Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on the 2019 Western Conference champions as they embark on the journey toward the 2020 Calder Cup.
WOLVES GET REVENGE AGAINST ADMIRALS
The Milwaukee Admirals have been the Central Division’s best team all year. But after a pair of games between the Admirals and the Chicago Wolves last weekend, it’s clear the Wolves belong on the same ice with the division leaders.
The Wolves dropped a 4-1 decision Friday at Milwaukee (which included an empty-net goal), but came back strong Saturday night to claim a 3-2 overtime home win over the Admirals.
After a tightly contested first period when neither team was able to crack the opposing goaltender, Brandon Pirri broke through three minutes into the second period. He struck again just 10 minutes later and the Wolves headed into the final period up 2-0. The Admirals rallied in the third and tied it in the final minute after pulling their goalie to add an attacker. The Wolves weren’t fazed, though, and center Nicolas Roy scored 1:15 into overtime.
“It was a great test,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “We thought we played pretty good (Friday) night, but didn’t get the results. I thought we played even better (Saturday) night. It was a really nice finish for us and a good confidence-booster.”
The Wolves get to build on Saturday’s game with three more home games before the holidays: an 11 a.m. School-Day Game on Tuesday against the San Antonio Rampage and then Saturday night and Sunday matinee games with the Texas Stars.
SEE THE STANLEY CUP SUNDAY
Want to get so close to the Stanley Cup that you can read the names of all its winners? Then get to Allstate Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22. All fans attending the 3 p.m. game against the Texas Stars at Allstate Arena have the chance to visit the Stanley Cup on the concourse and take a picture with hockey’s holy grail. Doors open at 2 p.m.
As an added bonus, Santa Claus will be at both home games this weekend as he prepares to put the finishing touches on his “Nice” list. He’s there to take pictures, too, of course.
VOTE FOR THE WOLVES ALL-DECADE TEAM
The Wolves have enjoyed a terrific decade that featured six division titles and a run to the 2019 Calder Cup Finals. There have been a lot of great players who made it all possible — and now’s the time to vote for the franchise’s All-Decade squad. Visit the team’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to cast your votes. Each position’s vote is open for three days, then the squad will be unveiled on New Year’s Eve.
STILL TIME TO HELP THE TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE
Every year at this time, the Chicago Wolves and the U.S. Marines team up to help children during the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Drive. It’s not too late to make the holidays merrier this season! Marines will be collecting new, unwrapped toys at Allstate Arena’s entrances prior to the Wolves’ home games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Center Nicolas Roy has been consistent point producer since returning to the Wolves from Vegas one month ago. He has delivered three goals and six assists in his last nine games, which included an assist Friday night and the game-winning overtime goal when the Wolves defeated Milwaukee 3-2 Saturday night.
Forward Brandon Pirri continued his impressive run with the Wolves last week as he helped the team secure a split with the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Admirals. After dropping the initial game Friday, Pirri made sure the Wolves got revenge Saturday as he scored two goals and assisted on the GWG in the 3-2 win.
Forward Keegan Kolesar returned to the ice on Dec. 13 after being sidelined with an upper-body injury for more than a month. Fans were delighted to see Kolesar return to the ice. During Saturday’s 3-2 win, Kolesar set up Brandon Pirri’s second goal with a perfect pass that marked his first point since Nov. 3.
LAST WEEK (1-1-0-0)
- Center Nicolas Roy carried the puck from the defensive blue line and deposited it in the net with a backhand at 1:15 of overtime to give the Wolves the win over the Central Division leader.
- Forward Brandon Pirri scored twice in the second period to stake the Wolves to a 2-0 lead while rookie defenseman Jimmy Schuldt earned two assists.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped 21 shots to pick up his third win in a row.
- The Wolves grabbed the early lead, but the Admirals answered 90 seconds later and kept going to earn the win at Panther Arena.
- Forward Reid Duke scored 11:06 into the game to give the Wolves the lead — his third goal in as many games.
- Goaltender Garret Sparks stopped 28 of 31 shots.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Tuesday, Dec. 17||vs. San Antonio||11 a.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Dec. 21||vs. Texas||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Sunday, Dec. 22||vs. Texas||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Saturday, Dec. 28||at Iowa||6 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Sunday, Dec. 29||vs. Milwaukee||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|