in a game since Ty Rattie came through in the 2016-17 season finale. Rattie scored twice to highlight a 4-2 home win over Iowa on April 16, 2016.
2: During the Wolves’ first three games, the team never managed to score in the third period. Kenny Agostino shattered that glass ceiling at 14:31 of the third when he posted a power-play goal that gave the Wolves a 3-2 lead. Wade Megan followed up with his empty-net goal to give Chicago two third-period goals for the year.
1: Saturday night’s victory represented Craig Berube’s first as Wolves head coach. Berube, in his 13th year as a coach, became the team’s leader on June 29. Other firsts on the night included defenseman Morgan Ellis’ first point with the Wolves (assisting on Kenny Agostino’s game-winning goal) and forward Andrew Agozzino’s first point with the Wolves (assisting on Ivan Barbashev’s second-period goal).
0: It’s only a matter of time before some of the Wolves’ rookies earn their first point as professionals. Forwards Samuel Blais, Conner Bleackley and Mackenzie MacEachern and defenseman Kevin Tansey are in search of their first tallies. All but Bleackley have appeared in all four games this season. All but Tansey made their professional debuts on Oct. 14 at Grand Rapids.
100: Chicago Wolves third-year defenseman Petteri Lindbohm was expected to make his 100th American Hockey League appearance on Saturday night, but he was a late scratch. Through 99 games, the 23-year-old has nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points. He has accrued 114 penalty minutes. Lindbohm has also spent parts of the previous two seasons in the National Hockey League, skating in 33 games for the St. Louis Blues.
800: Chicago Wolves players have raised $800 through the Score For Charity program through the first four games of this season. That includes the $250 raised during Saturday’s 4-2 win at San Antonio. For the second game in a row, Kenny Agostino earned $150 for Citizen Schools (courtesy of Carlucci Rosemont) by scoring a goal. Goaltender Jordan Binnington secured $100 for Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago (courtesy of Savers) by picking up his first victory of the year.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Tonight’s game begins at 3:00 p.m. on The U Too.The U Too is found over the air at WCIU-DT 26.2. Cable subscribers get the channel on Xfinity 230 and 360, RCN 35 and WOW 170 while Dish Network customers find the games on Ch. 48.
Follow @Chicago_Wolves on Twitter for live game updates.