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.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Wolves travel west for their first road trip to California in 18 seasons. The three- game roadie includes contests against the Bakersfield Condors, Ontario Reign and San Diego Gulls.
Two of the three teams — Ontario and San Diego — the Wolves already have faced this season. Those teams made their first visits to Allstate Arena on Oct. 14 and Dec. 6, respectively. Both contests were victories for the Wolves. Chicago topped the Reign 5-2 in the 2017 home opener and bested the Gulls 3-1 for their first win in December.
The Wolves will see some familiar faces when they meet the Condors for the first time — Brad Malone and Ty Rattie. Prior to joining Bakersfield this season, Rattie skated his entire AHL career with the Wolves. With 215 games in a gold and burgundy sweater, Rattie ranks 18th all-time in Wolves scoring as he totaled 71 goals and 70 assists for 141 points.
Malone joined Chicago in a February 2017 trade that included Zach Sanford and sent Phoenix Copley to the Washington Capitals. Malone was just the second player — and the first skater — to don No. 40 for the Wolves.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
The Chicago Wolves will have to check some extra baggage when they head to California. The team will set a franchise record if they can extend their 14-game point streak to 15 or more games.
The streak was matched last weekend in spectacular fashion. On Friday, the club battled the AHL’s top- ranked Manitoba squad in a game that included two hat tricks, a two-goal rally and one overtime winner by Teemu Pulkkinen. That game just brought the Wolves to the cusp of matching the record.
On Saturday, Kasimir Kaskisuo backstopped the Wolves with a 32-save shutout to match the 14-game franchise record set in 2007. It also marked the second time Kaskisuo blanked the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-0 this season. Wednesday’s 9 p.m. game at San Diego will be Chicago’s chance to rewrite the franchise record.
The 24-year-old earned his second shutout of the season as he turned aside 32 shots versus the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday. The feat marked the second time this season the Kaskisuo has blanked the Griffins; the first time was Nov. 3 when he made 33 saves en route to the Chicago Wolves’ first shutout of the season. With just 47 shutouts throughout the AHL this season, the Finland native is one of 13 goaltenders with a league-best two shutouts.
On Friday, the Finn scored in overtime to lift the Chicago Wolves over the top-ranked Manitoba Moose and keep the team’s point streak alive. The tally snapped his eight-game goal drought. Pulkkinen also earned an assist on Wednesday when the Cleveland Monsters paid their first visit to Allstate Arena.
On Thursday, the 26-year-old was selected as a 2018 AHL All-Star and on Friday, Pirri netted three goals for the second hat trick of his career. The Toronto native is one of the three goal scorers who accounted for all six Chicago goals in the club’s last two games. Pirri’s all-star selection marks his third such honor. In 2014, he earned the Most Valuable Player award with three points (2G, A) in that all-star game.
The Captain continued to lead by example and netted the Chicago Wolves’ only two goals in Saturday’s shutout against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The two tallies gave Thompson sole possession of the No. 2 spot in team goal scoring with a dozen goals on the season. He and Tomas Hyka are tied for the fourth spot in team scoring with 22 points.
- Chicago extended its point streak to 13 games with an overtime win over the league leaders.
- Forward Teemu Pulkkinen scored the game-winning goal just 49 seconds into the extra frame.
- 2018 All-Star selection Brandon Pirri nettted his second career three-goal performance.
- Manitoba’s Buddy Robinson also collected a hat trick.
- Goaltender Max Lagace made 21 saves in the victory
- The Wolves pushed their point streak to a dozen games with a win over the Monsters.
- Forward Tomas Hyka collected three points (G, 2A) while Tobias Lindberg collected two (G, A).
- Cleveland rallied with three straight goals to tie the game before Chicago netted two third-period tallies for the win.
- Forwards Beau Bennett, Bryce Gervais (GWG), and T.J. Tynan also scored.
- Goaltender Max Lagace made 21 saves for his ninth win of the season.0
|Wednesday, Jan. 10||at San Diego||Valley View Casino Center||9 p.m.|
|Friday, Jan. 12||at Bakersfield||Rabobank Arena||9 p.m.|
|Saturday, Jan. 13||at Ontario Reign||Citizens Business Bank Arena||8 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Jan. 17||at Iowa Wild||Wells Fargo Arena||7 p.m.|
|Saturday, Jan. 20||vs. Bakersfield||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|