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Gameday: Matinee in Milwaukee


Saturday, Feb. 9 | 1 p.m. | CW50AHLTV | Facebook Live

setting our away message

Tonight marks the first of four straight games the Chicago Wolves will spend on the road, which marks the second-longest stretch this season. The Wolves seem to thrive outside the friendly confines of Allstate Arena, collecting a 14-7-1-0 road record this year that includes a six-game road winning streak from Dec. 5-28. The penalty kill is also doing well in opposing rinks, improving to an 86.1 percent average from the overall 81.4 percent penalty kill rate.

The Wolves have been impressive on the road regardless of which rink they’re in, but Milwaukee seems to be extra productive for the boys in burgundy. The Wolves and Admirals each have scored 25 goals in the seven games of the series so far this season, but Chicago owns a 12-5 advantage in scoring at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena this year. In fact, the last time the Wolves suffered a regulation or overtime loss in Milwaukee was more than a year ago when Milwaukee came back in the third period to force overtime before scoring halfway through the extra session to win 3-2 on Nov. 24, 2017.

With things so highly contested in the division, a good road stretch might be what the Wolves need to break away from the pack. Milwaukee (53 points) sits just three points behind the Wolves (56 points) while Grand Rapids (61 points), which the Wolves will face Sunday, has a five-point advantage on the Wolves and leads the Central.

goal differential pER game

Not only do the Wolves average the most goals in the Central Division with 3.54 per game, they also boast the largest goal differential per game. Chicago has scored 27 more goals (163-136) than its opponents in 46 games so far this year, a 0.58 goals per game differential that ranks fourth among all AHL teams.

TEAM                 G      GF      GA      +/-       Avg.

Chicago             46    163     136      27       0.58

Iowa                   49    164     142     22        0.45

Texas                 46    153     142     11        0.23

Grand Rapids    49    144     139      5         0.10

Milwaukee         50    132     138     -6       -0.12

San Antonio      47    126     135     -9       -0.19

Rockford           50    118     136    -18      -0.36

Manitoba          46    116     144    -28       -0.60


.659: The Wolves have a 14-7-1-0 record in road games, a .659 winning percentage that is tied for fourth in the league. The mark is third in team history, however. The record is held by the 2006-07 Wolves, who finished the season with a road mark of 27-8-2-3, good for a .738 percentage in away games.

3: The Wolves boast three players who have appeared in all 46 games this season: Forwards Keegan Kolesar, Brooks Macek and Curtis McKenzie. That’s better than average in the Central Division. Milwaukee leads all divisional teams with five players who have played in all 50 of the Admirals’ contests. Texas has 3, Grand Rapids and Rockford 2, Iowa and San Antonio 1 and Manitoba hasn’t had anybody play in all 46 of its games.

4: The Wolves’ prowess during even-strength play shows up in the league’s plus/minus ratings as Chicago owns the top four spots. Veteran forward Daniel Carr continues to lead the AHL with his +27 rating while linemate Gage Quinney jumped into second place at +25. Rookie defenseman Zach Whitecloud is third with a +24 while fellow rookie rearguard Nic Hague shares fourth place at +22 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Ethan Prow.

19: Goaltender Max Lagace rejoined the Wolves on Friday after spending most of the last month with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Lagace appeared in one game during his time with the Golden Knights — stopping 27 of 31 shots in a 5-2 loss on Feb. 1 at Carolina. For the Wolves this season, Lagace has appeared in 19 games and produced a 9-6-3 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage.

27: The Wolves have scored 163 goals this season, the fifth-best mark in the league. Chicago is outscoring its opponents by a 27-goal margin (163-136), good for the fourth-best margin in the AHL. The Wolves are making up the most ground in the first period, outscoring opponents 60-35 in the opening frame.

57: AHL All-Star left wing Daniel Carr continues to own a comfortable lead in the league’s scoring race as he owns 57 points (23G, 34A). He scored four points last weekend to hold a three-point margin over Syracuse’s Carter Verhaeghe. Carr also paces the AHL in assists and plus-minus rating (+27) and shares sixth in power-play goals (9). If he maintains his 1.43 points-per-game pace, he’ll deliver 100 points this season. That would be the most in the AHL since 2009-10, when Hershey’s Keith Aucoin posted 106 points in 72 games.

356: If you’ve suited up for the Wolves, chances are better than 50/50 that you’ve also played in the National Hockey League. When recent Wolves forward Mackenzie MacEachern made his NHL debut on Jan. 10 for the St. Louis Blues, he became the 356th player (out of 619 Wolves all-time) who have competed for the Wolves and in the NHL. That 57.5 percent overall success rate is even higher among goaltenders. Of the 55 players who’ve tended the net for the Wolves over the years — starting with original goaltenders Ray LeBlanc and Wendell Young and continuing through current Wolves Max Lagace and Oscar Dansk — 38 boast NHL experience (69.1 percent).

THE next three GAMES

Sunday, Feb. 10 at Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena 3 p.m. Watch
Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Manitoba Bell MTS Place 7 p.m. Watch
Friday, Feb. 15 at Manitoba Bell MTS Place 7 p.m. Watch


All times Central. All games stream on AHLTV.