Friday, Feb. 10 | 7 p.m. | Allstate Arena
The Chicago Wolves and San Antonio Rampage meet twice this weekend in the Rampage’s only road trip to Rosemont during the 2016-17 season. Chicago will be looking to collect two wins against San Antonio at Allstate Arena for the first time since 2010 when the Wolves registered a 2-1-0-0 record. Since then, the Wolves are 5-7-0-1 when facing the Rampage at Allstate Arena. Last season, Chicago dropped both games against San Antonio on home ice. Chicago fell 4-1 on Nov. 28 and dropped a 3-1 decision on Nov. 29. Overall during the 2016-17 season, the Wolves have been great on home ice as the team enters Friday’s game with a 15-6-1-1 record. The club has also secured two of its three extra-time victories — shootout on Dec. 30 and overtime on Feb. 3 — on home ice.
BLUE MAN GROUP
Since Jan. 26, three top Chicago Wolves forwards have been recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues. First recalled on Jan. 26, center Ivan Barbashev made his NHL debut the same evening in a 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old scored his first NHL goal as the Blues blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-0 at Air Canada Centre. In that same game, Magnus Paajarvi — recalled on Feb. 5 — played in his fourth game of the year from the Blues and netted his second NHL marker of the season ( first since Oct. 13). Also recalled on Feb. 5, Kenny Agostino — the American Hockey League’s leading scorer — skated in back-to-back contests on Feb. 6 and 7 for the Blues. He collected his first tally as a Blue on Monday with a breakaway chance against Philadelphia Flyers netminder Michal Neuvirth. Agostino has a goal and an assist in three games while Paajarvi has two goals and an assist through ve NHL contests. Barbashev has a goal through seven games and a +2 plus/minus rating.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
When the Chicago Wolves visited AT&T Center earlier this season, rookie netminder Ville Husso was between the pipes for the team’s second consecutive win — and just their second win overall — over San Antonio. The then 21-year-old backstopped the squad to a 2-1 victory, making 29 saves in the contest. That game also marked his first professional win playing in North America. In 13 appearances this year with Chicago, Husso has a 8-5- 0 record, 2.39 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Following his first AHL victory, the Helsinki, Finland, native was reassigned to the Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL on Oct. 26. He returned to the Wolves on Dec. 25 and pushed his win streak to five games (it ended Jan. 7) with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in that span. Husso has been in net for the Wolves’ most recent wins: a pair of overtime thrillers versus the Rockford IceHogs. He made a combined 59 saves for a .952 save percentage.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: When the Chicago Wolves and San Antonio Rampage met for the first time during the 2016-17 season on Oct. 22, center Wade Megan netted two goals, including the short-handed game-winning tally. Those tallies were Megan’s first two of the season and opened for the flood gates for the Wolves’ leading scorer. Megan is tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rookie Jake Guentzel for second in American Hockey League goal scoring with 21 total markers on the season. The 26-year-old has 11 multi-point games this season, including a four-point effort on Dec. 28 against the Rockford IceHogs that included his first career hat trick. Megan is enjoying a career year with the Wolves, surpassing his previous season-highs in goals (14), assists (18) and points (23). He is on track to nearly double his previous season-best point total.
- 7: Steven McParland, the newest member of the Chicago Wolves, is wearing No. 7 during his tenure. McParland signed a PTO with Chicago on Tuesday and skated in his first game that evening, a 2-1 overtime victory against the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center. The 25-year-old skated on a line with fellow newcomer Ty Loney and seasoned AHL veteran Andrew Agozzino. This is McParland’s first stint in the American Hockey League. Following the conclusion of a four-year career at Providence College that included a National Championship in 2015, McParland skated in four games with the Elmira Jackals in the ECHL in 2015-16. This season — his first full professional campaign — he signed with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL).
- 9: In two games at AT&T Center in October 2016, the Chicago Wolves penalty kill against the San Antonio Rampage was a perfect 9 for 9. For the season, the Wolves tout a 84.5 success rate at killing penalties. Often aggressive on the forecheck while skating down a man, the Wolves are one of three teams — all in the Central Division — with six short-handed goals this season. Center Wade Megan has a team-leading three while Andrew Agozzino has two — including the Wolves’ first home shortie of the season on Feb. 4 — and rookie Mackenzie MacEachern has one. Megan registered Chicago’s first short-handed marker of the season against San Antonio on Oct. 22.
- 32: The Chicago Wolves are just 16 percent on the power play through two games this season versus the San Antonio Rampage. Thus far, the Wolves have cashed in on just one of six chances. However, since playing two games against the Rampage at AT&T Center in October 2016, the Wolves’ overall power play has greatly improved. Chicago ranks eighth in the league with a 20.4 success rate. The Wolves are fifth in the league in power-play goals (42) and short-handed goals allowed (3). The only teams to allow fewer short-handed markers this season are the Charlotte Checkers (2), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2) and Providence Bruins (1).
- 17: With 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points, second-year center Ivan Barbashev ranks third in team scoring for the Chicago Wolves. Through 45 games with Chicago this season, the 22-year-old has nine multi-point performances. On New Year’s Eve, Barbashev collected a personal season-high four points with a goal and three assists in the Wolves’ 5-2 victory over the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena. On Jan. 30, Barbashev was recalled from loan to the Wolves by the St. Louis Blues. Previously, the center was recalled on Jan. 26 and made his NHL debut the same evening in a 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
- 38: Having signed a PTO on Monday, Ty Loney is one of two new players inked by the Chicago Wolves this week. While skating for the Wolves, Loney has donned jersey No. 38. The 24-year-old pulled on his jersey for the first time on Tuesday and helped Chicago get out of Rockford with a 2-1 overtime victory against its in-state rival. Loney comes to the Wolves from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL. Loney is no stranger the American Hockey League, having skated in four games this season with the Albany Devils Jan. 11-18. During the 2015-16 season, the 24-year-old appeared in 31 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and following the end of his senior season at the University of Denver, Loney dressed for five games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL). He also the son of two-time Stanley Cup champion and longtime NHLer Troy Loney.
Recent Game Rewind
- The Wolves topped the IceHogs in overtime for the second consecutive game.
- With the victory, Chicago clinched the Illinois Lottery Cup, winning seven of the first 11 head-to-head contests this season.
- Defenseman Petteri Lindbohm delivered the game-winning goal at 1:19 of OT.
- Rookie goaltender Ville Husso turned aside 35 shots in a game that was scoreless until 12:23 of the third session.
- 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.
Friday’s game begins at 7:00 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.