Welcome to Wolves Roundup, a weekly report of highlights, notes and transactions from the Chicago Wolves’ previous week of competition during the 2017-18 season.
Chance of Reign
The Wolves kick off their 2017-18 home schedule on Saturday, Oct. 14, against the Ontario Reign, one of four new opponents Chicago will face this season. The Wolves return to Allstate Arena in search of their first victory for 2017-18.
But Chicago likes its odds as last season home was where the wins were. The Wolves finished the 2016- 17 campaign with a 27-7-3-1 record at Allstate Arena and outscored opponents by an average of 1.08 goals per game on home ice.
Through 23 seasons, the Wolves boast a 14-6-2-1 record in their first appearance at home. However, the club is looking to start a new streak after dropping last year’s home opener to the now-Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins.
Get the Heck out of Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the scores, as the Chicago Wolves and Texas Stars combined for 22 goals in two games over the weekend at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park. The Wolves received the raw end of the deal, dropping both contests by a scored of 6-5.
Pulkkinen and Tuch looked like the duo hadn’t missed a beat since the middle of the 2016-17 season when they were teammates on the Iowa Wild roster. Tuch netted three goals for a hat trick and Pulkkinen assisted on two of those markers.
Theodore, a defenseman, logged three goals and two assists for five points this weekend. He also put 11 shots on net and, along with Pulkkinen, leads the Wolves in shots on goal.
The native of Finland hasn’t lost a beat and recorded a goal and four assists in his Chicago Wolves debut this weekend. On Friday, Pulkkinen netted a power-play goal and assisted on two of his former Iowa Wild teammate Alex Tuch’s goals. The 25-year-old also helped set up both of defenseman Shea Theodore’s goals in Saturday’s contest. Unfortunately, his offensive efforts were not enough and the Wolves began the season with 0-1-1-0 record.
Through two games over the weekend, the 22-year-old collected three goals and two assists for five points. Theodore arrived to Cedar Park, Texas, on Friday in time for puck drop against the Texas Stars. The Langley, British Columbia, native — along with Teemu Pulkkinen and Alex Tuch — were the Wolves’ three best players in the 6-5 loss. The next night, Theodore led the Wolves offense with two goals. However, his efforts were not enough and the Wolves again fell to the Texas Stars 6-5 (this time in overtime) at H-E-B Center.
On Friday, Tuch rang in his tenure with the Chicago Wolves and scored three goals for the 94th all-time hat trick by a player in a Wolves uniform. Tuch added an assist in the contest but his four-point night could not help Chicago overcome the Texas Stars and the Wolves fell 6-5. Tuch was held off the scoresheet in Saturday’s game but he still mustered three shots on net to end the weekend with seven — just four behind the Wolves shot leaders, Teemu Pulkkinen and Shea Theodore.
- Chicago again collected five goals, including three in the third period, but still fell to the Stars.
- Defenseman Shea Theodore registered two tallies while rookie Tyler Wong recorded his first professional goal and newcomer Tomas Hyka notched his first North American professional marker.
- The Wolves rallied from a 4-2 deficit with three consecutive goals in the third, but the Stars tied the game and eventually won in the bonus frame.
- Rookie netminder Oscar Dansk turned aside 30 shots in his first American Hockey League contest since the 2014-15 campaign.
- 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.
|Saturday, Oct. 14||vs. Ontario||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 21||vs. Tucson||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, Oct. 22||vs. Tucson||Allstate Arena||4 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Oct. 25||vs. Manitoba||Allstate Arena||11 a.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 27||at. Grand Rapids||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m.|