Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on all Chicago Wolves developments throughout the team’s 25th anniversary season.
outwitting, outscoring, outlasting
The Chicago Wolves continue to climb the standings. After garnering three wins at Allstate Arena in a four-day stretch, the Wolves are tied with the Iowa Wild for the best points percentage (.625) in the Central Division.
Tuesday’s School-Day victory over Texas was the Wolves’ sixth straight win, the longest active streak in the AHL and Chicago’s longest stretch since winning six games from Feb. 25 to March 9 of last season. A 12-game streak, set Feb. 25 to March 17, 2000, by the eventual International Hockey League Turner Cup champions remains the longest streak in Wolves history.
Since falling behind 3-0 to Iowa in the opening 27 minutes of their game on Dec. 5, Chicago has outscored its opponents 28-8. The Wolves have scored 111 goals this season, eight more than the next-highest scoring teams, and average a league-high 3.96 goals per game.
The Wolves own a 22-goal differential over their opponents this season — and the recent increase has a lot to do with the players sharing time between the pipes. Netminders Oscar Dansk and Max Lagace have each earned three wins for Chicago during the streak, combining for a 2.14 goals-against average. Dansk made 32 saves in the team’s first shutout of the year in a 4-0 blanking of Rockford on Dec. 8.
CALLING ALL SUPER HEROES
The Wolves are hosting Super Hero Night, presented by Xfinity, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, as part of the team’s Illinois Lottery Cup game against the Rockford IceHogs. Come out to meet Spider-Man and Black Panther and other super heroes and make sure you wear your favorite super hero gear.
hot hockey, cold beer
The Chicago Wolves introduce their new Craft Beer Arena Crawl on Friday, Dec. 21, against the Rockford IceHogs at Allstate Arena. For $40, you get a game ticket, three craft beers and, once you’ve finished the arena crawl, a T-shirt recognizing your accomplishment. Fans who already have tickets can join the crawl for $20.
To join the fun on Friday or any of the other five Arena Crawls this season, sign up here.
Brandon Pirri extended his season-high point streak to nine games this week, scoring four goals and adding three assists in three Wolves win in addition to posting a +5 plus/minus rating. Pirri continues to lead the AHL in points with 41, averaging 1.46 points per game this season.
Zach Whitecloud scored an insurance goal on Sunday and then scored twice in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Texas to lead the Wolves defense last week. Whitecloud is second among all league rookies with a +16 plus-minus rating after going +7 last week.
Just behind Pirri in league scoring with 33 points, Daniel Carr notched three goals and a pair of assists this week. Carr’s nine power-play goals lead all AHL players and his 1.5 points per game are tied for the most among players that have competed in more than two games this year.
TUESDAY, DEC. 18: (at) CHICAGO 6, TEXAS 1
- The Wolves secured their sixth straight win on Tuesday afternoon, sparked by three first-period goals in a 101-second span.
- Rookie defenseman Zach Whitecloud scored twice while forwards Daniel Carr, Keegan Kolesar, Brandon Pirri and Tomas Hyka also scored for Chicago.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk saved 23 shots.
SUNDAY, DEC. 16: (at) CHICAGO 5, TUCSON 1
- The Wolves earned their fifth straight victory with their second win over Tucson in 24 hours, led by two goals from Brandon Pirri at Allstate Arena.
- Forwards T.J. Tynan and Daniel Carr and defenseman Zach Whitecloud also tallied goals for Chicago.
- Goaltender Max Lagace recorded 33 saves in the victory.
SATURDAY, DEC. 15: (at) CHICAGO 4, TUCSON 2
- The Wolves extended their winning streak to a season-high-tying four games as forwards Daniel Carr and Brandon Pirri delivered third-period goals to catch the Roadrunners at Allstate Arena.
- Defenseman Nic Hague and forward Keegan Kolesar staked the Wolves to a 2-1 lead after one period while Brooks Macek handed out two assists.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk recorded 28 saves.