Welcome to Wolves Roundup, a weekly report of highlights, notes and transactions from the Chicago Wolves’ previous week of competition during the 2016-17 season.
Last week, the Chicago Wolves collected two victories at Allstate Arena to extend their home winning streak to eight games. The feat is one shy of the team’s all-time record of nine, which it last reached in March 2003.
Chicago will attempt to match that record on Thursday (March 9) against the Cleveland Monsters. The contest will mark the third time the Wolves and Monsters have faced off at Allstate Arena in 15 days. Chicago has foiled Cleveland in the two previous meetings in Rosemont, outscoring the Monsters 11-5.
The Wolves also are on an overall six-game winning streak that began with a 4-1 road win against the Texas Stars on Feb. 17. Since then, Chicago has been on a homestand and has tallied five consecutive victories against Central Division opponents: Cleveland (2), the Iowa Wild (2) and the Manitoba Moose (1).
This season, the Wolves have been excellent on home ice and have a 22-6-1-1 record to show for it. They’ve also outscored opponents by a whopping 114-75 through 30 games. That’s the second-best home-ice goal differential – tied with the San Jose Barracuda (88-49) – behind only the Central Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins (117-75).
Chicago’s home success has also catapulted the Wolves into the No. 3 spot in the league in home win percentage with a .767 success rate. Only San Jose (.780) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (.778) have been better.
Last week was another standard week in Kenny Agostino World. The 24-year-old registered back-to-back three-point performances for his 16th and 17th multi-point showings of the season. He also extended his scoring streak to three games with eight points: three goals and five assists. Now with 21 goals and 48 assists for 69 points, the New Jersey native has a 17-point lead on the American Hockey League’s next-best scorer, the St. John’s IceCaps’ Chris Terry (22-30–52). Agostino is on pace to record 86 points this season and has been held scoreless just 13 times.
The Quebec native continued to excel as one of the Chicago Wolves’ top rookies last week. On March 4, the 20-year-old registered the first four-point game of his professional career with three assists and the game-winning goal against the Cleveland Monsters. In that same game, Blais earned his 30th point of the season to become the sixth Wolves player of the year to hit the 30-point plateau. He’s the second rookie – following defenseman Vince Dunn – to achieve the feat. Blais leads the eight-man rookie class with 19 goals and is tied with Dunn for the first-year point lead.
The recent trade acquisition made his Chicago Wolves debut on March 4 against the Cleveland Monsters. It took Malone less than 20 minutes to score his first goal, and he followed it up with another goal early in the second period to help build a 3-1 lead for the Wolves. The centerman has proven himself a major asset in the faceoff circle with a 70.6 percent success rate on the dot through his first two games with Chicago. The 27-year-old is a veteran of 176 NHL games and 219 AHL contests.
- Chicago overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Manitoba and split the four-game season series.
Left wing Kenny Agostino registered his second consecutive three-point (G, 2A) performance.
- Center Andrew Agozzino netted two goals while defensemen Morgan Ellis and James Wisniewski each collected two assists.
- Forward Scooter Vaughan also tallied and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 37 saves in the win.
- The Wolves ousted the Monsters 7-3, coming back from a one-goal deficit after Cleveland gained the lead just 2:40 into the game.
- Newcomer Brad Malone and Kenny Agostino, the league’s leading scorer, each netted two goals.
- Rookie Samuel Blais recorded four points, including the game-winning goal in the second period as well as three assists.
- Fowards Wade Megan and Scooter Vaughan also tallied in the victory.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for his 11th win.
|Thursday, March 9||vs. Cleveland^||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
|Saturday, March 11||vs. Milwaukee#||Allstate Arena||6 p.m. CT|
|Wednesday, March 15||vs. Texas^||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
|Friday, March 17||at Grand Rapids*||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m. CT|
|Saturday, March 18||vs. Grand Rapids#||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
^ AHL Live and Facebook only, * U Too, # CW50