Thursday, Jan. 26 | 6 p.m. | Quicken Loans Arena
One is the Loneliest Number
Through four games of the 12-game season series with the reigning Calder Cup champions, the Chicago Wolves have earned just three of a possible eight points. Their lone victory was a 4-2 triumph on Oct. 30 and was also the team’s first win this season at Allstate Arena. In the ensuing three games between the Central Division rivals, the Wolves lost a pair of tilts in regulation (Nov. 11 and 12) and one in overtime (Dec. 17) to the Cleveland Monsters. The overtime contest was a 2-1 setback at Allstate Arena as Scooter Vaughan netted the Wolves’ lone marker of the contest. Goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Anton Forberg battled it out and both finished the contest with 21 saves. However, Copley gave up a goal on three overtime shots, and the Wolves were held shotless in the extra frame.
Pheonix has Landed
On Tuesday, Chicago Wolves rookie defenseman Vince Dunn was named a 2017 American Hockey League All-Star. The 20-year-old will join teammate Kenny Agostino as the Wolves’ representatives at the AHL All-Star Classic in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 29 and 30. The youngest player on the Chicago roster, Dunn is leading all blueliners — and the team’s eight-man rookie class — with 22 points and 15 assists. The former Niagara IceDog has six multi-point performances and produced a five-game point streak from Jan. 3 to 11 that included two goals and seven assists. Dunn’s professional debut on Oct. 15 came against the Grand Rapids Griffins and he collected his first pro points – a goal and an assist – in that contest.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: The Chicago Wolves are averaging 2.00 goals per game through four games against the Cleveland Monsters this season. That average is the lowest for the Wolves among opponents they have faced at least four times. They have been outscored 10-8 by the reigning Calder Cup champions, and all four contests have been decided by two goals or less as two tilts ended in a 4-2 final and the other two ended 2-1. The squads’ latest meeting, on Dec. 17, was the only to go to extra time.
- 11: So far in the Chicago Wolves-Cleveland Monsters series, the Wolves are a perfect 11 for 11 on the penalty kill. Special-teams opportunities have been held to a minimum to date with Cleveland receiving a series-high four power plays in its 4-2 victory on Nov. 12 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Wolves also have been unsuccessful on the man advantage, scoring on none of their eight power-play chances. However, both clubs have cashed in while short-handed in the season series. The teams traded shorthanded tallies on Nov. 12 when Wade Megan tallied for the Wolves and Nick Moutrey scored for the Monsters.
- 20: On Sunday, center Wade Megan recorded his 20th goal in the Chicago Wolves’ 44th contest of the season, making him the fastest Chicago player to reach the 20-goal plateau since Nigel Dawes scored his 20th goal in the team’s 43rd game of the 2010-11 season. The 26-year-old is enjoying a career year having already surpassed his professional-bests with 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points. Megan is on pace to pass the career 100-point mark and finish the season with 65 points. That’s four points shy of tripling his previous career point-high (23). The former Boston University Terriers captain also has matched his career-best +10 plus/ minus rating.
- 25: Center Ivan Barbashev is the Chicago Wolves’ sharpest shooter with a team-leading 25.3 shooting percentage. On Thursday morning, the 21-year-old was recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues and could make his National Hockey League debut when the Blues face the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Barbashev is No. 8 among American Hockey League scorers and is tied with fellow center Wade Megan for second among Chicago scorers with 37 points (19G, 18A). St. Louis selected the Moscow native in the second round, 33rd overall, of the 2014 NHL Draft. Barbashev played three seasons in the QMJHL before making his professional debut on Oct. 10, 2015, with the Wolves against the Milwaukee Admirals. He collected an assist in that contest.
- 100: Current Chicago Wolves wing Andrew Agozzino — a former then Lake Erie Monster — is one just five players in Monsters history to reach the century mark in points. The 26-year-old spent the first three years of his professional career with the Monsters, appearing in 225 total games and collecting 67 goals and 98 assists in that span. He twice led the squad in scoring, during his rookie season with 52 points (20G, 32A) — second among all league rookies — and sophomore campaign with 17 goals and 32 assists for 49 points.
Recent Game Rewind
- 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.
- 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.