April 3, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena | Facebook
X MARKS THE SPOT
The Chicago Wolves enter Tuesday’s game looking to punch their postseason ticket for the 19th time in the team’s 24-year history. In order to make that happen, the Wolves need to conquer the Milwaukee Admirals. The Admirals are docking at Allstate Arena for the first time in more than two months. The last time they were at Allstate Arena, the Wolves flogged them for a 4-1 victory on Feb. 2. This season, the Admirals have been one of three Central Division opponents against which Chicago has earned better than a .600 points percentage.
With a win on Tuesday, the Chicago Wolves can put more ground between them and the rest of their division rivals who have a legitimate shot at earning the Central Division title. Hot on division-leading Chicago’s heels are the Manitoba Moose and Grand Rapids Griffins who are virtually tied for the No. 2 spot. Coming into Tuesday’s bout, the Wolves are 11 points shy of defending their division crown. If Chicago can retain its title, it will be just the second time in team history it has captured back-to-back division titles. The last time the Wolves completed the feat was 1998 and 1999 as members of the International Hockey League.
DOWN 13 PERCENT
On Monday night, the Vegas Golden Knights recalled center Brandon Pirri and with Pirri went 29 of the team’s goals. As the team’s leading goal-scorer, Pirri has been responsible for 13.4 percent of Chicago’s scoring this season. Not only does he lead the team, he also shares fourth overall in the American Hockey League. The recall is Pirri’s first of the season and his first return to the National Hockey League since the 2016-17 campaign when he skated with the New York Rangers. Pirri signed a one-year contract with the Golden Knights on Oct. 4, and then was assigned the Wolves upon clearing waivers. In 54 games with Chicago, he owns 29 goals and 22 assists for 51 points. He resides third in team scoring.
MORE ROSTER MOVES
On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights reassigned defenseman Nicolas Hague to the Chicago Wolves following his team’s exit from the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Playoffs. Hague and the Mississauga Steelheads fell to the Barrie Colts four games to two in the opening round of competition. The 19-year-old Hague joined the Golden Knights as one of their first draft picks when he was selected 34th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. In other news, the Wolves recalled defenseman Dmitry Osipov from loan to the Quad City Mallards on Saturday just prior to their game against the Texas Stars. Osipov did not skate in Saturday’s contest.
By the Numbers:
- 175: On Monday, the American Hockey League named Oscar Dansk the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for March. Dansk has been stellar since returning to the Chicago Wolves lineup on Feb. 15, but March has been his highlight of the 2017-18 campaign so far. In those 31 days, Dansk backstopped the Wolves in nine of their 14 games and compiled a 6-1-2 record to help lift the team into the top spot in the Central Division. The 24-year-old also recorded a 1.75 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Although he did suffer his first regulation setback of the season March 17 against the Rockford IceHogs, it was the only game that he allowed more than two goals. The Stockholm native opened the month with his first AHL shutout on March 2 and never recorded less than a .909 save percentage in a game.
- 6: The Chicago Wolves’ magic number to clinch their 19th postseason berth is 3. Chicago can solidify their 2018 Calder Cup spot Tuesday night with a win over the Milwaukee Admirals. The once-hot Admirals are now somewhat lackluster with just a 5-5-0-0 record in their previous 10 games. While the Wolves are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, the Admirals are the outside trying to claw their way into the postseason. However, they must run the table in their final seven games to surpass the red-hot Rockford IceHogs, who have been the Central Division’s best team with a 8-1-1-0 record in their last 10 games.
- 23.6: When veteran blueliner Jason Garrison is out of the Chicago Wolves lineup, the D corps’ average age shrinks to 23.6 years old. The 34-year-old is the outlier to a primarily mid-20s group that includes three 26-year-olds. Aside from Garrison, the defensemen that have manned the blueline for most of the season for the Wolves are all between 23 and 26 years old. As of Tuesday, the Wolves now have two rookies below the 22-year-old threshold. The 19-year-old Nicolas Hague was reassigned from his Ontario Hockey League team, the Mississauga Steelheads, to Chicago on Tuesday morning while 21-year-old Dmitry Osipov was recalled from loan to the Quad City Mallards (ECHL) by the Wolves on Saturday.
- 200: Defenseman Griffin Reinhart nearly has reached his 200th American Hockey League game — his next game will be No. 199. Since being drafted by the New York Islanders fourth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, Reinhart has skated in 235 total professional games. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 10, 2014, with the Islanders and appeared in 36 more games between the Islanders and Edmonton Oilers. At the AHL level, the 24-year-old has skated with three different teams across four seasons. He debuted in the league with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2014-15) and then skated two seasons with the Bakersfield Condors (2015-17) as part of the Edmonton organization. This season with the Wolves, Reinhart has appeared in 55 games and owns 12 points (2G, 10A).
- Chicago dropped the season series with Texas for the fth time in 10 seasons.
- Center Brandon Pirri was the Wolves’ lone regulation scorer while Tomas Hyka recorded Chicago’s only successful shootout attempt.
- Center Jake Dowling scored in regulation while both Brian Flynn and Travis Morin tallied in the shootout for the Stars victory.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk made 24 saves and stopped one attempt in the shootout.
- The Wolves beat the Wild for the second time this season at Allstate Arena.
- Forwards Beau Bennett, Brandon Pirri and captain Paul Thompson scored for Chicago.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk made 27 saves in his 10th victory of the season.
|Tuesday, April 3||vs. Milwaukee||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Friday, April 6||at Iowa||Wells Fargo Arena||7 p.m.||Watch|
|Saturday, April 7||vs. Milwaukee||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Tuesday, April 10||at. Milwaukee||UWM Panther Arena||7 p.m.||Watch|
|Friday, April 13||at. Rockford||BMO Harris Bank Center||7 p.m.||Watch|
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March 9, 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||W, 4-3|
|04/10/2018||UMW Panther Arena|