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Wolves Roundup: Dec. 18-24, 2017

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.

Then There Were Three

The Chicago Wolves look to finish the calendar year strong — the team has three divisional contests left in 2017. Two of those contests are against the Milwaukee Admirals — Wednesday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Dec. 29, at UWM Panther Arena — and the year concludes with an Illinois Lottery Cup contest with the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday, Dec. 30, at Allstate Arena.

The Wolves and Admirals already have met five times this season and Milwaukee owns a slight edge in the series with a 3-2-0-0 record. So far, three games have been decided by one goal, just one needed overtime and the Admirals are only outscoring the Wolves 12-10 in the series.

Chicago and Milwaukee are also No. 4 and 5, not respectively, in the Central Division standings with two points — separating the clubs. While the Wolves boast a better record in their last 10 games — 7-2-1-0 vs. 4-4- 2-0 — the Admirals won their last game, 5-3, over the Cleveland Monsters in Ohio.

The Wolves are riding a seven-game point streak, which included a six-game winning streak from Dec. 9-21, but were edged 3-2 in overtime by the IceHogs in their most recent game on Dec. 22.

When Chicago and Rockford resume Illinois Lottery Cup action on Saturday, the contest will mark the last of 2017 for both clubs. Each will be looking to end the year on a high note, but the task will prove difficult at the season series has been remarkably even.

Rockford does hold a slight advantage with a 3-2-0-0 record — the victor of the Lottery Cup is determined by head-to-head wins — but extra time has been necessary for the IceHogs to defeat the Wolves in each of their victories.

Against Rockford, Chicago has twice lost in overtime and once in its lone shootout this season. Vinnie Hinstroza was the hero after zero twice (Nov. 19 and Dec. 1). On Dec. 22, Darren Raddysh ended the game with 25 seconds left in the five-minute OT. Chicago will look to captain Paul Thompson and Brandon Pirri to continue their point-per-game pace against the IceHogs. Pirri has collected three goals and two assists against his former team while Thompson owns two goals and three assists. Thompson’s total includes a goal with 1.8 seconds on the clock to beat Rockford in regulation on Dec. 12.

Top Line

Tomas Hyka

Last week, the 24-year-old received his first recall to the NHL. While he did not make his debut, he quickly returned on loan to Chicago and was ready for two Central Division games. Though he earned just an assist in that pair of contests, Hyka did spend a lot of time on ice pestering the opponent. His lone assist came on the game-winning goal during Thursday’s School-Day matchup with Grand Rapids.

Tobias Lindberg

Since the Chicago Wolves began winning consistently, the Swede has been scoring consistently. Lindberg has points in six of Chicago’s last seven games, including a goal and assist in the club’s last two. When Lindberg gets on the scoresheet, the Wolves are unbeaten in regulation with a 6-0-1-0 record and two shutouts.

Griffin Reinhart

The North Vancouver, British Columbia, native earned an assist in both games for the Chicago Wolves last week. Reinhart also has earned a point in three of the team’s last four contests. Since returning from injury on Dec. 6, Reinhart has collected six points (G, 5A) in nine games.

T.J. Tynan

Though the Illinois native’s scoring streak came to an end against Rockford on Friday, he did earn a goal and an assist against Grand Rapids on Thursday. Tynan’s early third- period goal would stand as the game-winner when the Wolves beat the Griffins in School-Day competition for the first time in three seasons. In Chicago’s six-game winning streak, Tynan tallied at least a point in all but one game (Dec. 9 at CLE).

  • Chicago fell to Rockford to end its winning streak, but earned its 13th point in seven games.
  • Centers Tobias Lindberg and Brandon Pirri both tallied for the Wolves.
  • Rockford’s Darren Raddysh scored with 25 seconds left in overtime for the victory.
  • Goaltender Max Lagace stopped 28 of 31 shots in his first loss in six starts.

Thursday, Dec. 21 (at) Chicago 5, Grand Rapids 4

On Deck

Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Milwaukee UWM Panther Arena 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 29 at Milwaukee UWM Panther Arena 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 30 vs. Rockford Allstate Arena 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 1 at Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 12 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 3 vs. Cleveland Allstate Arena 7 p.m.

All times Central. Visit ChicagoWolves.com for a complete broadcast schedule; all games stream on AHLLive.com.