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.
Livin’ on the Edge
Following Sunday’s 4-3 overtime setback against the Charlotte Checkers at Allstate Arena, the Chicago Wolves are now on the brink of being eliminated from the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Wolves are down two games to one in best-of five Central Division Semifinals action. As the higher-seeded contender, Chicago elected to play the first two games of the series on the road in Charlotte at Bojangles’ Coliseum, and then return home to Allstate Arena for the final games of the series.
Chicago dropped the opening game of the series as Checkers rookie center Lucas Wallmark netted two goals and goaltender Tom McCollum turned aside 20 shots to blank the Wolves 4-0.
However, Chicago rebounded in Game 2 and edged the Checkers 3-2 in regulation. Rookie forwards Samuel Blais and Adam Musil combined for five points in the contest, including two goals. Musil — appearing in just his fourth professional game — registered the game-winning tally. Blais factored on all three Wolves markers with a goal and two assists.
In Game 3, the Wolves had a lethargic first period and trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. However, the pack rallied in the second period and evened the game in the opening 2:12 of the frame. The teams traded goals early in the third frame to even the game 3-3. During overtime, Chicago’s best chance came when Andrew Agozzino had a breakaway chance but he could not convert. Not long after, Connor Brickley delivered the game-ending goal to put the Checkers on top 2-1 in the series.
After a solid regular season with the Chicago Wolves, Blais brought his talents to the ice for Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals in which the Wolves needed to pull even with the Charlotte Checkers in the fivegame series. In that contest, Blais factored on all three Wolves goals — collecting a goal and two assists — to help Chicago overcome the Checkers and even the series at one game apiece. Through three Calder Cup Playoff contests, Blais has three points, a +1 plus/minus rating and four shots on goal.
After appearing in just two regular-season games for the Chicago Wolves, the 20-yearold made his American Hockey League Calder Cup Playoffs debut on Thursday, April 20, in Charlotte. While his first game wasn’t impressive — the Wolves were shut out 4-0 — Games 2 and 3 were more telling of his abilities. In Game 2 against the Checkers, Musil tallied two points that included an assist and the third-period game-winning goal. The Delta, British Columbia, native also blocked a shot using his face in the dying seconds of play. In Sunday’s Game 3 loss at Allstate Arena, Musil again was up-to-par with a goal early in the second period. Through three playoff contests with the Wolves, Musil has two goals and an assist for three points, in addition to a +1 plus/minus rating and seven shots on goal.
Last week, the 23-year-old has been getting his frequent flyer miles as he traversed the country bouncing between the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Twice returned on loan by the Blues in a three-day span, Schmaltz has skated in all three Central Division Semifinals games with Chicago and tallied two assists along with a +2 plus/minus rating and six shots on goal. As he did throughout the regular season, the Wisconsin native has been been skating on the club’s top defensive pairing with captain Chris Butler. Schmaltz made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut on April 12 against the Minnesota Wild and his Calder Cup debut on April 20 against the Charlotte Checkers.
- Charlotte held on for the overtime victory and took a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals.
- The Checkers jumped out a 2-0 in the first period, but the Wolves rallied in the opening minutes of the second frame as forwards Kenny Agostino and Adam Musil both scored to even the game, 2-2.
- In the third, Charlotte scored first but Chicago quickly responded when right wing Ty Loney tallied to even the game again.
- In overtime, Charlotte’s Connor Brickley netted the game winner at 9:28. • Rookie goalie Ville Husso made 30 saves in just his third North American playoff start.
Friday, April 21 Chicago 3, (at) Charlotte 2
- The Wolves edged the Checkers to even the Central Division Semifinals 1-1.
- Rookie left wing Samuel Blais collected three points (G, 2A) while first-year center Adam Musil recorded the game-winning goal and an assist.
- Rookie goalie Ville Husso made 37 saves to pick up his first postseason victory.
Thursday, April 20 (at) Charlotte 4, Chicago 0
- The Checkers blanked the Wolves in the opening game of the Central Division Semifinals of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
- Rookie Lucas Wallmark put up three points (2G, A) while Tom McCollum rejected 20 shots to earn the shutout.
- Wolves rookie netminder Ville Husso stopped 23 of 26 shots in his North American postseason debut.
|Tuesday, April 25||vs. Charlotte*||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
|Wednesday, April 26**||vs. Charlotte*||Allstate Arena||7 p.m. CT|
Some Central Divisional Semifinal games will be broadcast on The U Too. Visit ChicagoWolves.com for a complete broadcast schedule; all games stream live on AHLLive.com.