MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS (34-9-4-3) AT CHICAGO WOLVES (23-21-3-2)
Tonight’s contest against the first-place Milwaukee Admirals marks the start of a four-game homestand for the Chicago Wolves. It also launches a stretch where the Wolves get to play 11 home games in a 32-day stretch that concludes with a Manitoba Moose visit on March 15.
Moreover, because the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights loaned rookie center Cody Glass to the Wolves on Feb. 8, tonight marks a bit of a reunion for the Wolves’ 2019 Calder Cup Finals squad. With Glass added to the roster after spending all season with Vegas — he posted five goals and seven assists in 37 games before suffering an injury Jan. 4 — the Wolves boast six of the top 10 point-producers from their postseason run.
Veteran forward Curtis McKenzie (8G, 7A) and Glass (7G, 8A) produced a team-high 15 points apiece during the 2019 postseason — as did Tomas Hyka and Zach Whitecloud — while forward Tye McGinn (6G, 7A) ranked fifth with 13 points, injured forward Keegan Kolesar and defenseman Nic Hague posted 11 points apiece and center Gage Quinney contributed 9 points.
Those in Wolves uniforms aren’t the only ones who are part of this impromptu reunion — as Daniel Carr now plays for the Milwaukee Admirals. After capturing the American Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player award with the Wolves last season, Carr battled back from injury to contribute 5 goals and 7 assists in 15 postseason games before suffering another injury that kept him out of the final two games of the Calder Cup Finals.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Of the 26 players who suited up for the Wolves during last year’s postseason, 10 are on the current roster. The others have scattered across multiple leagues and continents. Among the most successful:
Center T.J. Tynan, who led the AHL with 59 assists last season, paces the AHL’s Colorado Eagles with 40 points (4G, 36A) in 34 games. He also earned his most extensive NHL shot to date and posted 1 assist in 14 appearances with the Colorado Avalanche. Goaltender Max Lagace leads the AHL with 5 shutouts while posting a 17-7-3 record and a 2.48 goals-against average for the Providence Bruins. Forward Stefan Matteau leads the Cleveland Monsters with 12 goals. Defenseman Zac Leslie and forward Alex Gallant are teammates with the Stockton Heat. Leslie owns four goals and 22 assists while Gallant boasts five goals, three assists and a team-high 82 penalty minutes.
In the KHL, Brooks Macek paces Yekaterinburg Automobilist with 21 goals and 42 points. Tomas Hyka ranks as the No. 2 scorer for Chelyabinsk Traktor with 15 goals and 15 assists. Forward Tyler Wong and defenseman Griffin Reinhart are teammates for Kunlun Red Star in Beijing, China — and Wong shares the team lead with 15 goals and 31 points.
WE ARE THE WOLVES
The Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars are tied for the most home games remaining in the regular season. Both still have 16 of their 38 home dates to play. The Stars (+6), the Ontario Reign (+6) and the Wolves (+5) are the only teams in the Western Conference to have played at least five more road games than home games to date.
Historically, the Wolves schedule tends to be backloaded with home games as that’s the way it dovetails best with Allstate Arena’s busy calendar. Last season, the Wolves started a five-game homestand on Feb. 17 and won all five games — allowing a total of six goals — to vault into second place in the Central Division.
LAST TWO GAMES
- For the second time this season, goaltender Oscar Dansk posted a 25-save shutout against the Manitoba Moose.
- Forward Gage Quinney opened the scoring with a first-period power-play goal, then he set up Tye McGinn for an insurance empty-netter with 1:24 to go.
- Dansk recorded his third shutout of the year and improved to 13-1-2 in his last 16 starts.
- C.J. Suess scored a power-play goal with 3:46 left to break the tie and give Manitoba the victory at Bell MTS Place.
- Forward Lucas Elvenes and defenseman Nic Hague scored for the Wolves and they also assisted on each other’s goals.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk posted 28 saves and earned his first assist since the 2018 playoffs.
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Goaltender Oscar Dansk shares fifth place with former Wolves teammate Max Lagace (and others) on the AHL wins leaderboard. Dansk has been flying up the charts in all of the AHL’s goaltending categories over the last two-plus months. In his last 16 starts — starting with a Dec. 4 win at Grand Rapids and concluding with a Feb. 7 shutout at Manitoba — Dansk has delivered a 13-1-2 record with a 1.61 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage and 2 shutouts. Dansk has faced the Milwaukee Admirals three times during this stretch and posted a 2-0-1 mark with 5 goals allowed in 186:15 (1.61 GAA) and 67 saves in 72 shots faced (.931).
14: Veteran forward Tye McGinn has scored four goals in the last four games to take over the team lead in goals with 14. It’s the 29-year-old McGinn’s highest goal total since he piled up a career-high-tying 20 tallies for the Syracuse Crunch in 2015-16. If he maintains his goal-scoring pace the rest of the way and remains healthy — he’s one of five Wolves to appear in all 49 games to date — he’ll finish with 22 goals during the regular season.
23: Center Nicolas Roy was reassigned to the Wolves by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. It marked the 23rd time since Oct. 1 that Roy has been moved between the Wolves and the Golden Knights — and the eighth time since Jan. 1. Despite the hectic travel, Roy has enjoyed success at both levels. He owns seven goals and 14 assists in 26 Wolves games to go with his first three NHL goals and three assists in 19 games for Vegas.
34: Presuming center Cody Glass plays in tonight’s game, he’ll become the 34th player to participate for the Wolves this season. Glass has not suited up since Jan. 4, when he suffered an injury while playing for the Vegas Golden Knights against the St. Louis Blues. The 20-year-old is considered a rookie at the NHL and AHL levels as he did not play 25 regular-season games at those levels last year, but that will not be the case next year as he already owns 37 appearances with Vegas this year.
372: When forward Keegan Kolesar made his NHL debut with the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 11, he became the 372nd player in Wolves history to put NHL experience on his resume. Forward Cam Maclise’s Wolves debut on Jan. 19 vs. Rockford made him the 646th player to don the Wolves uniform since the franchise was founded in 1994, which means 57.6 percent of all Wolves have appeared in the NHL. That percentage is even higher among goaltenders as 40 of the team’s 57 goaltenders over the years (70.2 percent) can say they’ve played in the NHL.
2,000: Tonight marks the 2,000th game of Wolves head athletic trainer Kevin Kacer’s professional career — the vast majority of them with the Wolves. The 55-year-old Northwest Indiana native started his career with the Fort Wayne Flames, Fort Wayne Komets, Fort Wayne Fury and Detroit Pistons before joining the Wolves prior to the 1995-96 season. He has been an important part of the organization’s four championships and has been dedicated to the team’s players and coaches — day and night — for 25 years. Kacer, along with his family, will be recognized prior to Saturday’s home game against Grand Rapids.
|Saturday, Feb. 15||vs. Grand Rapids||Allstate Arena||7 p.m.||Tickets|
|Sunday, Feb. 16||vs. Cleveland||Allstate Arena||3 p.m.||Tickets|
|Thursday, Feb. 20||vs. Grand Rapids||Allstate Arena||11 a.m.||Tickets|