Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on all Chicago Wolves developments throughout the team’s 25th anniversary season.
HOW our all-stars fared
Wolves forward Daniel Carr and rookie defenseman Erik Brännström helped the Western Conference to a 17-14 victory over the Eastern Conference in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday night in Springfield, Massachusetts. Brännström competed in the Puck Control Relay and the Pass and Score while Carr showed off his skills in the Rapid Fire and Accuracy Shooting. Both competed in the Breakaway Relay that sealed the West’s win.
In the round-robin style All-Star Challenge on Monday, the Central Division fell 3-1 to the Atlantic and 4-2 to the North before ending the weekend with a 5-3 win over the Pacific. Brännström, the youngest of the 48 All-Stars, tallied four assists during the tournament. That tied for the most points on the Central Division squad while Carr scored a goal and added two helpers.
Between the Skills Competition and the All-Star Challenge, the AHL hosted its Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday morning. Longtime Wolves head coach John Anderson, who led the Wolves to four league championships, 12 playoff appearances and 624 wins during his 14 seasons in Chicago, was joined in the Class of 2019 by Don Cherry, Murray Eaves and Brad Smyth.
TWO RALLIES IN CLEVELAND
The Wolves have battled from behind in each of the last five games, including both contests in Cleveland. In Thursday’s victory the Wolves scored five unanswered goals — four coming in a 193-second span of action — to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 win. On Saturday, the Wolves scored three third-period goals to force overtime and earn a point in the standings.
BRANDON Pirri bobblEhead NIGHT
You have to visit Las Vegas now to see the real-life Brandon Pirri, but you can come to the Wolves game on Saturday, Feb. 2, against the Manitoba Moose to receive a Brandon Pirri bobblehead of your own. Presented by CW50, these bobbleheads honor the Chicago resident who ruled the AHL with 42 points in just 29 games before he was recalled from loan by the Vegas Golden Knights in mid-December.
BE A PART OF THE “CHEERS TO 25 YEARS” FUNDRAISER
The Chicago Wolves toast the franchise’s storied history with the Cheers to 25 Years fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Murray Bros. Caddyshack in Rosemont. Current Wolves favorites such as forward Alex Gallant, goaltender Oscar Dansk and defenseman Nic Hague will be there along with popular alums Brett Sterling and Scooter Vaughan. To join the fun, sign up here.
Before leaving for the All-Star festivities, forward Daniel Carr tallied a goal and two assists in the Wolves’ 5-1 win over Cleveland on Thursday. Carr continues to lead the league with 53 points and 32 assists in 38 games while his 21 goals are tied for fourth overall. He holds a five-point lead over Syracuse’s Carter Verhaeghe in the scoring race.
Forward Stefan Matteau scored the Wolves’ third short-handed goal of the season on Thursday, hitting the twine in the final second of the second period to send his team into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. The goal was Matteau’s third of the year and the first short-handed goal of his 285-game AHL career, as well as being the game-winner in the 5-1 victory.
Goaltender Zach Fucale picked up his first win in a Wolves sweater in Chicago’s 5-1 win on Thursday, saving 28 of 29 shots in the victory. The 23-year-old Fucale has appeared in three games for the Wolves and owns a .915 save percentage to go with a 2.35 goals-against average.
- The Wolves pulled off a three-goal rally in the third period to force overtime and earn a point, but fell to the Monsters in the extra session at Quicken Loans Arena.
- Defensemen Erik Brännström and Jake Bischoff and forward Tomas Hyka all scored goals for Chicago and the Wolves penalty kill went 2-for-2 on the night.
- Goaltender Max Lagace made 39 saves.
- The Wolves scored five unanswered goals, including a short-handed tally from forward Stefan Matteau, to topple the Monsters in a midweek contest.
- Defenseman Dylan Coghlan and forwards Brooks Macek, Keegan Kolesar and Daniel Carr also scored in the win.
- Goaltender Zach Fucale saved 28 shots to earn his first win with the Wolves.