March 9 | 7:00 p.m. | UMW Panther Arena | The U Too | Facebook
Friday marks the final game in the Chicago Wolves’ four-game road trip. This road trip that took them to Cedar Park and San Antonio, Texas, in addition to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is their third four-game foray away from Allstate Arena this season — Chicago’s most consecutive games on the road this year.
The Chicago Wolves are poised for their best finish on a four-game road trip this season. If the Wolves can conquer the red-hot Milwaukee Admirals — the Admirals are riding a four-game win streak — they’ll finish this road outing with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record. On their first four-contest trip — Dec. 8-15 — the Wolves produced a 3-1-0-0 record while their four-game January jaunt — Jan. 10-17 — was a much poorer finish with a 1-3-0-0 record.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
The beginning of the season was not a good time for the Chicago Wolves — the team was dwelling near the bottom of the American Hockey League standings and owned the longest losing streak of the season until the Hershey Bears took that burden in February. However, the tides began to turn for the Wolves in December when the team posted a 9-2-2-1 record through 14 games. Since Dec. 6 — when Chicago beat the San Diego Gulls in their Allstate Arena debut — the Wolves have been the best team in the AHL with a 27-7-2-1 record.
I-94 RIVALS MEET AGAIN
It’s been a while since the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals last met; the longtime rivals haven’t seen each other since Feb. 2 at Allstate Arena. The foes have not competed at UWM Panther Arena since Dec. 29. Chicago suffered a 3-2 shootout setback in that game; it was the second time the Wolves competed in a shootout and the second time they recorded a loss. The Wolves own a 1-2-1-0 record this season against the Admirals at UWM Panther Arena. After splitting six games in Milwaukee last season and losing five of five in the 2015-16 campaign, the Wolves look to get back to their winning ways at Panther Arena for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
Friday kicks off the first game of the Chicago Wolves’ third 3-in-3 weekend of the season. The Wolves’ first 3-in-3 of the season — Nov. 24-26 — had a three-point return as the team produced a 1-1-1-0 record. However, the club’s second three consecutive stretch was a perfect 3-0-0-0 showing from Dec. 15-17. Now, Chicago is not only looking to record another perfect 3-in-3 weekend, but it also aims to stretch a five-game win streak. The team’s longest win streak this season is six games (Dec. 9-21).
By the Numbers:
- 4: On Tuesday, center Beau Bennett collected the second four-point performance of his professional career. The 26-year-old California native registered two goals and two assists to become the fifth Chicago Wolves player this season to record a four-point effort. Prior to Bennett’s showing, fellow center T.J. Tynan was the last Wolves player to record four points on Jan. 20 against the Bakersfield Condors. Tomas Hyka (Dec. 15), Teemu Pulkkinen (Oct. 14) and Alex Tuch (Oct. 6) all have four-point performances this season. Tuch — now skating with the Vegas Golden Knights — was the only player of the five to record a hat trick. Additionally, three of the five four-point games have come on the road. Hyka collected his points at Grand Rapids while Tuch punched his ticket in Texas and Bennett picked up four points in San Antonio.
- 6: Goaltender Oscar Dansk backstopped the Chicago Wolves to their fifth consecutive victory on Tuesday with a 29-save performance. In that game against the San Antonio Rampage — a team riddled with former Chicago Wolves, including goaltender Ville Husso — Dansk also earned his sixth straight victory in as many starts. The same feat was last accomplished during the 2016-17 campaign by Pheonix Copley. Copley — now a member of the Hershey Bears — backstopped the Wolves for six consecutive wins from Dec. 22 to Jan. 13 last season. This season, Dansk’s streak began on Feb. 15, his first game since sustaining an injury on Oct. 30 while with the Vegas Golden Knights. Prior to his injury, Dansk saw AHL action in one game with the Wolves, a 6-5 overtime loss to the Texas Stars on Oct. 7.
- 8: Since returning to the Chicago Wolves lineup on March 3, rookie defenseman Jake Bischoff owns a collective +8 plus/minus rating. Over the course of those three games — March 3-6 — the 23-year-old Minnesota native tallied two goals, including the game-winner on March 6 against San Antonio, and averaged two shots on goal per game.
- 9: Captain Paul Thompson comes into Friday’s game looking to extend his penalty-less streak to nine consecutive games. So far, the 29-year-old matched his longest stretch of the 2016-17 campaign; he managed to avoid the sin bin for eight games from March 12-29 last season when he skated for the Springfield Thunderbirds. However, eight games isn’t the longest streak of Thompson’s career. He owns a 10-game penalty-less streak from Jan. 21, 2015 to Feb. 15, 2015. Even more impressive, the hard-nosed forward stayed out of the penalty box for 17 consecutive games — his career-high — during the 2014-15 campaign from Feb. 27 to April 10.
- 50: Center T.J. Tynan collected two assists on Tuesday that pushed him over the 50-point threshold for the first time in his career. In his fourth full professional season, Tynan is enjoying the most productive stretch of his career. Before this year, the 26-year-old’s career-best for points was 48 (13G, 35A) in his rookie season (2014-15) with the Springfield Falcons. This season was Tynan’s quickest to 40 points as he registered his 40th point on Feb. 18 against his former team, the Cleveland Monsters. Additionally, he has been a major cog in the Wolves’ second-half success — Tynan has recorded 30 of his 51 points after Jan. 1. As you might expect, it’s easier to tally points when not in the penalty box, and this is the least-penalized season of his career with just 22 minutes.
- The Wolves upended the Rampage to finish the season series in a tie for the fourth time in five season; additionally, they extended their winning streak at AT&T Center to seven games.
- Center Beau Bennett registered four points (2G, 2A) for the second time in his pro career while T.J. Tynan tabbed two assists for the first 50-point season of his career.
- Forward Teemu Pulkkinen also collected two points (G, A), and Jake Bischoff and Tobias Lindberg accounted for Chicago’s other two goals.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk made 29 saves en route to his sixth win in as many starts.
|Friday, March 9||at Milwaukee||UWM Panther Arena||7 p.m.||Watch|
|Saturday, March 10||vs. Manitoba||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Sunday, March 11||vs. Rockford||Allstate Arena||3 p.m.||Tickets|
|Saturday, March 17||vs. Rockford||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
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Feb. 2, 2018
|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|
|02/02/2018||Allstate Arena||W, 4-1|
|03/09/2018||UMW Panther Arena|
|04/10/2018||UMW Panther Arena|