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The Chicago Wolves wrap up a four-game road trip tonight with a finale at Wells Fargo Arena. While the team did not live up to their potential on the West Coast — they returned to the Midwest with one out of three possible wins — a game against the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena provides the club with their most optimal chance to get back in the win column on the road. Since the Wild joined the AHL ahead of the 2013-14 season, Chicago owns a dominant 17-1-2-1 record at Wells Fargo Arena. The team’s lone regulation loss came during the 2016-17 campaign in the season series opener on Nov. 18.
After three straight games against new Pacific Division opponents, the Chicago Wolves are facing a Central Division foe for the first time since Jan. 6 when the Grand Rapids Griffins visited Allstate Arena. Tonight, the Wolves battle with the Iowa Wild who they last met on Jan. 1. Chicago edged Iowa 2-1 to open the new calendar year with a W and push their eventual franchise-record-tying point streak to 11 games. Additionally, the Wolves have faced the Wild an average of 10 games per season since Iowa joined the AHL for the 2013-14 campaign.
Forward Tomas Hyka continues to be the Chicago Wolves’ most productive player. While the Wolves returned from California to the Midwest with a 1-2-0-0 record, the 24-year-old Hyka accrued five points (G, 4A) in three games and improved his statistics since Jan. 1 to nine points (2G, 7A) in seven games, which is a team best. Hyka’s point production has pushed him into the No. 3 spot in club scoring and has him three points (11-16–27) shy of joining Brandon Pirri (15-15–30) and Teemu Pulkkinen (11-19–30) as Chicago’s 30-point scorers.
On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights recalled defenseman Jason Garrison from loan. Since joining the Chicago Wolves on Oct. 28, the 33-year-old veteran has skated in 31 games and accrued 18 points (4G, 14A), which makes him the Wolves’ top point-producing defenseman. He is eighth among all team skaters in scoring. In NHL action, the British Columbia native has appeared in more than 500 games with four teams — Vegas, the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vancouver Canucks — and collected 159 points (48G, 111A).
By the Numbers:
- 0: The Iowa Wild have zero wins on the season when trailing after two periods — a 0-12-0-0 record in such situations. Conversely, the Chicago Wolves own a 13-2-1-0 record when leading after two periods of play for a .844 win percentage. When trailing, the Wolves aren’t much better than Iowa as they own a 2-9-3-1 record that translates to a .267 points percentage.
- 2: On Dec. 16, T.J. Tynan netted the first hat trick of his career against the Iowa Wild. In that contest, two of his three goals were short-handed tallies, which matched an AHL individual game-high this season for shorties — Charlotte’s Warren Foegele first completed the feat on Oct. 7. Center Wade Megan earned two short-handed assists in that Dec. 16 game, which also stands as an AHL individual game-high this season.
- 4: Every skater on the Chicago Wolves roster has earned one point this season. However, four players are still in search of their first goal. Defensemen Jake Bischoff, Kevin Lough and Dmitry Osipov and forward Keegan Kolesar are all on the hunt for their first tally. All four are considered rookies in AHL play. Osipov and Kolesar are the only two true rookies as they made their respective professional debuts this season. Bischoff skated in six games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2016-17 while Lough debuted in the ECHL with the Adirondack Thunder at the tail end of the 2015-16 season.
- 10: When T.J. Tynan netted three goals against the Iowa Wild on Dec. 16, he was firing at 30 percent shooting percentage. The 10 shots Tynan put on net stands as an individual game-high among Wolves players this season. Prior to Tynan’s 10, captain Paul Thompson led the club with nine shots on goal against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Oct. 27.
- 20: The Wolves set a team season-high with 20 shots on goal in the second period of their Dec. 16 victory against the Iowa Wild at Allstate Arena. Those 20 second-period shots were part of the 43 shots overall that led to a 25-shot differential between the two teams that’s easily the largest this season between the Wolves and an opponent. Iowa’s 18 shots on goal in that contest were the second-fewest the Wolves have allowed an opponent this year
- 497: Captain Paul Thompson is leading the Chicago Wolves with 58 penalty minutes and is just three minutes shy of 500 on his AHL career. The hard- nosed forward isn’t afraid to mix it up and stands up for his teammates when situations arise. Thompson — and utility player Scooter Vaughan — share the team’s individual game-high with 17 penalty minutes. Thompson logged his 17 on Jan. 10 against the San Diego Gulls. Conversely, the 29-year-old’s longest stint without visiting the penalty box is seven games from Oct. 25 to Nov. 12.
- Chicago fell to Ontario to finish its first California road trip in 18 seasons with a 1-2-0-0 record.
- Forwards Ivan Barbashev and Tomas Hyka both scored to rally the Wolves from a 2-0 deficit in the second period.
- In the third frame, Ontario netted two early goals and held the lead for the win. • Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 22 saves.
- The Wolves got back in the win column with their first victory in California since May 2000.
- Forwards Stefan Matteau and Paul Thompson scored 22 seconds apart in the third period to rally the Wolves in the final five minutes
- Defenseman Vince Dunn — on conditioning loan from St. Louis — netted a goal in his 2017-18 Wolves debut and veteran forward Teemu Pulkkinen also scored.
- Goaltender Max Lagace made 30 saves for his 11th win of the season
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Jan. 1, 2018
|11/26/2017||Allstate Arena||L, 4-6|
|12/16/2017||Allstate Arena||W, 6-3|
|01/01/2018||Wells Fargo Arena||W, 2-1|
|01/17/2018||Wells Fargo Arena|
|02/09/2018||Wells Fargo Arena|
|04/06/2018||Wells Fargo Arena|