Sunday, Feb. 26 | 3:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena
FOUR SCORE HOPING FOR MORE
The Chicago Wolves’ season series with the Iowa Wild did not start in the Wolves’ favor as the Wild skated away with a 3-2 win at Wells Fargo Arena on Nov. 18. However, the next night, Chicago rallied by blanking the Wild 5-0 at Allstate Arena. Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 20 saves for the Wolves’ lone shutout of the season. In the three meetings since, the Wolves have come away with victories and scored at least four goals each time. Through five games of the 10-game series, Chicago has outscored Iowa 20-8. The Wolves also have been better on special teams, cashing in on the power play three times in 18 chances while being perfect on the penalty kill, negating all 14 Wild power plays. Copley has been the weapon of choice for Chicago in net with starts in three of the five games this season. He’s also turned aside 68 collective shots for a .958 save percentage.
Saturday’s are for the boys
The Chicago Wolves overcame a sluggish first half Saturday night to defeat the Iowa Wild 4-1 at Allstate Arena. The contest was relatively tame until the third period when the Wolves exploded for three goals — all of which came from Chicago blueliners. Morgan Ellis netted two insurance markers, including an empty-net tally, while 20-year-old rookie defenseman Vince Dunn nabbed what stood as the game-winner at 14:45 of the third frame. The night was not without dramatics as Dunn and Kurtis Gabriel got into an on- ice scrum with 2:51 to play that carried over as the two were sent to the dressing rooms (along with others). Gabriel approached Dunn, grabbed the front of his jersey and jostled him around. Dunn was not having any of it and landed one punch that sent Gabriel down.
MIA: MAGNUS IN ACTION
Chicago Wolves left wing Magnus Paajarvi was recalled from loan Saturday by the St. Louis Blues. The journey to the NHL wasn’t long for the 25-year-old as the Blues are in town to face the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the United Center. Paajarvi is likely to skate for St. Louis in this evening’s NHL Center Division affair. The recall marks Paajarvi’s third stint with the Blues this season. The Sweden native began the year in the National Hockey League before being assigned on loan to the Wolves on Oct. 28. With the Wolves, Paajarvi has skated in 26 games and collected 18 points (7G, 11A). He did miss 18 games from Nov. 26 to Jan. 3 due to injury. At the NHL level — prior to tonight’s contest — Paajarvi has skated in 10 games for St. Louis and registered four points (3G, A) along with a +2 plus/minus rating.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 0: Through five games this season with the Chicago Wolves, right wing Ty Rattie has 13 shots but has yet to net a goal. This season marks Rattie’s fourth campaign skating in the American Hockey League. In the 198-game span, the 24-year-old has 69 goals and 68 assists for 137 points. Having played his entire AHL career exclusively with Chicago, Rattie’s 137 career points place him No. 19 on the Wolves franchise scoring list. The 24-year-old is just three points shy of passing Joey Crabb for the No. 18 spot. He is one of two active scorers on the franchise list; the other is left wing Brett Sterling (176-158–334). He’s on the hunt for nine more points to pass former teammate Jason Krog for the No. 4 spot.
4: Since signing a standard player contract on Jan. 28, defenseman James Wisniewski has skated in four contests for the Chicago Wolves and has a point in all of them. In Saturday’s game, Wisniewski picked up the secondary assist on Vince Dunn’s game-winning goal. The recently turned 33-year-old also picked up a misconduct penalty with 2:51 left in the game for being the third man in during an altercation that ended with the teams collecting 70 minutes in penalties.
- 3: On Saturday, rookie defenseman Vince Dunn and 11-year NHL veteran defenseman James Wisniewski skated as the Chicago Wolves third defensive set. The youngest and eldest members of the Wolves’ roster — born 13 years apart — helped the Wolves earn the 4-1 victory against the Iowa Wild. This season, Dunn has been a standout member of the Wolves’ rookie class; he leads the eight-man pack with nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points. The 20-year-old is Chicago’s top point-producing defenseman and has been playing a prominent role on the blue line in special teams situations. Saturday marked Wisniewski’s fourth game since signing with the Wolves on Jan. 28. However, Wisniewski has made those contests count, scoring game-tying (Feb. 11) and game-winning (Feb. 12) tallies in his first two appearances.
- 25: Happy birthday to Chicago Wolves center Bryce Gervais! The new 25-year-old will skate in his 50th game of the season with the Chicago Wolves. Through the first 49 games, Gervais owns 11 goals and five assists for 16 points. Gervais is a fan of playing in front of the home crowd and has nabbed eight of his 11 tallies at Allstate Arena. That also includes the second two-goal effort of his professional career in Chicago’s 5-0 victory against the Iowa Wild on Nov. 19. After skating last year on a professional tryout contract with Chicago following the conclusion of his senior season at the University of Minnesota Mankato, Gervais inked a two-year standard player contract with the Wolves on May 9, 2016. Because he skated in just 10 games for Chicago during the 2015-16 season, Gervais is considered part of the Wolves’ rookie class. Among novice skaters, Gervais ranks second in goals (11) and third in points (16).
- 30: Defenseman Vince Dunn netted his ninth goal of the year on Saturday night, making him the first rookie to reach 30 points this season. Dunn is on pace to surpass last season’s top-scoring rookie, current teammate Jordan Schmaltz, who collected six goals and 30 assists for 36 points. Schmaltz was also the Wolves’ top-scoring blue liner during the 2015-16 campaign. Dunn’s 30 points leads both the eight-man rookie class and defense corps. Among rookies, left wing Samuel Blais isn’t far behind with 18 goals and 10 assists for 28 points, but Dunn does have an eight-point lead on the Wolves’ No. 2 scoring defenseman, captain Chris Butler (5-17—22).
RECENT GAME REWIND
- The Wolves defeated the Wild for the fourth consecutive game.
- Defenseman Morgan Ellis netted two tallies in an 18-second stretch after rookie Vince Dunn nabbed the game-winning goal at 14:45 of the third period.
- Center Alex Friesen collected the game’s opening marker at 7:31 of the first period.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley turned aside 29 shots in the victory.
- Chicago quickly overcame a one-goal deficit for its third victory of the season against Cleveland.
- Rookie defenseman Vince Dunn (G, A) and veteran wing Magnus Paajarvi ( G, A) each tallied two points
- Defensemen Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm also scored in the win
- Netminder Pheonix Copley made 23 saves.
Little Debbie Sunday begins at 3:00 p.m. on CW50’s presented by the Illinois Office of Tourism.