Wednesday, March 22 | 6:00 p.m. | Quicken Loans Arena
CURTAIN CALL AT THE Q
Wednesday night marks the Chicago Wolves’ swan song at Quicken Loans Arena for the 2016-17 regular season. After Tuesday’s 4-1 loss, the Wolves are 1-3-0-1 through five games this season at the Q. While Chicago has fared far better overall than the reigning Calder Cup champion this season, Cleveland has had the edge on the Wolves head-to-head. Through the first 10 games of the season set, the Monsters hold a 6-4-0-0 edge, However, the Wolves have a slight 28-27 edge in goals. Chicago gets to host the series finale on April 1 at Allstate Arena, where the Wolves have compiled a 3-0-2-0 record against Cleveland.
BURNED BY SPECIAL TEAMS
The Chicago Wolves gave up two power-play goals and a short-handed tally as the Cleveland Monsters ousted them 4-1 Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena. Going into the contest, the Wolves had allowed the Monsters just two power-play goals through nine games. Conversely, Cleveland had already surrendered four goals to Chicago. Now the clubs now boast identical power-play and penalty-kill rates at 12.9 percent and 87.1 percent, respectively, for the series. The Wolves’ power play, which ranks eighth in the AHL, couldn’t muster a goal in four tries Tuesday and gave up a short-handed marker on their third man advantage. On the penalty kill, the Wolves gave up a pair of goals for the first time since March 5 in a 5-4 victory against the Manitoba Moose.
UNLUCKY NO. 13
In a bid to tie the longest franchise point streak since the 2009-10 season – 14 games – the Chicago Wolves fell one game short. Cleveland earned a 4-1 victory Tuesday to become the first time to defeat the Wolves in regulation time since the Milwaukee Admirals on Feb. 11 with a 4-3 victory at UWM Panther Arena. During their 13-game point stint, the Wolves posted a 9-0-4-0 record that included one victory in overtime and one in a shootout. Seven of their nine wins also came on home ice where the club has been successful all season, earning an overall 23-6-3-1 record (.758) that ranks second in the league to San Jose. In the 13-game span, Chicago outscored opponents 47-31.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
This season, the Wolves have been outshot in 39 of their 65 games, but the club has found a way to win almost 50 percent of those games with 19 victories and six contests going to extra time. Three times this season, Chicago and its opponent have had a deadlocked shot count when the game clock reached zero. Through all 65 games this season, the Wolves have been an offensive force with an average of 3.37 goals per game. Though they’ve been outshot often, the squad is still averaging 28.7 shots per game.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 0: The Chicago Wolves’ top line — Kenny Agostino, Samuel Blais and Wade Megan — was held scoreless Tuesday. Prior to the 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Monsters, the trio has tallied at least one point in each of the eight games for Chicago dating back to Feb. 26 against the Iowa Wild at Allstate Arena. Of the 68 points scored by Wolves players in those contests, Agostino, Blais and Megan accounted for 31 of them; almost 46 percent of the team’s total points. Overall, the top line has accounted for 165 — 28.4 percent — of the Wolves’ 582 points this season.
- 7: Cleveland Monsters defenseman Jaime Sifers — a former member of the Chicago Wolves organization who won the Tim Breslin Unsung Hero Award in 2011 — has seven points (4G, 3A) through 10 games against the Wolves this season. Of his four goals, two of those have been game-winning tallies and one was an overtime marker. Prior to being released from his professional tryout contract with Cleveland on March 17, another former Wolves player, Akim Aliu, was also a burr under Chicago’s saddle. Aliu averaged a point per game, collecting two goals and an assist versus the Wolves.
- 100: On March 18, Brad Malone collected his 100th career American Hockey League point. One of seven veterans on the Chicago Wolves roster, Malone has appeared in a combined 401 AHL and NHL games. His career spans seven seasons and five teams. Selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round — 105th overall — of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Malone has skated in 176 career NHL games. At the AHL level, the 27-year-old has appeared in 225 AHL contests and registered 39 goals and 61 assists in that span. The New Brunswick native joined the Wolves on Feb. 27 as part an NHL trade between the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals that sent Wolves goaltender Phoenix Copley and Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the nation’s capital. Rookie center Zach Sanford came with Malone to the Midwest. Sanford was papered to the Wolves at the trade deadline — in case the Blues need to loan him to the club later in the season — but is currently with St. Louis.
- 138: Right wing Ty Rattie has 138 points — 70 goals and 68 assists — in a Chicago Wolves uniform. That total places him at No. 19 on the franchise all-time scoring list, and he’s just two points shy of passing Joey Crabb (55–84—139). This season has been a turbulent one for the 24-year-old, and he has appeared in just 22 games split between the Carolina Hurricanes (5), Chicago Wolves (13) and St. Louis Blues (4). Through those contests, Rattie has just four points (G, 3A). The Alberta native didn’t score his first goal on the 2016-17 season until March 17 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. He scored the first of four goals for the Wolves in a 5-4 overtime loss.
- 250: Tuesday marked Jordan Caron’s 250th game in the American Hockey League. Selected by the Boston Bruins in the first round — 25th overall — of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the 26-year-old is in his seventh season of professional hockey. That time has been split between the AHL and NHL. Caron has appeared in 157 NHL games — with the Bruins and Colorado Avalanche — and collected 28 points (12G, 16A). The majority of his AHL career has been spent with the Providence Bruins, but he has played the last two seasons with the Chicago Wolves. Last season, his first with Chicago, Caron was third in goals (17) and fourth in team scoring (36). This year, veteran has been hampered by injuries, missing a combined 18 games in two separate stints. However, Caron has found a role on a line with center Brad Malone and fellow wing Ty Loney; he has amassed 22 points (4G, 18A) through 46 games and owns the team’s longest current point streak at three games.
- Chicago lost their fourth contest of the season to the Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena.
- Right wing Ty Loney scored the Wolves’ lone goal of the game while four different skaters tallied for Cleveland.
- In his second consecutive start, rookie netminder Ville Husso made 24 saves in the loss.
- The Wolves fell to the Griffins in overtime for the second time in as many nights.
- Grand Rapids led 2-0 early, but Samuel Blais rallied Chicago with two goals to force overtime.
- Center Ben Street delivered the game-winning goal at 3:49 of extra time for the Griffins win.
- Goaltender Ville Husso made 28 saves his first start in 13 games; the contest also marked his first overtime loss of the season.