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.
Take This Show on the Road
The Chicago Wolves hit the road this week for a Central Division showdown with the Iowa Wild on Friday, Feb. 9. The Wolves return to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time in 23 days. The Wild are returning to their home rink for the first time in 20 days after a five-game road trip that included a stop in Cleveland and a West Coast swing to face three of the Pacific Division’s five California teams.
Since the Wolves and Wild began competing in 2013, Chicago owns a commanding 17-2-2-1 record at Wells Fargo Arena. That includes a franchise record 12-game winning streak on opponent ice that began on Feb. 7, 2014, and was laid to rest on Nov. 18, 2016. This year, the Wolves own a 1-1-0-0 record in Iowa’s barn. The Wolves kicked off 2018 with a bang — a 2-1 win over the Wild — but suffered a 5-2 setback on Jan. 17.
Chicago and Iowa enter this week 2-3 in the Central Division standings. The Wolves could be side-by-side with the Wild come Friday as Iowa has one more game — Tuesday, Feb. 6 against the San Diego Gulls — left in its road trip. With an Iowa win, the Wolves and Wild each would own 56 points in 47 games.
The Central Division playoff race is heating up with one win separating the No. 2 Wolves from the No. 5 Grand Rapids Griffins. Grand Rapids (No. 5), Iowa (No. 3) and the Rockford IceHogs (No. 4) all own 54 points while the Wolves are No. 2 with 56. The Manitoba Moose have a firm grip on the top spot in the division with an 11-point lead on Chicago. At the other end of the spectrum, the sixth-place Milwaukee Admirals are eight points behind Rockford but do have games in hand on every competitor ahead of them in the standings.
The Wolves can increase their postseason odds by continuing to win divisional matchups and avoiding the shootout. The Wolves hold the ROW (regulation and overtime wins) advantage over Grand Rapids, Iowa and Rockford. Additionally, Chicago has only gone to the shootout twice this season; the Wolves are 0-2 in shootout game
It’s A Great Day for Hockey
The Chicago Wolves will host the franchise’s first outdoor practice at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, inside Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park. The event is open to the public and will include an open skate with the team following the conclusion of practice.
“It’s something different for our guys and a chance for them to have some fun,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “It’s a chance for the fans to see the Wolves up close and the rink is in a cool setting.”
The 23-year-old propelled the Chicago Wolves to a victory on Friday night to help extend the team’s franchise record home winning streak to 11 games. The Chicago native netted the game’s first three goals for his first professional hat trick. Matteau also recorded an assist on Saturday to give him four points on the weekend. He also registered a +3 plus/ minus rating and nine shots on goal.
The veteran left wing collected a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 7-4 Illinois Lottery Cup victory against the Rockford IceHogs. Sterling’s second point of the game, an assist in the second period, was his 600th professional point. Through 703 career pro games, the California native owns 319 goals and 282 assists for 601 points.
One of three Chicago Wolves iron men — the 25-year-old has appeared in all 47 games this season — Tynan collected four assists over the weekend to push his season assists total to a team-leading 29 and his point total to a team-high 38. Through Chicago’s franchise record home win streak, Tynan has averaged 1.5 points per game with 18 points (6G, 12A) in 12 games. Tynan has only been held scoreless three times in that span at Allstate Arena.
The Cochrane, Alberta, native scored in Saturday’s Illinois Lottery Cup win over the Rockford IceHogs to snap a 21- game goal drought. The last time Wong scored was in the first game of the Chicago Wolves’ franchise-record home winning streak way back on Dec. 6 against the San Diego Gulls.
- The Wolves roasted the IceHogs for their fourth Illinois Lottery Cup victory of the season.
- Seven players scored: forwards Bryce Gervais, Mackenzie MacEachern, Teemu Pulkkinen, Brett Sterling and Tyler Wong as well as defensemen Jake Bischoff and Kevin Lough.
- Forward T.J. Tynan collected three assists to make him the Wolves’ leading point-getter with 38 (9G, 29A).
- Veteran Sterling also registered three points (G, 2A) to reach 601 professional career points.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 21 saves for his third consecutive victory.
- Chicago beat Milwaukee for its fourth victory in the 12-game season series.
- Forward Stefan Matteau’s three consecutive goals were his first professional hat trick.
- Captain Paul Thompson scored an empty-net tally for Chicago’s fourth goal.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 19 saves in his fifth consecutive start.
|Friday, Feb. 9||at Iowa||Wells Fargo Arena||7 p.m.|
|Thursday, Feb. 15||vs. Cleveland Monsters||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Saturday, Feb. 17||vs. San Antonio Rampage||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, Feb. 18||vs. Cleveland Monsters||Allstate Arena||3 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Feb. 21||at Grand Rapids||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m.|