Welcome to Wolves Roundup, a weekly report of highlights, notes and transactions from the Chicago Wolves’ previous week of competition during the 2016-17 season..
WOLVES WIN 2016-17 AMTRAK RIVALRY
With Sunday’s 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals, the Chicago Wolves clinched the Amtrak Rivalry title for the sixth time in eight years. The trophy is given to the winner of the Chicago-Milwaukee series each season. In the last Amtrak Rivalry contest at Allstate Arena this year, the Wolves finally cracked goaltender Marek Mazanec and netted five goals en route to the title. Kenny Agostino collected his fifth three-point performance of the season, and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 26 saves in his first game since Dec. 21. The victory came on the heels of a 1-0 loss – the Wolves’ first shutout loss of the season – against Milwaukee on Saturday night. In that tilt, Mazanec stopped 30 shots, and the game’s lone goal came at 16:10 of the first frame when Milwaukee’s captain Trevor Smith wrangled a Wolves defensive-zone turnover and put it in the back of the net.
BACK IN BUSINESS
Before Kenny Agostino scored just 54 seconds into the second period of Sunday’s game, the Chicago Wolves had been held off the scoreboard for 111 minutes, 14 seconds going back to the second period of their 3-2 loss against the Central Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday. That span also included a 1-0 shutout loss against the Milwaukee Admirals and their goaltender Marek Mazanec on Saturday. Mazanec earned the shutout with a 30-save performance and handed the Wolves their first shutout loss of the season. However, on Sunday, Chicago’s offense got back on track and put five goals past Mazanec to skate away with a 5-1 victory and the 2017 Amtrak Rivalry title. This season, the Wolves have scored four or more goals in 23 of their 44 contests and are averaging 3.36 goals per game.
Through three games last week, the 24-year-old registered a goal and three assists for four points. Three of those points (G, 2A) came in Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals. It was the fifth three-point performance of the year for Agostino. Now with 17 markers and 38 helpers on the season – and a 13-point gap between him and the AHL’s second-best scorer – Agostino still has a stranglehold on the American Hockey League scoring race.
The Richmond Hill, Ontario, native backstopped the Wolves in their only victory of the weekend. On Sunday, he made 26 saves and finished with a .963 save percentage en route to Chicago’s 5-1 Amtrak Rivalry win over the Milwaukee Admirals. The contest was Binnington’s first since Dec. 21, when Binnington was ejected from the tilt and earned a one-game suspension. Prior to that, the 23-year-old had given up 13 goals in three previous starts.
Over the weekend, the Chicago Wolves’ leading blueline and rookie scorer added two assists to bring his season point total to 22 (7G, 15A). He also recorded his sixth multi-point performance of the year in Friday’s 3-2 loss against the Wolves foe across Lake Michigan, the Grand Rapid Griffins. While he wasn’t on the scoresheet the rest of the weekend, his defensive play and playmaking earned him a Top Line accolade.
Sunday, Jan 22 (at) Chicago 5, Milwaukee 1
- The Wolves clinched their sixth Amtrak Rivalry title in eight seasons.
- 2017 AHL All-Star Kenny Agostino collected three points (G, 2A) while Ivan Barbashev and Wade Megan each tallied two (G, A).
- In his first game since Dec. 21, netminder Jordan Binnington made 26 saves for the victory.
Saturday, Jan. 21 Milwaukee 1, (at) Chicago 0
- Milwaukee’s Marek Mazanec stopped 30 shots to give the Wolves their first shutout loss of the year.
- 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.
Friday, Jan. 20 (at) Grand Rapids 3, Chicago 2
- 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 Chicago in the second period.
- Wolves rookie goalkeeper Ville Husso turned aside 33 of 36 shots in the loss.
|Thursday, Jan. 26||at Cleveland^||Quicken Loans Arena||6 p.m. CT|
|Saturday Jan. 28||at Cleveland#||Quicken Loans Arena||6 p.m. CT|
|Friday, Feb. 3||vs. Grand Rapids^||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
|Saturday, Feb. 4||vs. Rockford#||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
|Tuesday, Feb. 7||at Rockford^||BMO Harris Bank Center||7 p.m. CT|
^ AHL Live only, * U Too, # CW50
Games will be telecast live on CW50 or U Too; visit ChicagoWolves.com for a complete broadcast schedule; all games stream live on AHLLive.com