Tuesday, Jan. 3 | 7 p.m. | Allstate Arena
Named CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December on Monday, Chicago Wolves left wing Kenny Agostino is leading the entire American Hockey League with 43 points, which is nine points better than the second-leading scorers, Jake Guentzel (WBS) and Cole Schneider (RCH). Agostino also leads the league with 29 assists. In the month of December alone, he tallied seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 14 games. Agostino was held scoreless in just one game and recorded six multi-point performances. The Morristown, New Jersey, native closed out 2016 by setting an AHL season-high and matching a Wolves franchise benchmark. On Dec. 31 at Wells Fargo Arena, Agostino netted four goals and an assist for the league’s first five-point performance of the season. The 24-year-old joined Dan Currie (12/29/95 and 03/24/96), Nigel Dawes (01/05/11) and Steve Larouche (04/27/01) as the only players in the Wolves’ 23-year history to score four goals in one game.
Everyone’s Still Streaking
Tuesday Night, the Chicago Wolves look to push their season-high five-game win streak to six games. The string includes three Amtrak Rivalry victories over the Milwaukee Admirals (which featured the Wolves’ first extra-time win of the season), one Illinois Lottery Cup victory over the Rockford IceHogs and a New Year’s Eve win against Iowa. Left wing Kenny Agostino is also looking to extend his current point streak to eight games, surpassing his previous season-high seven-game point streak. Center Ivan Barbashev currently has a two-game point streak with a goal and two assists. Goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Ville Husso are both riding three-game win streaks. Rookie netminder Husso’s win streak goes back to his second AHL start on Oct. 23 before he was reassigned to the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) on Oct. 26. He was recalled on Dec. 25 and has wins in both his starts. Copley has started all three contests in the team’s win streak against Milwaukee. The North Pole, Alaska, native also boasts four straight Amtrak Rivalry wins over the Admirals.
Last time the Chicago Wolves and Charlotte Checkers met, the Wolves fired a season-high 41 shots at Checkers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. Four of those shots got behind the 20-year-old goalkeeper to give the Wolves a 4-2 victory in the second of back-to-back contests with their North Carolina rival. The teams combined for 81 shots in the contest, which is also a season-high for Chicago. Wolves netminder Jordan Binnington helped secure the Chicago victory by turning aside 38 of 40 shots for his fourth victory of the season. That tilt also featured a two-goal effort from center Wade Megan. The 26-year- old netted two of his team-leading 17 goals, as well as one of of his three team-leading game-winning tallies.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 8: With a point tonight, wing Kenny Agostino can extend his point streak to eight games, the longest streak for any Chicago Wolves player this season. Currently at seven games, this streak matches his — and Landon Ferraro’s — longest streaks of the season. On Monday, the 24-year-old was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December. Through 14 games in 2016’s final frame, Agostino racked up seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points. He was only held scoreless once on Dec. 17 in a contest against the reigning Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters. The former Yale University Bulldog has six multi-point performances, including a five-point (4G, A) game — the first of the season in the American Hockey League — on Dec. 31 versus the Iowa Wild. His first three goals of the 6-2 Wolves’ victory marked his first career hat trick.
- 26: Happy birthday, Andrew Agozzino! The Chicago Wolves left wing turns 26 today. The Kleinburg, Ontario, native is closing in on career AHL game No. 300 as tonight marks his 299th contest. Through his first 298 tilts, Agozzino has collected 86 goals and 127 assists for 213 points. This season — his first with the Wolves — he has seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points. On Dec. 31, the former Niagara IceDogs captain had his first three-point performance of the season with three helpers in Chicago’s 5-2 New Year’s Eve victory over the Iowa Wild. Prior to 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, he 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 and an two-way contract with the NHL parent club. 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.
- 52: On Monday, Chicago Wolves head athletic trainer Kevin Kacer celebrated his 52nd birthday. Kacer joined the Wolves in 1995 after being an assistant athletic trainer with the Detroit Pistons for two seasons (1993-95). Prior to that, the University of Indianapolis graduate also spent time with the Continental Basketball Assocation’s Fort Wayne Fury (1991-93), the International Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets (1990-91) and the National Professional Soccer League’s Fort Wayne Flames (1988-90). Kacer is member of the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society, National Athletic Trainers’ Association and American College of Sports Medicine.
- 99: Center Ivan Barbashev’s next game will be his 99th career AHL game. In his second AHL season, the 21-year-old has skated exclusively for the Wolves. In the span, Barbshev has 23 goals and 33 assists. This season, he ranks third — behind Wade Megan (17) and Kenny Agostino (14) — among Chicago skaters with 13 goals. The Moscow native spent a chunk of the season leading the Wolves in goal scoring and strung together a five-game point streak in which he tallied eight points (4G, 4A). The highlight of Barbashev’s season thus far would be his two-goal performance against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Nov. 5. His second marker of the contest — a wrist shot from mid-left circle for the 3-2 go-ahead tally — lodged the puck in the goal netting. After the officials spent three minutes attempting unsuccessfully to dislodge the puck, the Grand Rapids ice crew cut the puck free and patched the net. Barbashev earned first-star status for his performance.
- 331: Tuesday night marks left wing Brett Sterling’s 331st game in a Chicago Wolves uniform. On Dec. 15, the 32-year-old cracked the franchise top-10 list, passing Chicago Wolves general manager and retired championship goaltender Wendell Young for sole possession of the No. 10 spot with 323 games. Since then, Sterling has appeared in eight consecutive games and passes Tim Breslin today for sole possession of the No. 9 slot. Through seven seasons with Chicago, the 2008 Calder Cup champion has registered 173 goals and 149 assists for 322 points. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Brett has climbed two spots to No. 7 on the all-time helpers list, passing both Tom Tilley (141) and Steve Larouche (144). Sterling is No. 2 in goals with 173 — Steve Maltais is the franchise leader with 454 — and No. 5 on the scoring list. He needs 21 more points to surpass former teammate Jason Krog for the No. 4 spot.
Final 2016 Flashback
- Chicago earned another victory to push its season high win streak to five games.
- Wing Kenny Agostino tallied four goals and an assist to become the AHL player this season with a five-point effort.
- Rookie goalkeeper Ville Husso stretched his win streak to three games.
- The Agostino, Andrew Agozzino, Ivan Barbashev line tallied 12 of the Wolves’ 15 points.
- The Wolves slid by the Admirals for the fourth consecutive Amtrak Rivalry game this season and earned their fourth win in a row overall.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley stopped 26 shots during regulation and overtime and turned aside all three shooters in the shootout for the victory.
- Wing Kenny Agostino took a penalty in the extra frame that the Wolves killed off, then redeemed himself as the lone scorer in the shootout.
- Forwards Ivan Barbashev, Brett Sterling and Scooter Vaughan all tallied in the win.
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