Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on the 2019 Western Conference champions as they experience the journey toward the 2020 Calder Cup.
THE TRADE DEADLINE COMES AND GOES
As the NHL’s trade deadline approached Monday afternoon, the Chicago Wolves didn’t know whether their roster would remain intact for the home stretch because the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights were known to be in the trade market.
While the Wolves’ NHL partner engineered a big deal — acquiring goaltender Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks — it did not cost Vegas anybody on the Wolves’ roster. The Golden Knights sent a second-round draft pick, goaltender Malcolm Subban and unsigned prospect Slava Demin to the Blackhawks. Vegas also acquired Montreal center Nick Cousins, but paid a fourth-round draft pick.
There was still big news Monday, though. Vegas reassigned forwards Patrick Brown, Gage Quinney and Nicolas Roy and defenseman Zach Whitecloud to the Wolves — ensuring all will be eligible to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs if the Wolves maintain their top-four spot in the AHL’s Central Division. The fourth-place Wolves put some distance between they and the fifth-place Rockford IceHogs with a 5-1 Illinois Lottery Cup victory Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
MARCH promotional MADNESS
The Wolves host eight home dates during March and there are big promotions planned for each game! The festivities begin Thursday, March 5, when the Wolves host a Sports Career and Networking Fair in the afternoon leading up to Craft Beer Night at 7 p.m.
Young Wolves fans will celebrate American Girl Night on Saturday, March 7. The first 1,000 kids receive a Doll Accessory — while five American Girl dolls will be given away during the game. Join us for STEM Day and Teacher Appreciation Day on Sunday, March 8, which also features a Santa’s Village Azoosment Park ticket giveaway for the first 1,000 kids as part of Little Debbie Sunday.
On Saturday, March 14, the first 2,500 fans to enter Allstate Arena receive a Curtis McKenzie bobblehead, courtesy of My50 Chicago. It’s also eSports Night and the debut of the Wolves’ St. Patrick’s Day jerseys, presented by Jewel-Osco, that will be auctioned and raffled to benefit Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago and Chicago Wolves Charities. The Wolves also will wear their St. Patrick’s Day jerseys on Sunday, March 15. It’s a Little Debbie Sunday that features an Arlington International Racecourse ticket for the first 1,000 kids.
The Wolves host Salute to Military Families Night, presented by your Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Kia Dealers, on Saturday, March 28. To help all veterans, the Wolves are holding a Military Resource Fair in the Skyline Room prior to the 7 p.m. game.
CRAFT BEER HERE!
On Thursday, March 5, fans 21 and up will have another opportunity to enjoy Craft Beer Night during the Wolves’ 7 p.m. game against the Tucson Roadrunners. Fans can purchase a ticket and a flight of craft beer for one low price — or just join the Craft Beer Night festivities once they come in the door. The fun begins in the Brew House located in the southeast corner of Allstate Arena’s main concourse. The Wolves host their final two Craft Beer Nights of the regular season on Friday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 24.
For the second week in a row, the Wolves played three games in four days. The difficult stretch didn’t faze veteran forward Brandon Pirri. The 28-year-old from Toronto netted four goals over the course of the three games. Not only did he score the opening goal in each contest, he did so in the first five minutes of each game.
The Wolves’ 5-1 win over the IceHogs on Sunday would not have been complete without a pair of goals from rookie forward Paul Cotter. The 20-year-old entered the game with just one goal as a professional, but produced his second game-winning goal and his first power-play goal to contribute to the victory.
After the Wolves dropped a pair of games earlier in the week, 26-year-old Garret Sparks was called upon to protect the Wolves net for a vital Illinois Lottery Cup match against the Rockford IceHogs Sunday.. Despite losing a chunk of the roster to loan recalls and injuries, Sparks stopped 30 of 31 shots to lead the Wolves to a 5-1 victory.
LAST WEEK (1-2-0-0)
- Playing without eight of their top 12 scorers due to injuries, illness and recalls, the Wolves bolted to a 3-0 lead in the first period and rolled to the Illinois Lottery Cup victory at Allstate Arena.
- Forwards Brandon Pirri and Paul Cotter scored two goals, defenseman Dylan Coghlan scored a power-play goal and Nic Hague and Tye McGinn handed out two assists apiece.
- Goaltender Garret Sparks stopped 30 shots to earn his second win in a row.
- Former Wolves forward Daniel Carr scored the go-ahead goal and added an empty-net tally as the Admirals posted the win on the night they retired Darren Haydar’s No. 20.
- Forward Brandon Pirri opened the scoring 3:32 into the first period on a feed from defenseman Jaycob Megna as the Wolves played one skater short due to last-minute NHL recalls.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk posted 21 saves.
- The Wolves carried a 1-0 lead into the third period, but the Griffins rallied for three goals in a six-minute span to win the third-place showdown before a School-Day Game crowd of 14,664.
- Forward Brandon Pirri scored 1:10 into the game and forward Valentin Zykov pulled the Wolves within one with 2:05 to play.
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk stopped 22 shots.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Tuesday, Feb. 25||at Iowa||7 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Feb. 29||at Manitoba||2 p.m.||Bell MTS Place||AHLTV|
|Sunday, March 1||at Manitoba||2 p.m.||Bell MTS Place||AHLTV|
|Thursday, March 5||vs. Tucson||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||Tickets|
|Saturday, March 7||vs. Tucson||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||Tickets|