Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on all Chicago Wolves developments throughout the team’s 25th anniversary season.
Picking up steam
During the first month of the season, the Daniel Carr-Gage Quinney-Brooks Macek line dominated the Chicago Wolves’ scoring. Carr has been returned from loan to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and Macek has moved to another line, but several teammates have stepped up in their stead.
Over the past few weeks, several Wolves have hit their stride and started picking up the scoring pace. The Wolves average 3.77 goals per game, thanks in part to a few key players who show no signs of slowing.
Forward Keegan Kolesar had a single assist in his first 10 games, but has tallied four goals and four helpers in the 12 contests since. Rookie defender Zach Whitecloud went 14 games without a point, but exploded for a goal, two assists and a +5 plus/minus rating against Rockford on Nov. 23 and has put up a pair of assists since.
Forward Brandon Pirri is currently on a three-game point streak (2G, 2A) that brings him to six goals and seven helpers in his last 10 games. Center Reid Duke has notched eight points (3G, 5A) in the last eight games, which includes back-to-back two-assist performances.
salvation army red kettle game on dec. 15
As part of the franchise’s desire to deliver new experiences during the 25th anniversary season, the Wolves are hosting the team’s inaugural Salvation Army Red Kettle Game on Saturday, Dec. 15, against the Tucson Roadrunners.
Members of the Wolves front office will visit Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Friday, Dec. 7, and ring bells for the Salvation Army from 2 to 4 p.m. Listen to WBBM 780-AM during that timeframe to win Wolves tickets for the Red Kettle Game.
The Wolves are hosting Superhero Night at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, as part of the team’s Illinois Lottery Cup game against the Rockford IceHogs. Spider-Man and Black Panther will be a part of the festivities, so come out to meet them and make sure you wear your favorite superhero gear.
Five games after the rookie center collected his first career point with an assist against Rockford on Nov. 23, Matthew Weis scored his first pro goal in the third period Sunday as he capitalized on a loose puck when defenseman Dylan Coghlan’s shot from the point went wide. The Ohio State University product has developed into a staple of the Wolves lineup.
After a stretch of being held without a point, rookie Reid Duke has become a consistent force on the ice. Duke tallied a power-play goal and an assist during last weekend’s games, which brought his total to eight points (3G, 5A) in the last eight games.
Speaking of consistency, Brandon Pirri can be counted on to produce every night. Pirri racked up 13 points and 48 shots in the month of November. Pirri had two goals and two assists last week, taking over the team lead with 26 points this season. He also leads the AHL in shots with 89.
SUNDAY, DEC. 2: TEXAS 7, (at) CHICAGO 4
- The Wolves scored one power-play goal in each period — tying the team’s season-high with three PPG — but they were overpowered by the Stars’ offensive charge.
- Center Matthew Weis scored his first pro goal while defenseman Dylan Coghlan and forwards Brandon Pirri and Reid Duke also scored for Chicago.
- Goaltender Max Lagace recorded 27 saves
SATURDAY, DEC. 1: SAN ANTONIO 5, (at) CHICAGO 3
- Former Wolves Mackenzie MacEachern and Jake Walman scored goals and ex-Wolves goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 19 shots to win their return to Allstate Arena
- Forwards Keegan Kolesar and Tomas Hyka and defenseman Erik Brannström scored goals for the Wolves, who pulled within 4-3 with 8:10 to play
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk notched 10 saves
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28: (at) GRAND RAPIDS 5, CHICAGO 2
- The Wolves scored first, but the Griffins answered with three goals; when the Wolves scored again, the Griffins produced two late insurance goals to pick up the win in Van Andel Arena
- Forward Brandon Pirri posted his ninth goal of the year while defenseman Jake Bischoff notched his first of the season
- Goaltender Max Lagace stopped 27 of 31 shots