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.
After beginning the season with five games against Pacific Division opponents – including two new adversaries – the Chicago Wolves will play five games against more familiar rivals.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the Manitoba Moose make their first trip of the season to Allstate Arena for an 11 a.m. School-Day Game with the Wolves. Last season, Chicago and Manitoba split a four-game set with identical 2-2-0-0 records. The Moose outscored the Wolves by a slim margin, 12-11. Neither team derived a home or road advantage as both claimed victories in each setting.
Chicago meets its Great Lakes rival, the reigning Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, for the first time this season on Friday, Oct. 27, at Van Andel Arena. Last season, the Griffins were Chicago’s kryptonite and took the season series 8-2-0-0. However, the Wolves got it done at the end of the regular season and edged Grand Rapids by a single point for the Central Division title. But it was the Griffs that ultimately landed in a bed of roses as they finished the Wolves in five games in the Central Division Finals en route to the organization’s second championship.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena on Saturday, Oct. 28, for their first contest of the year against the Milwaukee Admirals. Chicago took the 2016-17 season series with a 7-3-1-1 record against the Admirals. However, seven of the 12 games in the series were decided by one goal and three of those contests needed extra time. While the Wolves struggled in the 3-on-3 overtime frame, dropping both OT contests against Milwaukee, they did manage to snag the “W” in the Dec. 30 game that was decided in a shootout.
Some familiar faces have also joined the Wolves roster as centers Ivan Barbashev (Oct. 22) and Wade Megan (Oct. 19) were loaned to the club by the St. Louis Blues. Megan has already skated in two games for Chicago this season and collected two assists and six shots in that span. Barbashev will be available on Wednesday to make his 2017-18 Wolves debut.
Forward Keegan Kolesar and goaltender C.J. Motte also returned to the fold on Oct. 19. Kolesar made his professional debut with Chicago on Oct. 6 against the Texas Stars in the season opener and has skated in three games total for the club this year while Motte signed a professional tryout contract with the club.
Recalled from loan by the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 19 to serve as Malcolm Subban’s backup, the 23-year-old ended up jumping in net in relief of the injured Subban during the third period of Saturday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues. Though he allowed a game-tying goal on the first shot he faced, Dansk was perfect the rest of the night with 10 saves and earned his first NHL victory when Vegas broke through in overtime.
It was a busy week for the 24-year-old goalie. Following his first AHL victory of the season on Oct. 14, Lagace was recalled by the Vegas Golden Knights when Marc-Andre Fleury was placed on injured reserve. Then, he and Oscar Dansk swapped places on Oct. 19. Again following his second victory – Sunday’s 2-1 overtime win against the Tucson Roadrunners – Lagace was recalled from loan to join Dansk as Vegas’ active goaltenders with both Fleury and Malcolm Subban on IR. Lagace has been in net for both of Chicago’s victories this season.
Though his point streak ended as he was held scoreless in Chicago’s 4-3 loss to the Tucson Roadrunners Saturday night at Allstate Arena, Pulkkinen got back on the horse in Sunday’s contest. He netted Chicago’s only goals in the a 2-1 overtime victory to split the two-game set with Tucson. The 25-year-old Finn scored on a 3-on-0 break away as well as a slapshot from the point to win the contest. Sitting atop the American Hockey League scoring leaderboard, Pulkkinen owns 11 points (4G, 7A) through five games and four of five games have been multi-point affairs.
- Chicago rebounded during overtime of a tight defensive game to split a two-game set with Tucson.
- Forward Teemu Pulkkinen netted both Wolves goals for his first multi-goal game of the season.
- The Roadrunners’ lone goal was their second short-handed marker in as many games against the Wolves.
- Goaltender Max Lagace earned his second victory of the year with a 23-save performance.
- The Wolves fell to the Roadrunners in the visitors’ Allstate Arena debut.
- Defenseman Shea Theodore registered a goal and an assist while center Wade Megan collected two assists in his 2017-18 Wolves debut.
- Forwards Tomas Hyka and Paul Thompson also scored for Chicago.
- Goaltender Max Lagace turned aside 25 shots in the loss.
|Wednesday, Oct. 25||vs. Manitoba||Allstate Arena||11 a.m.|
|Friday, Oct. 27||at Grand Rapids||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m.|
|Saturday, Oct. 28||vs. Milwaukee||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Friday, Nov. 3||at Grand Rapids||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m.|
|Wednesday Nov. 8||at Milwaukee||UMW Panther Arena||10:30 a.m.|