Saturday, Dec. 10 | 6 p.m. | at UWM Panther Arena
All three times the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals have faced each in Amtrak Rivalry competition, the Admirals have skated away with the victory. However, two of those Ws had to be earned in extra time. On Nov. 4 at UWM Panther Arena, the Wolves jumped out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of Landon Ferraro (8:11, 1st period) and Justin Selman (6:41, 2nd period). Milwaukee rallied in the latter half of the second frame with two power- play markers to knot the score, 2-2. Five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime did not solve the score, and in the shootout Magnus Paajarvi was the lone Wolves player to get the puck past Juuse Saros. Both Frederick Gaudreau and Pontus Åberg tallied for the Admirals to forge the 3-2 final score. Five days later, on Nov. 9, the Wolves and Admirals combined for nine goals — including four third-period markers — and the Admirals’ Alexandre Carrier netted the overtime winner at 1:49 of the extra frame for the 5-4 victory. Chicago outshot Milwaukee 27-24 while registering one power-play goal and one short-handed goal.
Middle of the Pack
With an 11-9-2-1 record, the Chicago Wolves are fourth in the Central Division while tonight’s opponent, the Milwaukee Admirals, are pacing the division fleet, as well as the Western Conference and the entire AHL with a 14-4-2-1 record. Chicago has won three of its last four games and has earned at least a point in four consecutive games. The Admirals are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Prior to last night’s loss, Milwaukee had won back-to-back games and earned at least a point in their previous three contests. The eight-team Central Division is a tight race; the Manitoba Moose (.545) and Wolves (.543) are just above .500 while the Cleveland Monsters (.478) and Iowa Wild (.440) are hovering just below the even mark. Eight of the Wolves’ last 10 games have been against division opponents. The Admirals have played division opponents in all but two of their 21 games this season.
Parade to the Penalty Box
When the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals meet, there is always a steady stream of players going to the penalty box. Through three games, the Wolves and Admirals have incurred 39 penalties for a total of 78 minutes. The clubs’ initial meeting — on Oct. 19 — was the most penalized of the three with 15 offenses, resulting in 30 minutes of penalty time. However, all man-advantage and -disadvantage time has only resulted in eight special-teams goals. The Admirals have four power-play markers (Pontus Åberg, Frederick Gaudreau, Max Gortz, Austin Watson) while the Wolves have netted three extra- man goals (Kenny Agostino, Landon Ferraro, Magnus Paajarvi) and a short-handed tally (Andrew Agozzino).
BY THE NUMBERS
- 3: Three of Chicago Wolves rookie Samuel Blais’ four goals this season have been the first Wolves goal on the scoresheet. The 20-year-old most recently opened scoring for the Wolves on Dec. 3 in their 4-2 victory over the Iowa Wild at Allstate Arena. Trailing forward Jordan Caron, Blais snapped a shot over the glove-side shoulder of goaltender Alex Stalock. The night prior in a 4-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center, Blais again opened scoring when he corralled a purposely wide point shot in the left-side circle. His first professional tally was also a score-opener; Wade Megan fed Blais breaking to the net for an easy marker. The Quebec native’s fourth goal came on Nov. 19 during the Wolves’ 5-0 triumph against Iowa at Allstate Arena.
- 7: The Chicago Wolves rank seventh in the American Hockey League with a 22.1 percent success rate on the power play. This season, the Wolves have collected 21 extra-man markers in 95 opportunities. In their last outing on Dec. 7, the Wolves collected two power-play goals, but suffered a 6-5 overtime loss against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Both Andrew Agozzino and Wade Megan converted with the man advantage for Chicago. Forward Kenny Agostino registered two of his four assists — the most in a single game for a Wolves player since Jason Krog notched four assists on April 12, 2008 — on the power play. The 24-year-old also leads the Wolves with six power-play goals and 7 extra-man assists for 13 points. The Wolves haven’t been too shabby down a man, either, this season as they have three short-handed tallies — two of which are courtesy of the AHL’s reigning short-handed goal scorer, Megan. Last season with the Portland Pirates, the 26-year-old nabbed seven shorties. The mark also broke a Pirates franchise record.
- 10: Chicago Wolves center Wade Megan has 10 goals through 22 games. He is the first Wolves player to hit double-digit goals. The former Boston University Terrier’s two-goal performance in Wednesday’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena was the fifth time he registered a multi- point showing this season. The 26-year-old also owns eight assists for 18 points, ranking him third in team scoring behind defenseman Brad Hunt (9-20–29) and fellow forward Kenny Agostino (8-16–24). Megan has appeared in one game less — 22 — than Agostino and Hunt.
- 71: Through 23 games, the Chicago Wolves have netted 71 goals, outscoring opponents by 10 tallies. The Wolves have collected at least four goals — and at least one point — in their last four contests. Chicago has victories in three of its last four contests and four goals in each of those wins. On Wednesday, the Wolves gained a point but fell 6-5 in overtime to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Chicago has netted four or more goals in 10 games; the squad is also 8-0-2-0 when tallying at least four times. Wolves opponents have collected four or more goals just five times this season. The Wolves also have managed to register a point in every game they’ve played in which a team tallies four or more goals. The club has suffered two overtime setbacks. Wednesday’s 6-5 barnburner that included a six-goal second period is the latest extra- time contest. The other was a Nov. 9 daytime showdown with the Milwaukee Admirals at UWM Panther Arena.
Recent Games Recaps
- The Wolves were edged in overtime for the second time this season by the Griffins.
- Forward Kenny Agostino registered four assists and center Wade Megan collected two goals.
- Forwards Andrew Agozzino, Bryce Gervais and defenseman Brad Hunt also tallied.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 29 saves in the loss.
- Chicago topped the Wild for the second time in as many games at Allstate Arena.
- Defenseman Brad Hunt tallied two goals while rookie Mackenzie MacEachern registered his first professional goal that stood as the game-winner.
- Rookie Samuel Blais nabbed his third marker of the season.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley turned aside 19 shots in the victory.