Saturday, Nov. 5 | 6 p.m. | Van Andel Arena
Great Lake Revival
Saturday night marks the third of 10 meetings this season between the Chicago Wolves and their foe on the other side of Lake Michigan, the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins took the first two meetings — a back-to-back set at Van Andel Arena and then Allstate Arena — outscoring the Wolves 7-3 through both contests. The Wolves and Griffins have a long history that began during the 1996-97 season in the International Hockey League and bled over into the American Hockey League after 2001. Over the last two decades, the Wolves have a 57-58-3-10-4 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) all-time record versus the Griffins. The flames of the rivalry have been fanned a lot over the years, especially with players and coaches playing for both clubs. Current Grand Rapids bench boss Todd Nelson was a member of the 2008 Calder Cup champion Wolves squad as an assistant coach, and current Wolves player Landon Ferraro is very familiar with the Griffins. Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 (32nd overall), the 25-year-old made his professional debut and spent parts of five seasons with Grand Rapids. He was a key member of the their 2013 Calder Cup-winning team.
On the Road Again
Saturday night’s contest against the Griffins is the Wolves’ second of six straight road outings over the next two weeks. And while the Wolves are away, the elephants will play as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to Allstate and performs 14 shows over the two-week span. The Wolves began their two-week expedition last night at UW- Milwaukee Panther Arena against the Milwaukee Admirals and dropped the opening game 3-2 in the shootout Amtrak Rivalry action. Following Saturday’s tilt with the Griffins, the Wolves head back to Milwaukee on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The trip will conclude with two games against the defending Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters (Nov. 11-12) and the first game in a home-and-home series with the Iowa Wild (Nov. 18). This swing is one of two six-game road trips for Chicago this season; the other takes place the final two weeks of March 2017.
One and Dunn
The last time the Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins met, rookie defenseman Vince Dunn netted his first professional goal in the 4-2 Wolves’ loss at Allstate Arena. Since then, Dunn has been the Wolves’ most productive rookie and leads the freshman class with five points (2G, 3A) through nine games. He has also been logging major minutes as one of the Wolves’ top-four defensemen — playing the majority of his ice time with Morgan Ellis — and on the special teams units.
BY THE NUMBERS:
96: Chicago Wolves captain Chris Butler’s next game will be his 96th AHL game. Overall, the 30-year-old has appeared in 488 professional hockey games, spanning nine seasons and three leagues: the AHL, NHL and Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second highest-level professional hockey league in Sweden. In those games, Butler has registered 21 goals and 104 assists for 125 points. The 2016-17 season marks his third season with the Chicago Wolves. His first season as captain, the blueliner is the Wolves’ 12th team captain in the franchise’s 23-year history.
196: With 196 career AHL points, left wing Andrew Agozzino is in the hunt for his 200th AHL point. Through 274 AHL games, the 25-year-old has 79 goals and 117 assists. He also twice led the then-Lake Erie Monsters twice in scoring. During the 2012-13 season he led all skaters with 52 points (20G, 32) through 76 games, and the following season he shared the team scoring title with Mark Olver, registering 49 points (17G, 32A) through 75 games. In his first season with the Wolves, Agozzino has 2 points through eight games.
311: The 2016-17 season is the first season that left wing Brett Sterling is in a Wolves uniform since 2012-13. Sterling has been one of the most successful Wolves players in the team’s 23-year history. Aside from winning the AHL’s rookie of the year and scoring title in the same season (2006-07), the veteran-status wing has a Calder Cup (2008) and is a three-time league all-star (2007, 2008, 2010). Sterling is also fifth on the Wolves franchise scoring list with 311 points (170G, 143A) as a Chicago Wolves player. He also No. 2 on the team all-time goals list with 170.
399: Left wing Magnus Paajarv’s next game will be his 399th North American professional game. The 25-year-old has split parts of seven seasons between the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League since being selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. During that time, Paajarvi has 279 NHL games and 118 AHL games under his belt. Prior to being drafted, the Sweden native appeared in 134 games in the Swedish Elite League (SEL), Sweden top professional hockey league and accrued 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points.
950: Saturday night marks head coach Craig Berube’s 950th professional regular-season game behind the bench. Berube’s résumé includes 161 games as an NHL head coach, 453 games as an NHL assistant, 96 games as an AHL head coach and 240 games as an AHL assistant coach. The 50-year-old spent 12 years as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers organization. That includes parts of nine of those seasons with the Flyers and parts of five of those seasons with the organization’s AHL affiliate. Berube’s overall record as a coach is 479-356-7-107 (W-L-T-OT/SOL) for a .564 win percentage.
Recent Games Recap
Friday, Nov. 4 (at) Milwaukee 3, Chicago 2 (SO)
- Chicago dropped the opening game of its first six-game road trip to the Milwaukee Admirals in Amtrak Rivalry action
- Centers Landon Ferraro and Justin Selman netted goals for the Wolves.
- Wing Magnus Paajarv was the lone Wolves scorer in the shootout and two Milwaukee skaters tallied for the victory.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley turned aside 29 shots in his third start of the season.
Sunday, Oct. 30 (at) Chicago 4, Cleveland 2
- Chicago closed out a weekend toppling the defending Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters.
- Captain Chris Butler and forward Bryce Gervais registered their first goals of the season.
- Defenseman Brad Hunt and wing Magnus Paajarvi accounted for the other two Wolves’ markers.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in the victory.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Saturday night’s game begins at 6:00 p.m. with CW50’s “Saturday Night with the Wolves,” presented by the Illinois Office of Tourism.
Join the conversation. Follow @Chicago_Wolves for live game updates.