Still Got It
Former Iowa Wild teammates Alex Tuch and Teemu Pulkkinen reignited their offensive spark and combined for six of Chicago’s 13 points against the Texas Stars Friday night. Playing together on the Wolves’ top line, Tuch netted three goals and an assist while Pulkkinen recorded a goal and assists on Tuch’s first two tallies. Last season with the Iowa Wild, Tuch and Pulkkinen finished second and third in team scoring. A single point separated them from each other as well as from the club’s top scorer, former Wolves captain Pat Cannone.
Blistering Blue Line
Loaned to Chicago from the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 3, defenseman Shea Theodore made his Wolves debut Friday night and recorded three points (G, 2A). The 22-year-old is no stranger to point production. In 2015-16 with the San Diego Gulls — his rookie season — Theodore recorded 37 points (9G, 28A) through 50 games. Last season with San Diego, the Langley, British Columbia, native collected 20 points (5G, 15A) in 26 games. While playing junior in the Western Hockey League, Theodore racked up 212 points in 257 games, led his team in scoring multiple seasons and once led the league’s entire defensive corps in scoring.
Tonight We Bounce Back
Last time the Chicago Wolves were in Texas — Feb. 17-18 of this year — they began their two-game road trip with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Stars. However, the next evening Chicago rallied to split the set with a 4-1 victory. The Wolves tallied in the first and third frame to bookend the Stars’ lone second-period goal. The Wolves also were battling the injury bug — on their roster as well as their NHL affiliate’s — and called in reinforcements from the ECHL’s Allen Americans. The club signed Josh Brittain and Greger Hanson to professional tryout contracts for the weekend. Hanson’s short stint was memorable as he lost a couple teeth from a puck to the face.
On Friday, the Vegas Golden Knights loaned 22-year-old forward Tobias Lindberg to the Wolves after acquiring him a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Vegas sent goaltender Calvin Pickard to Toronto in exchange for Lindberg and the Maple Leafs’ sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
By the Numbers:
- 1: Right wing Keegan Kolesar is one of two true rookies for the Chicago Wolves — neither he nor defenseman Dmitry Osipov had appeared in a professional-level hockey game entering the 2017-18 season — but the 20-year-old Kolesar made his pro hockey debut Friday night. While he did not light the lamp, Kolesar will forever be emblazoned on the game scoresheet as he and Texas rookie Samuel Laberge engaged in fisticuffs early in the second period.
- 6: The Chicago Wolves and Texas Stars will compete head-to-head in six games this season. The clubs haven’t met that many times in a campaign since 2010-11. For the last six seasons, the organizations have faced off just four times per year. This season is the ninth in which the Wolves and Stars are competing. Through 39 games, the Wolves trail the Stars 13-22-3-1. Last season was the first time since 2012-13 that Chicago finished the season series with a win percentage greater than .500 against Texas.
- 16: Sixteen players made their Chicago Wolves debuts Friday night. Forward Keegan Kolesar skated in his first professional hockey game while right wing Tomas Hyka made his North American pro hockey debut. Goaltender Maxime Lagace not only made his Wolves debut, he checked “meets former team for first time” off his to-do list. Since signing his first pro contract with the Dallas Stars in 2012, Lagace had spent his entire American Hockey League career with the Texas Stars. Forwards Beau Bennett, Stefan Matteau, Brandon Pirri, Teemu Pulkkinen, Paul Thompson, Brock Trotter, Alex Tuch, T.J. Tynan and Tyler Wong as well as defensemen Jake Bischoff, Chris Casto, Kenney Morrison and Shea Theodore also all skated with the Wolves for the first time.
- 20: At 20 years old, Keegan Kolesar is the youngest member of the Chicago Wolves this season. Last season, Chicago’s youngest member was defenseman Vince Dunn who began his tenure in Chicago at just 19 years old and turned 20 on Oct. 29. Though the Wolves’ youngest member, Dunn held his own and was a top contributor to last year’s offensive powerhouse. The Lindsay, Ontario, native led all Wolves blueliners and rookies with 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points. Dunn was also the American Hockey League’s top-scoring first-year defenseman. Kolesar, on the other hand, is known more for his bruising physical presence. In each of his final two seasons in the Western Hockey League, the Winnipeg native logged more than 100 penalty minutes. However, he also managed to produce on the scoresheet and registered back-to-back 60-point-plus seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
- The Wolves netted five goals but fell to the Stars in their 24th season opener.
- Right wing Alex Tuch scored three goals while left wing Teemu Pulkkinen and defenseman Shea Theodore each registered a goal and two assists.
- Chicago nearly erased a three-goal deficit in the third period but fell short
- Facing his former team, goaltender Maxime Lagace made 21 saves in the loss.
- The Wolves opened preseason play with a win over their in-state rival, the IceHogs.
- Chicago and Rockford traded goals in the first, but the Wolves pulled ahead 4-2 in the middle frame with goals from Travis Ewanyk, Nelson Gadoury and Brett Sterling.
- The IceHogs netted a tally at 8:09 of the third to climb back within a goal.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk turned aside 7 shots through 39:46 of play before being relieved by C.J. Motte, who made 15 saves.
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|10/06/2017||H-E-B Center||L, 6-5|
- The 2016-17 campaign marked the first time Wolves finished with a win percentage above .500 against the Stars since the 2012-13 season.
- Last season, goaltender Maxime Lagace backstopped the Stars for one game against the Wolves. Through 59 minutes of action, he allowed four goals and stopped 20 of 24 shots in a 4-3 loss.
- Through four contests last season, Chicago outscored Texas 12-8.