Saturday, Feb. 11 | 6 p.m. | UWM Panther Arena
IT’S ALL OVER BUT THE TROPHY-RAISING
The Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals have two games left in their season series. For the past eight years, the clubs have competed for the Amtrak Rivalry trophy that is given to the team with the most points in head-to-head competition each season. On Jan. 22, the Wolves defeated the Admirals 5-1 at Allstate Arena to clinch the title for the sixth time in eight years. The evening previous, Milwaukee handed Chicago its first shutout loss of the season: a 1-0 goaltending duel between Wolves rookie netminder Ville Husso and Admirals goalkeeper Marek Mazanec. The two goalies combined for 63 saves. Chicago is 6-2-1-1 versus Milwaukee. After opening the season series on a three-game losing skid, the Wolves took five consecutive games from the Admirals.
Heroes After Zero
This season, the Chicago Wolves have skated in eight games that have gone to extra time and three of those games have involved the Milwaukee Admirals. The Wolves did not fare well in their first two extra-inning outings against the Admirals as they lost both — a 3-2 shootout loss on Nov. 4 and a 5-4 overtime loss on Nov. 9. However, Chicago captured its first extra-session victory of the season on Dec. 30 in a 4-3 shootout at Allstate Arena against the Admirals. Kenny Agostino, the American Hockey League’s leading scorer, was the sole scorer in the shootout and Pheonix Copley turned aside the final Milwaukee shooters to seal the victory. Recently, Chicago picked up its rst two overtime wins in a set of games against the Rockford IceHogs. On Feb. 4, Andrew Agozzino delivered the short-handed game-winning goal just 1:58 into the bonus frame for the 3-2 win. On Feb. 7, Petteri Lindbohm crashed the net and potted the puck for the 2-1 overtime victory. Rookie netminder Ville Husso made a combined 59 saves en route to both victories.
Last Line of Defense
Milwaukee Admirals goaltender Marek Mazanec has started six of the 10 games against the Chicago Wolves this season. The Wolves have managed to net 24 goals against Mazanec, and he backstopped the Admirals during a five-game winless skid versus the Wolves. However, Mazanec did hand Chicago its first shutout loss of the season on Jan. 21 at Allstate Arena. The Wolves gave up a goal in the first period and then could not gain the equalizer throughout the rest of the contest. The next night, however, the Wolves cracked Mazanec and stuffed five goals past the netminder for their sixth win of the season over the Admirals. Chicago has netted four goals or more in ve of its six victories during the series.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: The Chicago Wolves have one shootout victory this season, which came against the Milwauke Admirals on Dec. 30 at Allstate Arena. The Admirals opened scoring, but the Wolves twice had the lead, and Milwaukee knotted the game 3-3 with just over five minutes on the clock in the third period. In the shootout, Kenny Agostino, the American Hockey League’s leading scorer, netted the lone shootout marker for the victory. Chicago goaltender Pheonix Copley turned aside 26 shots through 65 minutes of action and stopped all three Milwaukee skaters.
- 4: In the Chicago Wolves’ 7-3 victory over the San Antonio Rampage Friday night, captain Chris Butler recorded a career-high four points. Registering a pair of goals and a pair of assists, Butler bested his previous career-high that he set on Jan. 3 in the Wolves’ 4-2 win against the Charlotte Checkers at Allstate Arena. Butler powered his team to two points versus San Antonio for the club to remain perfect against the Pacific Division this season. The 30-year-old netted his first goal of the game with just 1:04 on the clock in the first period, and his second goal came in the middle frame with just seven seconds left. He also assisted on the Wolves’ opening goal and Brett Sterling’s game-winning tally just 1:05 into the second session.
- 8: The Chicago Wolves rookie class is now at eight skaters. The newest addition to the first-year group is Steven McParland. The 25-year-old 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. He produced his first AHL point on Friday night as he assisted on Chris Butler’s first-period goal. 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). McParland joins goaltender Ville Husso; defenseman Vince Dunn; and forwards Samuel Blais, Conner Bleackley, Bryce Gervais, Mackenzie MacEachern and Justin Selman.
- 1000: Veteran defenseman Jared Nightingale is 12 penalty minutes away from 1,000 career penalty minutes. The 34-year-old has skated for 10 American Hockey League franchises over the course of his 12-year professional hockey career. His season high for penalty minutes came during the 2010-11 season when he logged 204 minutes over the course of 71 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale franchise. The eldest player on the Wolves’ roster, Nightingale has also played significant time in the ECHL primarily with the Toledo Walleye. Currently, he in his third stint with the Chicago Wolves. He previously skated with the club during the 2007-08 and 2015-16 seasons.
- 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.
- 4854: Earlier this season, the Chicago Wolves were shut out for 4,854 seconds by the Milwaukee Admirals. The 80-minute, 54-second span that Chicago could not get on the scoreboard marked the team’s longest scoring drought this season. The Admirals also handed the Wolves their first and only shutout of the 2016-17 season. On Jan. 21, Milwaukee edged Chicago 1-0. In a goaltender duel between Wolves rookie netminder Ville Husso and Admirals goalie Marek Mazanec, the former allowed one goal on 34 shots and the latter turned aside all 30 shots he faced.
Recent Game Rewind
- The Wolves defeated the Rampage for the third time this season and remained perfect against the Pacific Division.
- Captain Chris Butler tallied a career-high four points (2G, 2A) while Brett Sterling registered three points (G, 2A) to power Chicago’s victory.
- Forwards Emerson Clark (G), Wade Megan (2G) and Ty Loney (G, A) also tallied.
- Rookie netminder Ville Husso left the game just 5:09 into the first and Pheonix Copley earned the win with 22 saves.
- 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.
Saturday night’s game begins at 6:00 p.m. with CW50’s “Saturday Night with the Wolves,” presented by the Illinois Office of Tourism.