Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena | CW50| Facebook
Although the Chicago Wolves have been red-hot on the road lately — the Wolves wrapped up a four game road trip on Friday with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record — Saturday’s return to Allstate Arena is very welcome. The Wolves have won 15 of their last 16 games at Allstate. That stint includes a franchise record 13-game home win streak from Dec. 6 to Feb. 15. Saturday against the Manitoba Moose, the Wolves are on the hunt for their 20th home victory of the year. If they can complete the task, it will mark the 19th season in which Chicago has captured 20 or more wins on home ice.
On Thursday, the Chicago Wolves signed 21-year-old Ryan Wagner to a professional tryout contract. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound forward concluded his senior season as the University of Wisconsin one week ago when the Badgers lost to the University of Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the Big Ten men’s ice hockey tournament. The Park Ridge, Illinois, native made his pro debut in Friday’s game against Milwaukee at UWM Panther Arena. Saturday’s game against the Manitoba Moose could mark his hometown debut. Prior to four years at Wisconsin, Wagner skated for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program based in Michigan. Before playing one season for the NTDP, Wagner was part of the Chicago Mission Midget Minor program and attended Maine South High School.
On Friday, goaltender Oscar Dansk made his seventh start since being returned on loan to the Chicago Wolves on Jan. 24. In those games, Dansk has been nothing less than impressive — he has earned seven consecutive victories, his first AHL shutout and, on Friday, he added his first point as a pro in North America. He assisted on Wade Megan’s goal in the first period — Dansk pushed the puck to defenseman Zac Leslie behind the net to set up the breakout play. Dansk is the second Wolves’ netminder to earn an assist this season — Max Lagace registered an assist on Oct. 22 in Chicago’s 2-1 overtime win against the Tucson Roadrunners.
TWO FOR TWO
In Friday’s 4-3 victory versus the Milwaukee Admirals, captain Paul Thompson served his first penalty in nine games. His eight-game penalty-less streak that began Feb. 18 matched the third-best streak of his career (March 12-29, 2017). After Thompson thought about his actions for two minutes, he netted two goals for just the second time this season and it marked the 14th time in his career he has nabbed two or more goals in a game. During Thompson’s penalty-less streak, he recorded just one assist.
By the Numbers:
- 1: On Friday, 21-year-old Ridge Park native Ryan Wagner made his professional debut against the Milwaukee Admirals. In his first pro game, the Maine South High School product recorded his first professional point when he set up captain Paul Thompson’s second goal of the game. Wagner, who led Wisconsin with 33 points this season, signed a PTO with the Wolves on Thursday.
- 4: The Chicago Wolves enter Saturday’s game just four points behind the division-leading Manitoba Moose. The powerhouse Moose have faltered of late — they began the season with immense success that included a 16-game point streak, the first of its kind this season in the American Hockey League. The last time Manitoba showed up at Allstate Arena (Jan. 5), it owned 51 points to Chicago’s 39. Now the Moose are amid a two-game winless streak and own just a 3-5-1-1 record in their last 10 games.
- 6: With Friday’s 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals at UMW Panther Arena, the Chicago Wolves pushed their win streak to six games, the longest active win streak in the American Hockey League. The Wolves are three games shy of breaking into the league’s top three longest streaks of the season. They will need five more if they wish to take over the season’s longest streak as the Syracuse Crunch currently own the crown with a 10-game stint from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15. The Wolves already own the league’s longest home win streak as they accrued 13 straight victories at Allstate Arena from Dec. 6 to Feb. 15.
- 7: On Friday, goaltender Oscar Dansk made 30 saves en route to his seventh consecutive victory. The streak shatters Dansk’s previous AHL personal-high — three games from Nov. 2-7, 2014 with the Springfield Falcons. Three is also his NHL personal-high win streak that he recorded from Oct. 21-27, 2017, with the Vegas Golden Knights. Dansk’s NHL win streak came to a halt on Oct. 30, the day he suffered an injury and was forced to vacate the net. Max Lagace, currently with the Golden Knights, took over and earned the decision.
- 23: Center Brandon Pirri leads the Chicago Wolves with 23 goals. However, Friday was just the second time the 26-year-old was held scoreless since his return from injury on Feb. 21. His scoreless game ended a five-point streak — his longest of the season — which spanned Feb. 25 against the Manitoba Moose to March 6 against the San Antonio Rampage. In that time, Pirri tallied seven points (3G, 4A). The Toronto native’s one-game drought did drop him on the league goal-scoring leaderboard to the No. 8 spot. However, only two goals separate him from the league’s second-best scorers: Reid Boucher (UTI), Eric Tangradi (GR) and Chris Terry (LAV). The league leader, Valentin Zykov (CHA), has 30 goals thanks to a two-goal performance on Friday.
- 51: T.J. Tynan held fast at 51 points (12G, 39A) as he was held scoreless in Friday’s 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals. That ended his current point streak at five games with seven points (2G, 5A). Not much changed on the American Hockey League scoring leaderboard — Tynan is still tied for fifth in league scoring with Charlotte’s Andrew Miller and Manitoba’s Mason Appleton. Appleton is the only Central Division skater in the top five with Tynan. The 26-year-old Tynan and 22-year-old Appleton are similar as their bread-and-butter is setting up their teammates — they own 39 and 33 assists, respectively. The Wolves will look to keep Appleton at bay tonight as he owns six points, including five assists, against Chicago this season.
- Chicago stretched its win streak to six games, the longest active streak in the American Hockey League.
- Captain Paul Thompson collected two goals while defenseman Zac Leslie netted the game winner with just 1:47 to play.
- Center Wade Megan accounted for the Wolves’ fourth goal. • Goaltender Oscar Dansk made 30 saves en route to his seventh consecutive win.
- 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.
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Feb. 25, 2018
|10/25/2017||Allstate Arena||L, 1-3|
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|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||W, 5-2|