Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on all Chicago Wolves developments throughout the team’s 25th anniversary season including the Calder Cup Playoffs.
WOLVES REACH FINAL FOUR FOR NINTH TIME
The Chicago Wolves secured their spot in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, defeating the Iowa Wild 3-1 in a decisive Game 6 of the Central Division Finals on home ice. The Wild tied the series 2-2 in Des Moines, but the Wolves rebounded with 10 goals over the last two games to move on to the conference finals for the first time since John Anderson’s Wolves brought home the 2008 Calder Cup.
Later on Monday night, the San Diego Gulls advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time with a 6-2 Game 6 victory over Bakersfield, the Pacific Division regular-season champion. With Bakersfield eliminated, the Wolves own home-ice advantage and will host Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Who else reached the final four? Both Toronto, the defending Calder Cup champion, and Charlotte swept their respective second-round opponents and will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals beginning Friday.
ARMED FORCES DAY
To celebrate Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 18, the Wolves are welcoming current and former servicemen and women to Allstate Arena for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. To register for Game 2 tickets, active military and veterans are asked to visit ChicagoWolves.com/Veterans to sign up.
Forward Daniel Carr scored twice last week — including the short-handed game-winner in the decisive Game 6 over Iowa — while adding an assist in Game 5. Carr played every game in the Iowa series after returning from injury and tallied a team-high seven points (2G, 5A) for Chicago.
Alternate captain Curtis McKenzie tallied five goals last week in a six-period stretch, which included the Wolves’ first postseason hat trick since the 2008 Calder Cup Final with his three goals in Game 5. McKenzie became the sixth Wolves player this season to record a hat trick.
Goaltender Oscar Dansk played all four games last week and picked up wins in Games 5 and 6 to go with a 2.03 goal-against average and a .914 save percentage for the entire week. Dansk owns a 6-3 record in the postseason for Chicago and has handled the last eight contests.
MONDAY, MAY 13: (at) CHICAGO 3, IOWA 1
- Forwards Daniel Carr and Cody Glass scored 25 seconds apart late in the second period to turn a tie game into a 3-1 lead as the Wolves captured Game 6 and the Central Division Finals series.
- Forward Curtis McKenzie opened the scoring with a power-play goal early in the second period for his fifth strike in a six-period stretch.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped 23 of 24 shots.
FRIDAY, MAY 10: CHICAGO 7, (at) IOWA 4
- Forward Curtis McKenzie knocked home three rebounds to produce the franchise’s first postseason hat trick in 11 years as the Wolves scored early and often in Game 5.
- Forwards Matthew Weis, Stefan Matteau, Daniel Carr and Gage Quinney also scored as the Wolves produced their first three power-play goals of the series.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk saved 24 shots to earn his fifth postseason win.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8: (at) IOWA 2, CHICAGO 1
- Iowa forward Gerald Mayhew scored his eighth and ninth goals of the postseason to stake the Wild to a 2-0 lead on the way to a Game 4 win that evened the series.
- Forward Curtis McKenzie scored at 9:11 of the third to pull the Wolves within striking range as defenseman Zac Leslie and center T.J. Tynan picked up the assists.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk posted 20 saves.
SUNDAY, MAY 5: (at) IOWA 2, CHICAGO 0
- Wild goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped all 26 shots he saw to lead Iowa to a 2-0 victory in Game 3 of the Central Division Finals.
- The Wolves had four power-play opportunities but could not convert despite a multitude of near-misses.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced.
WESTERN CONFERENCE finals schedule
|Game 1||Friday, May 17||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Game 2||Saturday, May 18||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Game 3||Wednesday, May 22||Pechanga Arena||9 p.m.||Watch|
|Game 4||Friday, May 24||Pechanga Arena||9 p.m.||Watch|
|Game 5*||Saturday, May 25||Pechanga Arena||9 p.m.||Watch|
|Game 6*||Monday, May 27||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Game 7*||Wednesday, May 29||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|