Sunday, Jan. 22 | 3 p.m. | Allstate Arena
The Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals are squaring off at Allstate Arena for the second time in as many days. This afternoon’s contest will conclude the Wolves’ third three-in-three weekend of the season. The Wolves come into today’s contest winless through the previous two games of the weekend, including Saturday night’s 1-0 setback against the Admirals. Marek Mazanec stopped 30 shots to hand the Wolves their first shutout loss of the season. At the other end of the ice, Milwaukee’s lone tally came on a defensive-zone turnover by the Wolves. Admirals captain Trevor Smith netted the game’s only marker at 16:10 of the first frame. Otherwise, rookie goalkeeper Ville Husso stood tall and stopped 33 of 34 shots. The loss also snapped the Wolves’ five-game win streak against the Admirals and six-game winning streak at Allstate Arena.
To the Victor Goes the Spoils
Chicago Wolves netminder Pheonix Copley made his first career National Hockey League start on Saturday when the St. Louis Blues faced the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. The Blues fell to the Jets, 5-3, but Copley made 24 saves in the contest. He stopped both shots he faced while his team was short-handed and turned aside 18 of 20 even-strength shots, but allowed three power-play goals on seven shots. The opposing goaltender to the Blues-Jets showdown also had Wolves ties. Ondrej Pavelec backstopped Chicago during the 2007-08 season en route to the franchise’s fourth championship. The game marked the first time the netminders faced each other. Pavelec has appeared in two games against the Wolves with season with Winnipeg’s affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, and produced two victories. Each of the Wolves’ three goalies have a match against the Moose under their belts. However, only Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso have dueled with Pavelec. Copley faced Eric Comrie in the Wolves’ lone victory over the Moose this season.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 0: Saturday night, the Chicago Wolves were shut out for the first time during the 2016-17 season. The Wolves got the raw end of a 1-0 game against the Milwaukee Admirals. Chicago couldn’t solve Milwaukee goaltender Marek Mazanec as he made 30 saves en route to his team’s fourth victory of the season over the Wolves. The contest marked just the second regulation loss Chicago has suffered at the hands of the Admirals. After losing three consecutive contests — regulation (Oct. 19), overtime (Nov. 9) and shootout (Nov. 4) — the Wolves rode a five-game win streak (Dec. 10-Jan. 11) into Saturday night’s tilt. Chicago also was without the netminder that backstopped all five victories, Pheonix Copley. The 25-year-old was recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 20 and made his first career NHL start Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets and former Wolves championship goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
- 6: Saturday’s contest was the sixth time the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals competed in a game that finished with a one-goal differential. Half of those games have gone into extra time, including 3-2 shootout and 5-4 overtime victories for the Admirals. The Wolves collected their first and only extra-time win of the season on Dec. 30 in a 4-3 shootout.Kenny Agostino, the American Hockey League’s leading scorer, was the lone scorer in that shootout, and Wolves goaltender Pheonix Copley stopped all three Milwaukee shooters for the win.
- 13: The Chicago Wolves have won 13 of their 20 home games this season for a .700 win percentage while skating at Allstate Arena. Chicago enjoys the comfort of playing in front of a home crowd. Conversely, the team is 10-10-2-1 on the road and break-even with a .500 win percentage through 23 contests. During the Wolves’ season-high eight-game win streak, five of those victories came at Allstate Arena. Chicago also outscored opponents 28-13 in that span. Goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Ville Husso split games, each backstopping the team to four wins. There were only two contests in which Chicago allowed opponents to score more than two goals. Facing Milwaukee in three of those eight games, the Admirals managed to net the most goals in a single game during that time with four markers in the Wolves’ 8-4 victory that kicked off the win streak.
- 33: Rookie netminder Ville Husso turned aside 33 shots in Saturday night’s 1-0 less to the Milwaukee Admirals. The save total matched his AHL career- best which he previously set on Dec. 28 against the Rockford IceHogs and matched on Friday against the Grand Rapids Griffins. In Saturday night’s setback, Milwaukee’s lone goal came on a defensive-zone turnover at 16:10 of the first frame. Through the next two frames, Husso turned aside 23 shots — including 15 in the second period — to keep the Wolves within a goal. Chicago pulled Husso with 1:19 left in regulation, looking to net the game-tying goal but did not convert.
- 298: It had been 298 days since the Chicago Wolves had been shut out. The Wolves last left a goose egg on the scoresheet on March 30, 2016, in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest against the Rockford IceHogs at Allstate Arena. The score was the same as Saturday night, 1-0, and Ryan Haggerty delivered the game-winning goal while Rockford was on the power play at 14:02 of the third frame. IceHogs goaltender Mac Carruth posted a 36-save shutout while Jordan Binnington stopped 22 of 23 shots he faced. Then-Wolves player Danny Kristo posted the team-high in shots for the contest with five. David Rundblad (6) and Tanner Kero (4) led the shooting gallery for Rockford.
- Milwaukee’s Marek Mazanec stopped 30 shots to give the Wolves their first shutout loss of the season.
- Admirals captain Trevor Smith netted the game’s only goal at 16:10 of the first period.
- Wolves rookie netminder Ville Husso stopped 33 of 34 shots in the loss.
- The Griffins topped the Wolves for the second consecutive time in the season series.
- Evgeni Svechnikov netted the late-second period go-ahead goal and netminder Eddie Pasquale stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third to secure the victory.
- Rookie Samuel Blais and center Ivan Barbashev each tallied to rally the Wolves in the second period.
- Rookie netminder Ville Husso turned aside 33 of 36 shots in the loss.
Sunday’s game begins at 3:00 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. The game will also be streamed LIVE on Facebook and AHLLive.com with Jason Shaver and Billy Gardner.