Sunday, Feb. 12 | 3 p.m. | Allstate Arena
The Chicago Wolves come into Sunday’s game looking to sweep the San Antonio Rampage for the first time since the teams began competing during the 2002-03 season. Chicago positioned itself for a sweep with a 7-3 victory over San Antonio on Friday at Allstate Arena. The win including two empty-net goals, a career-high four-point game for Wolves captain Chris Butler and a combined five goaltenders on the teams’ benches. Wade Megan, the American Hockey League’s leading goal-scorer, netted two tallies and veteran left wing Brett Sterling registered a goal and two helpers in the victory. Between the pipes, rookie Ville Husso started his 14th game of the season but left just 5:09 into the first period and was replaced by Pheonix Copley, who earned the win with 22 saves. Husso did not return to the game and Wolves third goaltender Jordan Binnington dressed and sat on the bench for the final two periods. Spencer Martin began the game for the Rampage but was chased after allowing four goals on 11 shots. Kent Simpson entered the contest early in the second period and stopped 22 shots.
In Saturday night’s Amtrak Rivalry tilt against the Milwaukee Admirals, defenseman James Wisniewski made his season debut with the Chicago Wolves after signing a standard player contract with the club on Jan. 29. Wisniewski’s debut looked a little different than expected as he skated as both a forward and a defenseman. As a forward, the 32-year-old primarily skated on a line centered by Bryce Gervais and Emerson Clark as the other wing. As a defender, he mostly skated with Reid McNeill, and McNeill was on the ice with Wisniewski when he netted his first goal with the Wolves. The marker was Wisniewski’s first goal in North American competition since March 1, 2015, against the Pittsburgh Penguins and his first AHL tally since Dec. 13, 2008, against the Wolves.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Jordan Caron rejoined the Chicago Wolves lineup on Friday for the first time since Jan. 3. The 26-year-old has gotten right back into the thick of things, skating on the Wolves’ top line centered by Wade Megan with fellow Quebecois Samuel Blais. Through two games, Caron has an assist, two penalty minutes and five shots on goal. He has also recorded a +1 plus/minus rating. The Quebec native was sidelined for 14 games due to injury. In his previous 30 games this season, Caron logged three goals and 11 assists for 14 points along with 33 penalty minutes and a -1 plus/minus rating.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: Signed to a PTO on Monday, wing Ty Loney has two goals in his last two games with the Chicago Wolves. Loney did not contribute to the scoresheet in his first game with Chicago on Tuesday, but he made a smooth transition into the lineup skating with fellow newcomer Steven McParland — signed to a PTO on Tuesday — and fifth-year AHLer Andrew Agozzino. In his last two games, Loney has an assist, two goals and five shots on goal. He also logged a +1 plus/ minus rating and has stayed out of the penalty box. Prior to joining the Wolves, the 24-year-old has had American Hockey League experience skating in four games this season with the Albany Devils and 31 games last season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Before playing professional hockey, Loney skated four seasons at the University of Denver and helped the Pioneers capture the inaugural NCHC Championship in 2014.
- 3: This season, three Chicago Wolves have at least four points through three contests against the San Antonio Rampage, which is more points than last year’s leading scorers, Danny Kristo (2-1–3) and Petteri Lindbohm (1-2–3), had versus the Rampage through the entire season series. Coming into Sunday’s game, center Wade Megan is the Wolves’ leading scorer with five points — four goals and an assist — while captain Chris Butler and veteran Brett Sterling each have two goals and two assists in the series. For Butler, all four of his points came when the clubs met on Friday and the Wolves topped the Rampage 7-3 at Allstate Arena. He set a professional career benchmark, surpassing his previous best of three points that he set on Jan. 3 against the Charlotte Checkers with three assists.
- 23: So far this season, nine Chicago Wolves players have reached the 20-point plateau. Wade Megan, the American Hockey League’s leading goal-scorer, leads the active pack with 23 goals and 18 goals for 41 points. Andrew Agozzino is next with 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points while rookies — defenseman Vince Dunn (7-20–27) and wing Samuel Blais (16-9–25) — are the next leading scorers. Veteran Brett Sterling rounds out the top five with eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points. Defenseman Jordan Schmaltz has registered 23 points — three goals and 18 assists — in just 36 games. Not on the active roster but having skated with the Wolves during the 2016-17 season, Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev and Brad Hunt all have surpassed 20 points this season. Agostino, the AHL’s leading scorer with 60 points, was recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 5. Barbashev was recalled by St. Louis on Jan. 30 and has 37 points in a Wolves uniform this year. Brad Hunt — the defenseman that led the entire AHL in scoring through most of his 23 games — was claimed on waivers by the Nashville Predators and has been with that NHL club since Jan. 17.
- 52: On Friday, Chicago Wolves center Wade Megan netted goals No. 22 and 23 to tie and then take sole possession of the top spot on the American Hockey League’s goal-scoring leaderboard. Megan is also leading the AHL with five unassisted goals and shares the lead for empty-net markers (4) with Charlotte’s Lucas Wallmark. This season, Megan is having a career year — setting new benchmarks in goals, assists and points. The 26-year-old is on track to at least double his previous goal total (14) and nearly triple his previous career-best points total (23). A fifth-year AHLer, Megan made his National Hockey League debut and notched his first NHL marker on Dec. 22 with the St. Louis Blues. Right now, Megan is the only skater of the Wolves top three scorers currently with the team. Both Kenny Agostino and Ivan Barbashev are skating with the Blues.
Recent Game Rewind
Saturday, Feb. 11 (at) Milwaukee 4, Chicago 3
- The Wolves fell to the Admirals and ended their latest winning streak at three games.
- Milwaukee forwards Adam Payerl and Vladislav Kamenev scored just 12 seconds apart in the final five minutes of the game to earn the Amtrak Rivalry win.
- Rookie Samuel Blais, newcomer Ty Loney and NHL veteran James Wisniewski all tallied for the Wolves
- Netminder Pheonix Copley made 23 saves in the loss.
Friday, Feb. 10 (at) Chicago 7, San Antonio 3
- 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.
Sunday’s game presented by Little Debbie begins at 3:00 p.m. on CW50, presented by the Illinois Office of Tourism.
The game will also be streamed LIVE on Facebook and AHLLive.com starting at 3:00 with Jason Shaver and Billy Gardner.