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 HEAD WEST TO FIND WINS
The Chicago Wolves are headed west to continue the Western Conference Finals, touching down in San Diego with the series knotted 1-1. The Gulls host Game 3 Wednesday night, Game 4 Friday night and Game 5 Saturday night. The Wolves pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 1 of the series before falling 3-0 in Game 2.
Despite the result in Game 2, Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson thought the team played better in Saturday’s loss than in Friday’s win.
“I liked how we played (Saturday),” Thompson said. “I thought we had a lot of possession, a lot of opportunity that way. We had our moments for sure, which was encouraging for me. This is the way we’ve got to play. We had the puck a lot, which is good. We were executing a game plan that will give us a chance to have success.”
In Game 1, the Wolves were outshot 44-28 but goaltender Oscar Dansk put up a season-high 40 saves to keep Chicago in the game until rookie center Cody Glass scored his second overtime game-winner of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
How important was it to take Game 1? The last 21 times the Wolves have won Game 1 of a postseason series, Chicago has gone on to win the entire series, including the Round 2 victory over Iowa. For what it’s worth, Glass also notched the overtime winner in Game 1 of that series.
Meanwhile, out east…
Toronto suffered its first loss of the Calder Cup Playoffs in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals when Charlotte stormed back from a 3-0 deficit — scoring five unanswered goals to pull even in the series with the 5-3 victory on Saturday. The Marlies topped the Checkers 2-1 in Game 1 of the series, Toronto’s eighth consecutive postseason win. The series moves to Toronto for the next three games, beginning Tuesday.
GAMe 6 & 7 TICKETS
Studies show that in a 2-3-2 series like the Wolves’ Western Conference Finals against San Diego, there’s an 80 percent chance there’ll be a Game 6 when the first two games are split. That means now’s the time to set up your tickets for Game 6 on Monday night at Allstate Arena. Should there not be a Game 6 (or a Game 7), all ticket purchases will be refunded. To get the best seats, visit ChicagoWolves.com/Playoffs.
Rookie center Cody Glass scored his second overtime game-winning goal of the playoffs in Game 1, giving the Wolves a 1-0 lead in the series. Glass has scored eight goals in his 19 regular-season and playoff games with Chicago and four of them have been the winning tally.
Forward Tomas Hyka recorded a pair of assists in the Wolves’ overtime victory in Game 1, including setting up Glass for the game-winner with a stretch pass up the middle of the ice. Hyka leads the team with his eight postseason helpers.
Goaltender Oscar Dansk turned away 40 shots in the Game 1 victory over San Diego, backstopping the Wolves to an overtime win despite a 44-28 (-16) shot differential. Dansk’s 40-save performances was a personal postseason- and season-high.
- The Wolves were unable to solve Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle as San Diego evened the series with its second postseason shutout in franchise history.
- Chicago had a 29-23 advantage in shots on net, but couldn’t convert despite four power-play opportunities.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced.
- For the second postseason series in a row, rookie center Cody Glass produced the game-winning goal in overtime — scoring at 14:03 of the first OT to give the Wolves the Game 1 win.
- Forwards Tobias Lindberg, Daniel Carr and Tye McGinn gave the Wolves leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before needing rookie defenseman Nic Hague’s goal with 3:05 left in regulation to force OT.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk posted a season-high 40 saves.
WESTERN CONFERENCE finals schedule
|Game 1||Wolves 5, Gulls 4 (OT)||Allstate Arena|
|Game 2||Gulls 3, Wolves 0||Allstate Arena|
|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|