Sunday, Dec. 11 | 4 p.m. | at Allstate Arena
Familiar Faces, New Places
Current Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Todd Nelson and assistant coach Ben Simon both spent time with the Chicago Wolves organization, and each won a Calder Cup with the team. Nelson served as an assistant to John Anderson when Chicago won its second Calder Cup in 2008. Simon registered 11 goals and 23 assists through 74 regular-season games and topped the Wolves’ inaugural AHL season with the league championship in 2002. Current Wolves center Landon Ferraro began his professional career with the Griffins during the 2010-11 season. In 270 regular-season appearances with Grand Rapids, the 25-year-old collected 75 goals and 65 assists. He was also a member of the 2013 Griffins squad that captured the team’s first and only championship. He accrued 16 points (5G, 11A) through 24 postseason contests en route to the league championship. Ferraro registered 2 assists in the Cup-clinching game against the Utica Comets.
Movin’ on Up
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the St. Louis Blues (NHL) recalled defenseman Brad Hunt from loan to the Chicago Wolves. The 28-year-old made his debut with the Blues the next night in New Jersey against the Devils. Hunt picked up his first NHL point of the season, assisting on Robby Fabbri’s score-opening goal at 1:50 of the first period. Hunt carried the puck from the neutral zone up the right wing to the outside of the same-side circle. He then dished a pass up to Fabbri near the top of the right circle for a wrist shot that found its way past Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid. Hunt finished the 4-1 Blues victory with an assist, a +1 plus/minus rating and a shot on goal. In AHL action, Hunt is still the league’s second-leading scorer with 9 goals and 20 assists for 29 points through 23 games with the Wolves. Hunt leads the Wolves in scoring, assists, plus/minus (+9) and power-play points (2G, 13A).
Phasers Set to Dunn
On Saturday night, rookie defenseman Vince Dunn netted two third-period goals en route to the Chicago Wolves’ 5-2 victory over their Central Division nemesis the Milwaukee Admirals in Amtrak Rivalry action. The victory marked the Wolves’ first of the season versus the Admirals and knocked Milwaukee from atop the league’s standings. After Ivan Barbashev knotted the game, 2-2, in the last two minutes of the of the first period, the 20-year-old Dunn collected the 3-2 go-ahead marker on the rush accepting a feed from fellow rookie Samuel Blais at 4:49 of the third period. Then, at 11:10, Dunn’s center-point slap shot found the back of the net to put the Wolves up 4-2. Kenny Agostino put the exclamation point on the game with a breakaway goal at 15:28 of the frame.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 4: On Dec. 7, the last time the Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins met, forward Kenny Agostino became the third American Hockey League player of the 2016-17 season to collect four assists in a game. The 24-year-old was the first Wolves player to accomplish the feat since Jason Krog on April 12, 2008, when he compiled five points (G, 4A) to help the Wolves topple their Illinois Lottery Cup foe, the Rockford IceHogs, 7-1 at BMO Harris Bank Center. In the Wolves 6-5 overtime loss to the Griffins, Agostino tallied two power-play points and two even-strength helpers to push his season point total to eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points. Thirteen (6G, 5A) of his team second-best 26 points have been scored on the man advantage. The former Yale University Bulldog is also on a five-game point streak, collecting three goals and eight assists for 11 points in that span.
- 5: The Wolves have scored at least 4 goals in each of the last five games. This marks the first time since Dec. 19-31, 2009, that the Wolves have produced a minimum of 4 goals in five straight games. That 2009-10 team went 4-1-0-0 and averaged 4.80 goals during that run. The current team has averaged 4.40 goals and posted a 4-0- 1-0 mark.
- 11: In their Dec. 7 barnburner at Van Andel Arena, the Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins combined for 11 goals. The Wolves came up short in the affair, being edged 6-5 in overtime, but the contest marked the most goals for the clubs in head-to-head competition since they met on April 13, 2012, and combined for 13 goals. Defenseman Kevin Connauton (3A) and center Steven Reinprecht (G, 2A) each had a three- point performance to help the Wolves skate away with a 7-5 victory at Van Andel Arena and clinch the Midwest Division title. This season, the Wolves and Griffins had 16 total goals in their three games prior to Dec. 7. Grand Rapids leads the 10-game season series 3-1-0-0.
- 18: The number of points left wing Kenny Agostino owns since Nov. 11. The 24-year-old has collected 5 goals and 13 assists for 18 points in that span. He is also on a five-game point streak in which he has produced 3 goals, 8 assists and logged +4 plus/minus rating during that spree. The Wolves’ seconding- leading scorer — behind Brad Hunt — Agostino has also registered four multi-point performances since Nov. 11, including a two-point game in last night’s 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals. Agostino assisted on captain Chris Butler’s second goal of the season and netted his own to close out game scoring at 15:28 of the third period.
Recent Games Recaps
- The Wolves toppled the Admirals for the first time this season in four meetings.
- Rookie defenseman Vince Dunn registered two goals while forward Kenny Agostino nabbed two points (G, A).
- Forward Ivan Barbashev and captain Chris Butler also tallied in the win.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley (4-3-1) turned aside 29 shots in the game.
- 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.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Sunday’s Little Debbie matchup is slated for 4:00 p.m. on The U Too presented by the Illinois Office of Tourism. 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.
Join the conversation. Follow @Chicago_Wolves for live game updates.