Friday, Dec. 30 | 7 p.m. | Allstate Arena
Third Time is a Charm
The Chicago Wolves and the Milwaukee Admirals are clashing in Amtrak Rivalry action for the third time in four games. The Wolves have won both of the previous contests, outscoring Milwaukee 13-6. The penalty kill has been key through the last couple games in this series; Chicago has managed to keep the Admirals at bay, killing seven of nine Milwaukee power plays. Milwaukee has also negated six of eight Chicago man advantages. Wolves goaltender Pheonix Copley has been in net for all three Chicago victories over the Admirals. Friday night may be the 24-year-old’s fourth consecutive start against Milwaukee. Through the first three, Copley has faced 84 shots and turned aside 76 of them.
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kids
The 2016-17 Chicago Wolves rookies keep excelling. In just his third AHL start — his first since being reassigned to the Wolves by the St. Louis Blues (NHL) on Dec. 25 — rookie Ville Husso backstopped the club to a 6-2 victory Wednesday night over the Rockford IceHogs. The 21-year-old Finn stopped 33 of 35 shots he faced to claim his second victory of the season. In the same contest, first-year wing Mackenzie MacEachern netted the Wolves’ fifth short- handed goal of the year. Center Wade Megan made an outlet pass to spring MacEachern up the left-side boards. MacEachern caught the Rockford defense at-footed and got by them to roof a shot top-shelf over netminder Lars Johansson at 16:44 of the second period for Chicago’s game-winning goal. Rookies Vince Dunn (2A) and Samuel Blais (A) also factored on three of the Wolves’ six goals. The 20-year-old Dunn (5G, 9A) is the Wolves’ leading scorer among all rookies as well as current defensemen.
Wolves at World Juniors
Seven Chicago Wolves have represented their respective countries on international hockey’s biggest annual stage — the IIHF World Junior Championship — which is currently underway in Montreal and Toronto. Between those seven players — Ivan Barbashev (RUS), Chris Butler (USA), Jordan Caron (CAN), Ville Husso (FIN), Petteri Lindbohm (FIN), Magnus Paajarvi (SWE) and Brett Sterling, (USA) — there are seven medals. Paajarvi has the most hardware — a bronze (2010) and two silver medals (2008, 2009) — earning a medallion in each of his tournament appearances. In 2008 when Paajarvi was named to the Sweden national team set to compete at World Juniors, he became the youngest player to represent Sweden in the tourney. Sterling twice represented the United States (2003, 2004), and in 2004 helped the U.S. to its first World Junior title. Since then, Team USA has collected two more World Junior championships (2010, 2013). In 2010, Caron felt the agony of defeat and earned a silver medal on his native soil as the U.S. upset Canada in the gold-medal game. Wolves rookie netminder Husso is a two-time member of the Finnish World Junior squad (2014, 2015) and earned a gold medal in 2014. Barbashev owns a bronze medal with Russia (2014). Lindbohm (2013) and Butler (2006) have World Juniors experience on their resumes but do not have medals to show for it.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 1: Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm got rid of the goose egg in his goal column with a rocket point-shot tally in the Chicago Wolves’ 6-2 romp over their Illinois Lottery Cup rival, the Rockford IceHogs, on Wednesday at BMO Harris Bank Center. Through 19 games this season, the 23-year-old also has collected four assists for five points. Lindbohm is carrying a +2 plus/minus rating and 24 penalty minutes.
- 5: Center Wade Megan‘s 17 goals pace the entire American Hockey League — along with Wilkes/Barre-Scranton rookie Jake Guentzel. In his fourth full-time season in the league, Megan is having a breakout year. So far, the 26-year-old has set career-highs in points (29), goals and assists (12). Megan also has eight multi-point efforts, and on Wednesday posted a career single-game high with three goals and one assist for four points. The former Boston University Terriers captain also made his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 22, and he scored his first NHL goal in the same contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- 37: With 37 points and 27 assists, forward Kenny Agostino continues to lead the American Hockey League in both categories. The 24-year-old added a goal and an assist to his point totals in Wednesday’s 6-2 Illinois Lottery Cup victory over the Rockford IceHogs. Those points also pushed the Morristown, New Jersey, native’s current point streak to five games. This season, Agostino has only been held scoreless in nine contests and has nine multi-point performances, including a four-assist tilt in the Wolves’ 6-5 overtime setback against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Dec. 7 at Van Andel Arena. The former Yale University Bulldog was just the third AHL player this season to accomplish the feat and the first Wolves player since Jason Krog on April 12, 2008.
50: For Scooter Vaughan, his next AHL point will be his 50th. Through 209 career games, the part-time forward has registered 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points. Skating in his fourth AHL season — and second with the Chicago Wolves — Vaughan has split time on both the blue line and the wing, something he began doing last season. Team captain Chris Butler is also in the hunt for his 50th career AHL point. Right now, the 30-year-old defenseman has nine goals and 37 assists for 46 points through 118 AHL contests. This year marks Butler’s second full season in the league; the veteran blueliner has almost 400 NHL games on his resume with 84 (13G, 71A) points at that level.
- 296: With his next AHL game being No. 296, Chicago Wolves wing Andrew Agozzino is closing in on his 300th career AHL game. The 25-year- old is in his fifth full season in the league. Through 295 games, Agozzino has tallied 86 goals and 124 assists for 210 points. Sixteen of those points — seven goals and nine assists — have come this season with the Wolves and he’s riding a four- game point streak into tonight’s game. Before joining the Wolves, Agozzino spent time in the Colorado Avalanche organization playing for the then-Lake Erie Monsters and the San Antonio Rampage. During his rookie campaign, the Kleinberg, Ontario, native paced the Monsters in scoring with 52 points (20G, 32A) — good enough for second among league rookies — and earned an invite to the 2013 AHL All-Star Game. Agozzino again led the Monsters in scoring during the 2013-14 season; he also became one of just five players to reach 100 points in Monsters franchise history.
- Chicago netted four goals in the middle frame en route to an Illinois Lottery Cup victory over Rockford.
- Center Wade Megan collected his first career hat trick to power the Wolves’ offense.
- Rookie wing Mackenzie MacEachern notched a short-handed marker, defenseman Petteri Lindbohm registered his first goal of the season and Kenny Agostino extended his point streak to five games with a goal and his league-leading 27th assist.
- Rookie netminder Ville Husso turned aside 33 shots for his second victory in three starts.
- The Wolves wrecked the Admirals for the third consecutive game.
- Rookie Samuel Blais netted two goals and veteran Brett Sterling registered two points (G, A).
- Center Wade Megan notched his league-leading 14th goal — a short-handed tally.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 17 saves in his third straight start.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Friday’s game begins at 7:00 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.