Tuesday, Nov. 8 | 10:30 a.m. | UMW Panther Arena

We’re No. 1

The Chicago Wolves come into Wednesday’s game versus the Milwaukee Admirals with the American Hockey League’s top penalty kill. Chicago is clicking along at a 90 percent success rate as Rocky Thompson’s squad has allowed just four goals while being shorthanded a total of 40 times this season. The Wolves were 11 for 11 in their last two games, which includes an Oct. 28 contest against the then Central Division-leading Admirals in which they killed all five infractions en route to a 2-1 victory.

LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN

So far during the 2017-18 American Hockey League campaign, the 30 teams have racked up a total of 5,008 penalty minutes — an average of 167 minutes per squad. However, the Chicago Wolves are the AHL’s least penalized team — and the only club with fewer than 100 minutes — with just 95 penalty minutes to their credit. Chicago boasts the second lowest minutes-per-game average with 10.56; only the Bakersfield Condors are better with a 10.50 average.

WEAKEST LINK

While the Chicago Wolves penalty kill is atop the American Hockey League, the club’s power play has slipped in the rankings. Prior to Chicago’s last game on Nov. 3, the team’s power play was still among the league’s top five units. However, after failing to net a man-advantage marker in four attempts on that date, the Wolves are now tied with the Rockford IceHogs for the No. 6 spot with a 19.6 percent success rate. The Wolves are just two for 19 — or 10.5 percent — on the power play in their last four games.

November Skid

After opening the season with a four-game win streak and winning five of seven October games, the Milwaukee Admirals are off to a less-than-stellar start to November. Through the club’s first three contests of the month, they own a 1-2-0-0 record with a pair of losses courtesy of the reigning Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins. Milwaukee’s lone win of November was against the Rockford IceHogs, with whom the Admirals are playing leapfrog for the Central Division’s top spot.

By the Numbers:

  • 0: In 2016-17, the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals each posted a shutout in the 12- game season series — an impressive feat considering the teams combined for 71 goals and averaged nearly six goals per game. Additionally, seven of the dozen games were decided by just one goal — including one of the shutouts— and three of those contests needed extra time for a winner to emerge.
  • <2: The Chicago Wolves have earned all four of their wins when they allow opponents two or fewer goals in a game. The Wolves recorded their first win of the season in the home opener on Oct. 14 against the Ontario Reign, and in the contest, the Wolves scored five goals for the third consecutive game for a 5-2 victory. However, since that victory, Chicago has gained its victories by smaller margins with a pair of 2-1 wins and a 2-0 shutout.
  • 3: Three goaltenders have helped the Chicago Wolves earn wins this season. Before being recalled from loan on Oct. 22 — due to injuries to the three goaltenders before him — by the Vegas Golden Knights, Max Lagace backstopped the Wolves for the first two victories of the season. That included a 5-2 victory over the Ontario Reign in the home opener on Oct. 14 and a 2-1 victory on Oct. 22 to split the inaugural series at Allstate Arena with the Tucson Roadrunners. Five days later, in his first start wearing a Wolves sweater, 25-year-old C.J. Motte made 27 saves en route to a 2-1 victory against the Milwaukee Admirals. On Nov. 3, in his third start for the Wolves since being loaned from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 23, Kasimir Kaskisuo posted a 33-save shutout against the reigning Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins. The shutout marked Kaskisuo’s second shutout in his 13-game American Hockey League career and the first time the Wolves shut out an opponent since March 31 against the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • 3.11: This season, the Chicago Wolves are averaging 3.11 goals per game. That’s only 0.19 less than last season’s 3.30 goals-per-game average that helped the Wolves earn the division title. While a 3.11 average through nine games is solid— it’s good enough for the No. 15 spot among 30 AHL teams — it’s exactly the same average number of goals the team gives up per game.
  • 9: Nine skaters have been a part of all four Chicago Wolves wins this season. Forwards Tomas HykaTobias LindbergMackenzie MacEachernStefan MatteauTeemu PulkkinenPaul Thompson and T.J. Tynan as well as defensemen Jake Bischoff and Petteri Lindbohm have all been active for Chicago’s four victories. Seven of the nine — Bischoff, Hyka, Lindbohm, Matteau, Pulkkinen, Thompson and Tynan — have skated in all nine Wolves games this season. Lindberg and MacEachern have appeared in six (4-2-0-0) and seven (4-3-0-0) games, respectively, and are the only two Wolves players to own a record better than .500 while contributing to all four victories.

Game Review

Friday, Nov. 3 Chicago 2, (at) Grand Rapids 0

  • The Wolves shut out the Griffins for the first time since Jan. 29, 2010, for the club’s first road victory of the season.
  • Michigan native Mackenzie MacEachern’s first-period goal served as the game-winner while perennial 40-point scorer T.J. Tynan collected his first goal on the season with an empty-net marker late in the third period.
  • Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo posted 33 saves for his first victory with the Wolves.

Saturday, Oct. 28 (at) Chicago 2, Milwaukee 1

  • Chicago rallied in the third period with two goals 1:58 apart to capsize Milwaukee.
  • Forward Teemu Pulkkinen and defenseman Shea Theodore each tallied for the Wolves.
  • Goaltender C.J. Motte made 27 saves for his first victory in a Wolves sweater.