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Forward Tomas Hyka was recalled from loan by the Vegas Golden Knights for the second time this season on Feb. 19. That same day, the 24-year-old made his National Hockey League debut. While the Golden Knights were held scoreless for the just the second time this season, Hyka impressed in his debut and earned third-star honors. Friday night was one the Czech Republic native will always remember as he opened game scoring against Vancouver with his first NHL goal.
HYKA MATTEAU REJOIN WOLVES
The Vegas Golden Knights returned forwards Tomas Hyka and Stefan Matteau on loan to the Chicago Wolves Saturday afternoon. The pair were initially recalled from loan on Feb. 19 as the illness and injury bugs continue to comb the Golden Knights roster. The pair skated in all three of Vegas’ games since: Feb. 19 against Anaheim, Feb. 21 versus Calgary and Feb. 23 against Vancouver.
MCNALLY SIGNS PTO
On Sunday, forward Brandon McNally signed a professional tryout contract with the Chicago Wolves. The 26-year-old Massachusetts native joins the Wolves from the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. McNally is in his first full season with the Cyclones after being acquired via trade from the Utah Grizzlies during the 2016-17 campaign. This season, McNally is sixth in team scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points. A fan favorite in Cincinnati, he leads the team — and ranks 10th in the ECHL — with 137 penalty minutes. At the AHL level, McNally has skated parts of three seasons (2014-17) and registered 16 points (9G, 7A) in 61 games split between the Hamilton Bulldogs, St. John’s IceCaps and San Diego Gulls. McNally will wear No. 12 in his Wolves debut Sunday afternoon.
LINDBERG REMAINS WITH WOLVES
The Chicago Wolves’ NHL affiliate, the Vegas Golden Knights, were involved in a complicated three team trade on Friday. The deal ultimately moved 30-year-old forward Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but part of the deal included the Golden Knights sending forward Tobias Lindberg to the Penguins. While the 22-year-old Swede is now a member of the Pittsburgh organization, he will continue to skate for the Chicago Wolves at the American Hockey League level. This season with the Wolves, Lindberg has appeared in 49 games and collected 18 points (8G, 10A).
By the Numbers:
- 0: Saturday was the first of back-to-back games between the Chicago Wolves and Manitoba Moose. In that contest, the Wolves suffered a 2-0 setback. It was the first time the Moose shut out the Wolves in nearly a decade — Manitoba last blanked Chicago on Oct. 23, 2009. That game was a 1-0 score that was resolved with a five-round shootout. Through the first 65 minutes of action, goaltenders Manny Legace (Chicago) and Cory Schneider (Manitoba) made 30 and 24 saves, respectively. In the shootout, Legace stopped three of five shots while Schneider only allowed one goal on five attempts. Conversely, the Wolves last shut out the Moose on Nov. 1, 2015. In that game, Chicago netminder Pheonix Copley made 26 saves while the Wolves netted two goals — courtesy of Pat Cannone and Jeremy Welsh. At the other end of the ice was Saturday’s winning goalie, Eric Comrie who gave up two goals on 30 shots.
- 2: Donning the No. 2 jersey for the Chicago Wolves is 6-foot-7, 228-pound Christian Hilbrich. The 25-year-old Port Credit, Ontario, native joined the Wolves on a professional tryout contract on Wednesday. His Wolves debut — that same day against the Grand Rapid Griffins — was just his seventh AHL game. Previously, Hilbrich appeared in six games with the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins in his first professional season, 2016-17. However, since turning pro after a four year collegiate career at Cornell University, Hilbrich has skated primarily at the ECHL level.
- 4: The most wins the Wolves can amass this season against the Manitoba Moose is four — that would allow them to break even in the season series. However, for the Wolves to tie the season series, they need three consecutive wins beginning with today’s game. If the Wolves can get out of Winnipeg with a win, the next two games could be more in their favor as they have won 14 of their last 15 games on home ice. That also set a franchise record with 13 straight home wins from Dec. 6 to Feb. 15.
- 34.4: February has been the Chicago Wolves power play’s most productive month. Through eight games, the Wolves have scored 11 goals in 32 opportunities for a 34.4 percent conversion rate. That’s the team’s best monthly power-play percentage since October when the team converted 22.5 percent with nine goals in 40 chances. February also has brought the most multi-PPG performances with four and there are still two games on the schedule. Previously, the Wolves twice recorded three multi-PPG performances in a month — October and January. Coincidentally, January was the Wolves’ third-best power-play month with a 15.4 percent success rate (8 of 52).
- 37: On Saturday, Chicago Wolves goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 37 saves although the Wolves suffered a 2-0 setback against the Manitoba Moose. His 37 saves improved upon his previous personal season-high by one save. His 36-save performance came on Oct. 27 against the Grand Rapids Griffins and still shares third place for a Wolves goalie this season. On Wednesday against the Griffins, Oscar Dansk moved the team season-high to 39 saves only allowing two goals on 41 shots. It was just Dansk’s fourth contest this season in a Chicago jersey.
Saturday, Feb. 24 (at) Manitoba 2, Chicago 0
- Chicago suffered its first shutout setback against Manitoba in nine years.
- Wolves goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 37 shots, including 19 of 21 in the second period.
- Moose netminder Eric Comrie made 33 saves in the shutout win.
- Forwards Francis Beauvillier and Cam Maclise scored for Manitoba.
Wednesday, Feb. 21 Chicago 5 (at) Grand Rapids 2
- The Wolves won their fourth consecutive game over the Griffins to take the season series for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
- Rookie Keegan Kolesar netted his first two AHL goals while Chicago’s leading scorer, veteran Brandon Pirri, also collected a pair of goals to reach 20 on the season.
- Forward Beau Bennett accounted for the Wolves’ fifth goal as they converted their first three power plays.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk made 39 saves to set a new season-high for team netminders and earn his third victory in as many starts.
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Feb. 24, 2018
|10/25/2017||Allstate Arena||L, 1-3|
|11/15/2017||Bell MTS Place||L, 3-2|
|11/17/2017||Bell MTS Place||L, 4-6|
|01/05/2018||Allstate Arena||W (OT), 4-3|
|02/24/2018||Bell MTS Place||L, 4-0|
|02/25/2018||Bell MTS Place|