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.
Oh Captain, My Captain
On Sunday, Paul Thompson showed the worth that earned him the “C” he now bears on the left shoulder of his jersey.
“During a hard time, you get to see who steps up,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson.
And Paul Thompson did.
With a little over three minutes to play in regulation time Sunday against the Wolves’ in-state nemesis, the Rockord IceHogs, the 28-year-old capitalized on a breakaway chance from the center line to tie the game and force overtime.
Oh, and he did it while his team was short-handed.
“He has great support (from the staff and the team),” said Rocky Thompson. “So he is the guy we chose and we have a tremendous amount of confidence in him.”
The Wolves began the season with a rotation of three players wearing the “A.” Thompson is the only player to have worn a letter in all 14 games before Sunday. Prior to the Wolves boarding the bus to Rockford, the team met and the captain was named.
Four Games, Six Days
Tuesday, Nov. 21, marks Game 1 of four over the next six days for the Chicago Wolves. It’s also the midway point of a 12-day stretch in which the Wolves play seven games. That includes six contests against Central Divison rivals.
On Tuesday, the Texas Stars come to Allstate Arena — the only inter-divisional contest of the week — and the Wolves are looking to exact revenge against the twinkling stars who dimmed the Wolves in the opening two games of the season. In those contests, Chicago netted 10 goals but the Stars were two better to steal a pair of 6-5 victories.
Those were also the days Oscar Dansk and Max Lagace were backstopping the Wolves. Now there is a new goaltending duo in town as C.J. Motte and Kasimir Kaskisuo have split time between the pipes over the last 10 games while Dansk and Lagace play for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
When the dust settles and holiday shoppers have returned home with their Black Friday hauls, the Wolves will embark on their first three-in-three weekend of the season. Chicago will first face the Milwaukee Admirals — the club’s most common opponent so far this year — looking to earn a W after back-to-back losses (Nov. 8 and 12).
Saturday, Nov. 25, the IceHogs stampede into Allstate Arena for the first time this season for the second Illinois Lottery Cup game of the year. The Wolves and IceHogs began their season series with a bang on Sunday. Chicago rallied with two goals in the final seven minutes of regulation play to force overtime. Rockford was the victor as Vinnie Hinostroza and David Kampf scored in the shootout.
The Wolves will meet the Iowa Wild for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 26, at Allstate Arena. Iowa is ahead of Chicago for the No. 4 spot in the Central Division standings. The Wild are heating up with a five-game winning streak that includes pairs of victories against the Cleveland Monsters and IceHogs.
Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson on the team’s successes and shortcomings:
“We just haven’t scored goals. Our scoring chances were high, but our power play wasn’t scoring and that was a key for us, moving forward, that our power play did have to score. But we were playing responsible without the puck, which is good, which we want to, but at the same time we were, and still are, playing very aggressive up the ice.”
Sunday, Nov. 19 (at) RFD 4, CHI 3 (SO)
- The Wolves rallied in the third period to force overtime, but fell to Rockford during the shootout in the first Illinois Lottery Cup contest.
- Defenseman Jake Walman netted his first goal of the season and captain Paul Thompson scored on a short-handed breakaway in the final seven minutes of regulation.
- Center Ivan Barbashev collected Chicago’s first goal in the first period.
- Goaltender C.J. Motte made 36 saves in the loss.
Friday, Nov. 17 (at) Manitoba 6, Chicago 4
- Chicago dropped the second of two games against Manitoba at Bell MTS Place.
- Center Beau Bennett collected three assists while defenseman Jason Garrison and center Brandon Pirri each collected a goal and an assist.
- Veteran Brett Sterling and forward Stefan Matteau netted his third goal in two games.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 25 saves in the loss.
Wednesday, Nov. 15 (at) Manitoba 3, Chicago 2
- The Wolves fell to Manitoba for the second time this season.
- Forward Stefan Matteau netted both Chicago goals while three players tallied for the Moose.
- Wolves goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 28 saves in the loss and Manitoba’s Michael Hutchinson stopped 42 shots.
|Tuesday, Nov. 21||vs. Texas||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Friday, Nov. 24||at Milwaukee||UWM Panther Arena||7 p.m.|
|Saturdy, Nov. 25||vs. Rockford||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, Nov. 26||vs. Iowa||Allstate Arena||4 p.m.|
|Friday, Dec. 1||at Rockford||BMO Harris Bank Center||7 p.m.|
All times Central. Visit ChicagoWolves.com for a complete broadcast schedule; all games stream on Facebook and AHLLive.com.