Thursday, Dec. 22 | 7 p.m. | Allstate Arena
Plenty O’ Penalties
If Wednesday’s action between the Chicago Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs is any indication — as well as that of the Milwaukee Admirals and the Grand Rapids Griffins — tonight there will be a steady parade to the penalty box. Last night in the Wolves’ 6-2 loss to their in-state foe, the IceHogs, the clubs combined for 96 minutes in penalties. The Illinois Lottery Cup contest got heated with 1:07 left in the third period when Chicago goaltender Jordan Binnington and Rockford left wing P.C. Labrie got into an altercation. The Wolves did not take kindly to the gesture and the skaters came to their goalie’s aid. The scrum resulted in fighting penalties for Binnington, Jake Dowell, Vince Dunn and Labrie. All four also received 10-minute game misconducts. In the Milwaukee-Grand Rapids contest, the Admirals racked up 50 minutes in penalty time while the Griffins skated by with just 13. A fight broke out in the opening frame that resulted in Milwaukee’s Jonathan Diaby logging 17 minutes of penalty time. Later in the same frame, Cody Bass received a major and game misconduct for boarding, and in the third period Jimmy Oligny added a game misconduct to his minor penalty in the first session for 12 total penalty minutes in the game.
Megan Gets His Chance
Chicago Wolves center Wade Megan was recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues earlier Thursday. Through five seasons in the American Hockey League, the 26-year-old has skated in 218 games –- split between the Portland Pirates, San Antonio Rampage and Chicago Wolves –- and collected 47 goals and 31 assists for 78 points. The former Boston University Terrier leads the Wolves – and is in a three-way tie for third place on the league leaderboard – with 13 goals. Megan ranks third on the Wolves this season in scoring (13- 11–24); he is 7 points shy of linemate Kenny Agostino (9-22–31). The Canton, New York, native could make his National Hockey League debut tonight when St. Louis travels to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. During the 2015-16 season, Megan led the AHL in short-handed goals with 7, and that number broke a 13-year-old Portland franchise record. In his professional career, Megan has also appeared in 21 regular-season ECHL games, as well as 22 playoff games. He helped the Cincinnati Cyclones to the 2014 Kelly Cup Final, where they fell to the Greenville Road Warriors in six games. Prior to starting his professional hockey career, Megan skated four seasons with Boston University and captained the squad in his season campaign.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 0: On Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Admirals were shut out by the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 3-0 defeat marks the first time this season that the Central Division- leading Admirals have been shut out. The Chicago Wolves come into tonight’s game on a four-game skid in which the squad has not been able to score more than three goals. The winless streak and goal drought come after the Wolves produced four or more goals in six consecutive games. In that stretch, the Wolves finally slayed the dragon – or sank the ship – as they defeated Milwaukee 5-2 at UWM Panther Arena on Dec. 10. Tonight, Chicago hopes to turn its fortunes and plunder a W from its division foe for the second straight game.
- 3:When the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals last met, the Wolves matched a season-high for goals scored in a single period with three. The 5-2 victory over the Central Division top-seed Admirals was the fourth contest in which the Wolves tallied three goals in a single session. Three of those four games ended with a W. However, the Dec. 7 showdown with the Grand Rapids Griffins was a barnburner that included 11 goals between the two clubs, a combined 76 shots on goal and the tilt was decided in overtime.
9: At this point last week, the Chicago Wolves owned a perfect 9-0-0-0 record when they held a lead going into the third period. However, during the Wolves’ current four-game winless streak, the team has only led once going into the third period. In Dec. 18’s closely contested 4-3 shootout loss to the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago had a 3-1 lead heading into the final regulation session. The IceHogs rallied and tied the game in the dying seconds of the period to force overtime and skated out of Allstate Arena with their second win in Illinois Lottery Cup action. In the Wolves’ 2-1 overtime setback against the reigning Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters, the game was knotted 1-1 heading into the third frame. On Dec. 15 and 21, the Wolves were trailing by four and three goals, respectively, going into the contests’ last sessions.
- 31: With an assist in Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss to the Rockford IceHogs, left wing Kenny Agostino earned an assist to take sole possession of the top spot on the American Hockey League scoring leaderboard. Through 29 games, the 24-year-old has collected 9 goals and 22 assists for 31 points. Grand Rapids’ Matt Lorito (10-20–30) and Bakersfield’s Taylor Beck (9-21–30) are tied for the second spot. After being held off the scoresheet on Dec. 17 in the Chicago Wolves’ 2-1 overtime setback against the reigning Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters, the former Yale University Bulldog has points in consecutive games. In Chicago’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Rockford IceHogs, Agostino nabbed 2 assists to reignite the chance for another point streak. In a seven-game span, the New Jersey native netted 3 goals and dished 10 assists for 13 points.
- 96: In Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Wolves set season-highs in penalty minutes with 46 and combined penalty minutes with 96. Together, the two clubs logged 13 minor fractions along with four game misconducts and four fighting majors. In the final frame, the Wolves found themselves in penalty trouble, allowing Rockford three 5-on-3 advantages. Chicago killed off more than five minutes in 5-on-3 time and were perfect on the penalty kill, squishing all seven Rockford power-play opportunities.
Recent Games Recaps
- The Wolves dropped their second consecutive game against Rockford.
- Rookie defenseman Vince Dunn and center Wade Megan each tallied for Chicago.
- The IceHogs registered four goals in a 1-minute, 49-second span to take a 4-1 lead in the second period.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington relieved starting netminder Pheonix Copley at 10:46 of the second frame; Binnington gave up goals on the first two shots he faced and earned the loss.
- Chicago lost to Rockford in a shootout to extend the team’s winless streak to three games.
- Forward Jordan Caron and rookie defenseman Vince Dunn both scored in the first frame to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead.
- In the third period, Rockford scored two goals, including one in the final six seconds to force overtime.
The IceHogs’ Spencer Abbott was the lone scorer in the shootout to seal the Rockford victory.
FOLLOW THE ACTION