Wednesday, Feb. 22 | 11:00 a.m. | Allstate Arena
WELCOME TO MY HOUSE
The Chicago Wolves kick off a six-game homestand against the reigning Calder Cup champion Cleveland Monsters Wednesday morning. The stint is comprised entirely of Central Division matchups with Cleveland (3), the Iowa Wild (2) and the Manitoba Moose. It also marks the longest home showing of the 2016-17 season for Chicago. The Wolves have a 17-6-1-1 record when playing at Allstate Arena, and in the club’s last homestand — Jan. 3-7 — Chicago collected three wins that were part of the team’s season-high eight-game victory streak. During the homestand, the Wolves outscored opponents 16-6 and were perfect on the penalty kill while recording a 41.7 success rate on the power play.
On Sunday, Ty Rattie joined the Chicago Wolves for his second stint of the season with the club. The 24-year-old was returned on loan to Chicago after the St. Louis Blues claimed him off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. Rattie appeared in three games for the Wolves during a conditioning assignment Nov. 9-11. The Airdrie, Alberta, native has spent parts of four seasons with Chicago, appearing in 196 games while registering 69 goals and 68 assists for 137 points. Rattie is one of only two active players — the other is left wing Brett Sterling at No. 5 — on the Wolves Top 35 all-time scoring list. His 137 points rank No. 19 and place him right behind Joey Crabb (55–84—139). At the NHL level, Rattie has appeared in 35 games over the course of four seasons. The former Portland Winterhawk (WHL) recorded four goals and six assists for 10 points in that span, as well as a -2 plus/minus rating and six penalty minutes.
The Band is Back Together
The Chicago Wolves recently welcomed back Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev, Wade Megan and Magnus Paajarvi. The quartet — which includes three of the Wolves’ top four scorers — was returned on loan to the Wolves by the St. Louis Blues over the weekend. Agostino returned to the Wolves on Feb. 18 and, though he missed five American Hockey League games, his 60 points (18G, 42A) still top the league’s scoring race. The 24-year-old is 12 points in front of the AHL’s second-leading scorer, Taylor Beck of the Bakersfield Condors. Barbashev returns to the team as the squad’s third-highest scorer with 37 points (19G, 18A) in 45 games. The 25-year-old Paajarvi comes back to Chicago with six goals and 10 assists in 25 AHL games. Paajarvi missed extended time during the season due to injury. Megan, Chicago’s second-best scorer, officially returned to the club on Feb. 17 but his same-day flight did not land in Texas in time for that evening’s game. However, he skated in the Wolves’ 4-1 victory over the Texas Stars on Saturday.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: Andrew Agozzino picked up two points — the game-winning goal and an assist — in the Wolves’ 4-1 victory over the Texas Stars on Feb. 18. The 26-year-old earned first-star honors in the contest that was his first since serving a one-game suspension incurred for a head contact penalty in the Wolves’ Feb. 12 game against the San Antonio Rampage. Agozzino ranks fourth among Chicago skaters in scoring with 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points. This season with the Wolves, Agozzino has been special teams force with six power-play and two short-handed tallies to his name. Agozzino also displayed some overtime heroics in the Wolves’ 3-2 triumph against the Rockford IceHogs on Feb. 4 at Allstate Arena. After Wade Megan was called for interference in the extra frame, center Alex Friesen cleared the puck off a defensive-zone faceoff. Agozzino was aggressive on the forecheck and chased the puck down, stripping an unsuspecting Lars Johansson and winning the footrace to the front of the net to score.
- 3: The Chicago Wolves recently released three players from professional tryout contracts. Josh Brittain and Greger Hanson — both from the Allen Americans — served as weekend warriors for the Wolves, helping fill the 20-man game roster as Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev, Wade Megan and Magnus Paajarvi all well recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues while various other players were out due to injury and illness. Brittain served as the fourth-line center and made contributions on the faceoff dot. Hanson primarily skated as a fourth-line wing; he finished his two-game stint with a +1 plus/minus rating and three fewer teeth. In the Feb. 10 contest, Texas Stars defenseman Matt Mangene cross-checked Hanson in the face, chipping three of his chiclets. While Hanson did return to the game, Mangene was assessed a match penalty and then handed a six-game suspension that he began serving the next evening. On Feb. 7, forward Steven McParland signed a PTO with the Wolves and made his American Hockey League debut the same evening in Chicago’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center. During his second game on Feb. 10, the 26-year-old collected his first AHL point, assisting on Chris Butler’s late first-period goal. In all, the Ontario native skated in three games with Chicago and registered an assist with +2 plus/minus rating and four penalty minutes. McParland was released from his PTO on Tuesday.
- 33: Happy belated birthday, James Wisniewski! Tuesday, the Chicago Wolves’ newest defenseman turned 33. An 11-year veteran of the National Hockey League, Wisniewski signed a standard player contract with the Wolves on Jan. 29. The Canton, Michigan, native has dressed for three games and is averaging a point per game. In his second game on Feb. 12, Wisniewski sealed a four-game series sweep for the Wolves over the San Antonio Rampage, netting the game-winning goal late in the third period for a 3-2 victory.
158: Recent returnees: Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev, Wade Megan and Magnus Paajarvi have account for 158 of the Chicago Wolves’ 484 points this season. The four skaters are responsible for 32.6 percent of the team’s total points. Three of those four players — Agostino, Barbashev and Megan — are 1-2-3 in team scoring, respectively. Though he missed five games while skating in the National Hockey League, Agostino still holds a 12-point lead in the American Hockey League scoring with 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points. His 42 helpers are also a league best. He missed just one game during his second stint with the Blues, but Megan did fall to second in the AHL goal-scoring race as the Toronto Marlies’ Byron Froese broke a first-place tie on Feb. 17 with a goal against the Manitoba Moose. The Wolves’ Feb. 17.
RECENT GAME REWIND
- The Wolves topped the Stars for the first time in three seasons at HEB Center.
- Forward Andrew Agozzino (G, A) and defenseman Chris Butler (2A) led the offensive with two points.
- Forwards Samuel Blais, Conner Bleackley and Brett Sterling also tallied in the victory.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 27 saves and turned aside a penalty shot.
- The Wolves fell to the Stars for the seventh consecutive game at HEB Center.
- Chicago thrice rallied from one-goal deficits with tallies from Samuel Blais, Morgan Ellis and Ty Loney.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 25 saves — four in overtime – in the loss.