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 EARN HAPPY HOLIDAY BREAK
On the strength of a 5-3-0-0 showing so far in December, the Chicago Wolves have climbed three spots in the American Hockey League’s Central Division standings. If the regular season ended today, the Wolves would own a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Wolves continued their climb last week with wins over the San Antonio Rampage and the Texas Stars at Allstate Arena. On Dec. 17, Chicago knocked off San Antonio 4-1 as center Nicolas Roy recorded the team’s first hat trick of the year and assisted on the other goal (which was scored by Brandon Pirri).
On Dec. 21, goaltender Oscar Dansk pushed his winning streak to five games as he set a personal best with 41 saves in the Wolves’ 2-1 win over the Texas Stars. With just 74 seconds remaining in regulation, center Gage Quinney snuck a puck past Stars’ netminder Jake Oettinger to deliver the win.
After getting four days to spend with family and friends, the Wolves return to the ice Saturday at Iowa before hosting the final home game of the decade at 3 p.m. Sunday against Milwaukee. The Wolves own a 222-117-22-22 regular-season at Allstate Arena during the 2010s.
VOTE FOR THE WOLVES ALL-DECADE TEAM
As the 2010s come to a close, the Wolves are celebrating all of the great teams and players who have represented the organization on the ice over the last 10 years. The Wolves wouldn’t have been able to win six division titles and make a run to the 2019 Calder Cup Finals without having so many standouts.
The Wolves are asking fans to determine the franchise’s All-Decade Team by going to Facebook and Twitter to vote for finalists at each position. The fans already have determined the identity of the All-Decade goaltender, center and right wing. Voting continues for the left-shot defenseman through Tuesday. Then comes voting for the right-shot defenseman (Dec. 25-27) and the left wing (Dec. 28-30).
new year’s resolution: enjoy craft beer night
Everyone’s favorite Craft Beer Night returns in 2020! The first Craft Beer Night of the new decade will be Thursday, Jan. 2, when the Wolves take on the Texas Stars. Fans 21 and older receive a ticket, a flight of craft beer and a T-shirt for one low price. The event takes place in the Budweiser Brew House located in the southeast corner of Allstate Arena’s concourse.
Center Nicolas Roy continued his point-producing streak since joining the Wolves a month ago. He has notched six goals and seven assists in his last 13 games, which included recording his first professional hat trick and assisting on the other goal when the Wolves posted a 4-1 win over San Antonio on Dec. 17.
Goaltender Oscar Dansk extended his winning streak to five games with a pair of victories last week. He rejected 64 of 66 shots to lead the Wolves to a 2-1 win over San Antonio on Dec. 17 and a 4-1 win over Texas on Dec. 21. During his streak, he owns a 1.60 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.
Since Brandon Pirri’s return to the Wolves on loan from Vegas on Nov. 17, the Toronto, Ontario, native has made a big impact with the Wolves with 14 points (7G, 7A) in 14 appearances. Recently, Pirri notched his 300th AHL point and maintained his red-hot December by posting six points (4G, 2A) in his last four games.
LAST WEEK (2-1-0-0)
- Starting for the second night in a row, Texas goaltender Jake Oettinger stopped all 32 shots he saw to snap the Wolves’ winning streak at three games.
- The Wolves outshot the Stars 32-19 as Brandon Pirri and Gage Quinney launched four shots apiece while the penalty kill unit erased 5 of 6 Texas power plays.
- Goaltender Garret Sparks posted 16 saves.
- Center Gage Quinney jammed home his own rebound with 1:14 left in regulation to lead the Wolves to their third win in a row and fourth in the last five games.
- Forward Brandon Pirri scored in the second period to erase Texas’ 1-0 lead and he set up Quinney’s game-winner with a pass to the crease.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped a Wolves season-high 41 shots to earn his fifth straight win.
- The Wolves extended their winning streak to seven during School-Day Games as they erased a 1-0 deficit thanks to center Nicolas Roy’s first hat trick in the AHL.
- In addition to doubling his season goals total, Roy set up forward Brandon Pirri for the Wolves’ other tally to become the third Chicago player this season to notch four points in a game.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk notched 23 saves to extend his winning streak to four games.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Saturday, Dec. 28||at Iowa||6 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Sunday, Dec. 29||vs. Milwaukee||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
|Tuesday, Dec. 31||at Grand Rapids||5 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Thursday, Jan. 2||vs. Texas||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Saturday, Jan. 4||vs. Iowa||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|