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.
FINAL LAPS OF THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY CUP
On Saturday, the Chicago Wolves ended their 10th Illinois Lottery Cup contest with the Rockford IceHogs in spectacular fashion. Recently recalled from the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL), Emerson Clark amped up the Allstate Arena crowd with a fight and a goal in the first period. However, in the second frame, Rockford stormed back with two quick goals and took the lead. Then rookie wing Samuel Blais evened the game, 2-2, at 7:16 of the same period. The third period was scoreless, and in the opening 21 seconds of extra time, Wolves center Wade Megan took an interference penalty. After the faceoff, center Alex Friesen cleared the puck to the Rockford end and Andrew Agozzino followed the play, stealing the puck from goaltender Lars Johansson behind the net and beating him back to the front side of the cage for a top-shelf goal to secure the 3-2 win.
Saturday’s victory only guaranteed Chicago a share of this season’s Illinois Lottery Cup, so on Tuesday (Feb. 7), the Wolves will look to secure full possession of the trophy with a win over Rockford in the backend of a home-and-home set. Right now, the Wolves are leading the series six games to four. Playing at the IceHogs’ stomping grounds — BMO Harris Bank Center — and winning is a tall order for the Wolves. This season, they’re carrying a 2-3-0-0 record through five games at BMO and have been outscored 18-17. Three of the five games this season have seen the victor net six goals, and only one – on Oct. 28 – has a one-goal differential.
TAMING OF THE BULL
On Friday (Feb. 10), the San Antonio Rampage visit Allstate Arena for the first of two games over the weekend. The Chicago Wolves will wrap a 3-in-3 weekend on Sunday with another visit to Allstate Arena by San Antonio. The Wolves and Rampage last faced each other at AT&T Center in San Antonio for a pair of games — the Wolves’ first two victories of the season — on Oct. 22 and 23, 2016. Chicago took the first game 4-2 powered by two goals from the club’s leading goal-getter, Wade Megan. The next day, the Wolves edged the Rampage 2-1 backstopped by rookie Ville Husso. He made 29 saves for his first North American professional victory.
With a goal and an assist through two games last week, the 24-year-old pushed his current scoring streak to eight points (2G, 6A) in five games. Agostino registered eight shots on goal and recorded his first misconduct penalty of the season on Friday. He and linemate Magnus Paajarvi were recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Agostino could crack an NHL lineup for the first time since March 14, 2016, when he skated against St. Louis with the Calgary Flames.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old was the Chicago Wolves’ hero after zero, stealing the puck from goaltender Lars Johnasson behind the net and beating him back to the front for a short-handed overtime tally that gave Chicago a 3-2 Illinois Lottery Cup victory over the Rockford IceHogs. That goal — and an assist on Friday — extended his scoring streak to four games and five points (2G, 3A).
Recalled from loan to the Tulsa Oilers on Thursday, Clark skated with the Wolves for the first time since Nov. 23 on Friday. The 24-year-old made an impact in the Wolves’ 3-2 overtime win against the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday. First, the former Oshawa General threw down with P.C. Labrie in the opening three minutes of the game. Then, at 14:11 into the first frame, Clark scored the opening goal when he got behind the Rockford defenders and slipped a forehand-backhand shot past Lars Johansson.
- The Wolves topped the IceHogs in overtime to clinch at least a share of the Illinois Lottery Cup.
- Left wing Andrew Agozzino netted the short-handed game-winning marker just 1:58 into the extra frame.
- Recently recalled Emerson Clark and rookie Samuel Blais also scored for Chicago.
- Rookie netminder Ville Husso turned aside 24 shots in the victory.
- The Wolves fell to the Griffins for the sixth time this season.
- Griffins forward Matt Lorito netted two goals and former Wolves netminder Eddie Pasquale made 30 saves.
- Forwards Kenny Agostino and Samuel Blais tallied for Chicago.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 28 saves in the loss.
|Friday, Feb. 10
|vs. San Antonio*
|7 p.m. CT
|Saturday, Feb. 11
|UWM Panther Arean
|6 p.m. CT
|Sunday, Feb. 12
|vs. San Antonio*
|3 p.m. CT
|Friday, Feb. 17
|7:30 p.m. CT
|Saturday, Feb. 18
|7 p.m. CT
^ AHL Live only, * U Too, # CW50