Saturday, Dec. 2 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena | CW50 | Facebook
PULKKINEN VS. GRAND RAPIDS
It’s just Teemu Pulkkinen ’s third season of professional North American hockey not skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins. After spending the 2015-16 campaign skating with the Detroit Red Wings, Pulkkinen was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild early in the 2016-17 season. He eventually ended up in Des Moines, Iowa, with the organization’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Iowa Wild. In two games this season with the Chicago Wolves and nine games with the Wild against Grand Rapids — 11 combined contests — Pulkkinen owns four points (3G, A), 10 penalty minutes and a -2 plus/ minus rating.
On Saturday, the Chicago Wolves recalled defenseman Dmitry Osipov from loan to the Quad City Mallards. Osipov’s recall comes on the heels of Keith Aulie’s release from his professional tryout contract on Nov. 26 and Petteri Lindbohm retiring to the dressing room and not returning to Friday’s game against the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center.
The 21-year-old Osipov made his professional debut with the Wolves on Oct. 21 against the Tucson Roadrunners and finished the contest with a +1 plus/minus rating. Almost exactly one month ago — on Nov. 1 — Osipov was loaned to Quad City. Osipov was held scoreless through 13 games with Quad City and logged a -10 plus/minus rating, 12 penalty minutes and 19 shots on goal.
RULE OF THREES
On Nov. 3, Wolves goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo shut out the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-0 at Van Andel Arena to lift the Wolves’ record to 4-4-1-0. Since that time, Chicago has posted a 1-6-3-1 record as Kaskisuo, Michael Leighton and C.J. Motte have shared the crease.
Kaskisuo picked up the lone win since Nov. 3 when the Wolves defeated Rockford 4-3 on Nov, 25 at Allstate Arena. He has posted a 1-4-1 mark with a 3.06 goals-against average and .895 save percentage since Nov. 3. Leighton joined the organization on Nov. 21 and has fashioned an 0-1-2 record with a 3.97 GAA and .852 save percentage in three starts. Motte returned to Quad City (ECHL) on Nov. 21, but notched an 0-1-1 mark with a 2.92 GAA and .903 save percentage in his two starts after Nov. 3.
By the Numbers:
- 3: With goals in back-to-back games — against Iowa (Nov. 26) and Rockford (Dec. 1) — forward Teemu Pulkkinen comes into tonight’s game against his former team looking to extend his goal streak to three games. In Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Rockford IceHogs, the 25-year-old collected points No. 20 and 21 to continue leading the Chicago Wolves with eight goals and 13 assists. Pulkkinen is the first Wolves player to 20 points this season.
- 16: Center Brandon Pirri continues to be one of the Chicago Wolves’ most potent point producers with 16 points in 14 games during the 2017-18 season. On Friday, Pirri registered a goal and an assist against his former team, the Rockford IceHogs. Pirri has earned five points in the last two games, including four assists. The 26-year-old has found his scoring sweet spot at the top of the right circle. Pirri is just four points shy of becoming the second Wolves this season to reach the 20-point benchmark.
- 49: On Friday, goaltender Michael Leighton backstopped the Chicago Wolves wearing No. 49 for the first time and became the first goaltender to don those digits for the Wolves. He is also just the fourth player to wear that number for Chicago. Through
one game with his usual number on his back, Leighton owns a 0-0-1 record, 3.93 goals-against average and .875 save percentage. In two games sporting a No. 30 jersey, Leighton posted a 0-1-1 record, 3.97 GAA and .837 save percentage.
- 203: With six penalty minutes in Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss at Rockford, the Chicago Wolves crossed the 200-PIM threshold. Their 203 minutes is the third-fewest of the 30 American Hockey League teams. Through the first 20 games of the season, the Wolves consistently have been one of the league’s least-penalized teams. On Oct. 21 the Wolves logged a season-high 16 PIM and on Nov. 17 they and their opponent, Manitoba Moose, combined for 34 penalty minutes — the most for the Wolves and an opponent this season.
- 239: On a breakaway in the second period of Friday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Rockford IceHogs, veteran left wing Brett Sterling netted his 239th career American Hockey League goal. The tally moved Sterling into the No. 48 spot on the AHL’s all-time goal-scoring list with Geordie Robertson. The 33-year-old is the league’s leading active goal scorer. For the Wolves, Sterling owns 182 goals and stands the franchise’s second-best goal-scorer behind Steve Maltais, who has a firm hold on the No. spot with 454 goals. Sterling is just one point shy of tying former teammate and fellow Calder Cup champion Jason Krog for the No. 4 spot on the Wolves all-time scoring list with 342 points.
- The Wolves’ three-goal rally fell short as the IceHogs earned their second Illinois Lottery Cup win.
- Left wing Brett Sterling collected his 239th career American Hockey League goal to move into the No. 48 spot on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list.
- Forwards Brandon Pirri and Teemu Pulkkinen each recorded one goal and one assist.
- Goaltender Michael Leighton made 28 saves in the loss.
- Chicago fell in its first game of the season to Iowa.
- Center Wade Megan netted his first two goals of the season while Brandon Pirri collected three assists.
- Forward Teemu Pulkkinen snapped a 10-game goal drought and T.J. Tynan registered his second goal of the year.
- Goaltender Michael Leighton made 17 saves in the loss.
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Nov. 3, 2017
|10/27/2017||Van Andel Arena||L, 5-3|
|11/03/2017||Van Andel Arena||W, 2-0|
|12/15/2017||Van Andel Arena|
|02/21/2018||Van Andel Arena|