Friday, Feb. 2 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena | The U Too | Facebook
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
It’s been 33 days since the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals faced each other — and a lot has changed between then and now. Since losing in a shootout to the Admirals on Dec. 29, the Wolves own a 9-3-1-0 record for a .731 win percentage while the Ads have gone 5-6-1-0 (.458). The Wolves also have outscored their opponents 42 to 30. Additionally, the Wolves matched a franchise record with a 14-game point streak and set a franchise record with 10 consecutive home victories — a streak they’re looking to extend tonight. That task could prove tough as Milwaukee has claimed four of the seven games between the teams this season.
MEET THE NEW GUY
On Wednesday the Chicago Wolves announced the addition of 25-year-old Nolan Valleau to the D-corps. The Michigan native arrives to blustery Chicago from sunny Orlando where he skated in 36 ECHL games for the Solar Bears. He paced all Orlando blueliners with eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points, which was also good enough to rank fourth in team scoring overall. Valleau (vah-LOO) began his professional career 76 miles northwest of Allstate Arena in Rockford with the IceHogs. As an undrafted free agent, Valleau signed his first professional contract with the Chicago Blackhawks organization in August 2015 and skated in 108 AHL games for the IceHogs. Valleau gives the Wolves six healthy defensemen as Petteri Lindbohm underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Jan. 6, veteran Jason Garrison was recalled by the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 29 for the second time in five days and the St. Louis Blues reassigned rookie Jake Walman to the Binghamton Devils on Jan. 31.
This season, the Chicago Wolves have participated in just two shootouts. The last time the Wolves needed game-winning shots to decide a game was Dec. 29 against the Milwaukee Admirals. Milwaukee was the victor as forwards Frederick Gaudreau and Justin Kirkland scored while center Brandon Pirri was the only Wolves skater to solve Anders Lindback. The Wolves are 0-2 in shootouts this season and Pirri (1-2) is the only Wolves player to have scored in either game. Chicago’s only other two shooters are Tomas Hyka (0-1) and Teemu Pulkkinen (0-2). The Wolves’ first shootout of the season came against their Illinois Lottery Cup rival, the Rockford IceHogs, on Nov. 19. In that contest, Rockford’s Vinnie Hinostroza and David Kampf scored for the victory.
By the Numbers:
- 1: The Chicago Wolves have been shut out just once this year and that blanking came at the glove of the Milwaukee Admirals’ Anders Lindback. On Nov. 8, Lindback stopped all 29 shots he faced while Frederic Allard, U.S. Olympic team member Bobby Butler and Petter Granberg all scored to hand Chicago its largest margin of defeat this season. Conversely, the Wolves have dished out three shutouts this season — all against Central Division rivals. Though five of seven games in the season series have been decided by just one goal, the Admirals have escaped that fate. So far. Chicago netminders Oscar Dansk and Max Lagace are still in search of their first shutouts while Kasimir Kaskisuo owns two of the three Chicago blankings and Michael Leighton owns the third.
- 5: If Kasimir Kaskisuo starts between the pipes for the Chicago Wolves tonight, it will mark his fifth consecutive start and tie him with Max Lagace for most consecutive starts on the season. Kaskisuo already owns the season-high for consecutive appearances with six dating back to Jan. 17 against the Iowa Wild when he relieved an injured Lagace at the start of the third period. Through his four consecutive starts, the 24-year-old Kaskisuo owns a 3-0-1 record, a 1.71 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Through the first four games of his five-game stint (Dec. 17-27), Lagace produced an identical record (3-0-1), a 2.69 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
- 10: The Chicago Wolves enter tonight’s game looking to extend their franchise record home winning streak to 11 consecutive games. The Wolves met the franchise record on Jan. 20 with a 6-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors in the Condors’ Allstate Arena debut. The five-goal difference was also Chicago’s largest margin of victory this season. The next afternoon, the Wolves pushed the franchise benchmark to 10 games with a 3-1 decision against the Cleveland Monsters. In the 10 contests dating back to Dec. 6 against the San Diego Gulls, the Wolves have outscored opponents 44 to 20 and only once needed overtime to beat an opponent — the then-top ranked Manitoba Moose on Jan. 5. The game featured three-goal efforts from Brandon Pirri and Manitoba’s Buddy Robinson as well as Teemu Pulkkinen’s second overtime goal of the season.
- The Wolves edged the Roadrunners to split the four-game season series.
- Forward Tobias Lindberg netted Chicago’s eighth short-handed goal of the season while Bryce Gervais scored his second goal of the year.
- Forwards T.J. Tynan and Stefan Matteau scored on a five-minute power play to break a 2-2 tie.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 25 shots in his fourth consecutive start.
- Chicago fell to Tucson in the third game of their four-game season series.
- Illinois native Dakota Mermis scored with seven seconds left in overtime to earn the win.
- Center Brandon Pirri scored Chicago’s only goal.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo turned aside 26 shots, including the first 24 he faced.
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Dec. 29, 2017
5-6-0-1 Milwaukee | 7-3-1-1 Chicago
|10/28/2017||Allstate Arena||W, 2-1|
|11/08/2017||UMW Panther Arena||L, 0-3|
|11/12/2017||Allstate Arena||L, 2-3|
|11/24/2017||UMW Panther Arena||OTL, 2-3|
|12/17/2017||Allstate Arena||W, 4-2|
|12/27/2017||UMW Panther Arena||W, 3-2 (OT)|
|12/29/2017||UMW Panther Arena||SOL, 2-3|
|03/09/2018||UMW Panther Arena|
|04/10/2018||UMW Panther Arena|