IOWA WILD (2-2-1-0) AT CHICAGO WOLVES (6-0-0-0)
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER…
As you might expect from a franchise with four league championships, there have been a lot of amazing nights for the Chicago Wolves since 1994. But their 10-2 win over the Iowa Wild Saturday night at the Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates ranks among the greatest. Let us count the ways:
1) The Wolves scored in double figures for just the fifth time in the franchise’s 2,297-game history (2,048 regular season, 249 postseason). Chicago scored four goals in the first 7:26 and owned a 9-0 lead at the 12:27 mark of the second period before falling off its 16-goal pace.
2) While Ryan Warsofsky’s squad finished one goal shy of the team’s single-game goal record set during an 11-5 win over the Peoria Rivermen on Dec. 30, 2005, it tied the franchise record for largest victory margin. Saturday’s game marked the fifth time the Wolves have won by eight goals.
3) The Wolves set the franchise record for most points in a game with 29. The squad amassed 10 goals and 19 assists to edge the record of 28 set in the 2005 game against Peoria. Fifteen skaters chipped in to set this mark and Warsofsky lauded the team’s unselfishness.
“It’s been great,” Warsofsky said. “I think it starts from the leadership: Cavan Fitzgerald, (Josh) Healey, Tanner Jeannot. These guys have played in the league, they know what it means to be a professional hockey player. It’s a team sport. And our guys have been really good since Day 1 of having the two organizations be one team. I think that showed tonight.”
4) Rookie center Seth Jarvis, who turned 19 at the start of this month, scored two goals in the second period to take over the AHL lead with six goals in six games. He also shares the league lead in points with nine, though he has played two fewer games than his co-leader (San Diego rookie Trevor Zegras).
5) The Wolves also tied the record for best start in franchise history as they advanced to 6-0-0-0. They can eclipse the record set by John Anderson’s 2007-08 Calder Cup champions with a win today against the Wild. The Tucson Roadrunners (4-0-0) are the only other AHL team that remains undefeated.
…now a night to forget
While all of these records and other achievements are worth celebrating, Ryan Warsofsky will tell you they aren’t worth savoring. That’s how it works when you finish one game at 9:13 p.m., then realize you face the exact same team again in 17 hours and 50 minutes. Iowa didn’t quit Saturday night and it won’t back down today either.
“At 12:01 (a.m.), we turn the page,” Warsofsky said. “It’s going to be a new day. The sun’s going to come up (Sunday) morning and we’re going to see a different Iowa team. We know that. The guys have been told that. We’ll make sure we’re prepared and make some adjustments we may need to make. But, again, we’re focused on ourselves. The first shift is going to be really important (Sunday).”
WE ARE THE WOLVES
On the same night when this year’s team tied the 2007-08 squad for the longest unbeaten start to a season (6-0-0-0), both teams found another reason to be tied together in the Wolves history books.
Prior to Saturday’s 10-game outburst, the last time the Wolves scored 10 goals happened on Dec. 15, 2007. Kevin Doell recorded his only Wolves hat trick and Bryan Little scored his first two goals with the Wolves to lead the way.
Prior to Saturday’s eight-goal victory margin, the last time the Wolves won by eight goals was, yes, on Dec. 15, 2007.
Now for the kicker: Both 10-2 wins happened against Iowa — though the 2007 team was known as the Stars due to its affiliation with the Dallas Stars.
LAST TWO GAMES
- Center Morgan Geekie scored 19 seconds into the game to set the tone for four goals in the first eight minutes, nine goals in the first 23 minutes and the Wolves’ first 10-goal game since 2007.
- Geekie, Rem Pitlick and Seth Jarvis scored two goals apiece while Tom Novak delivered a team-high four points as 15 skaters produced points and set a team single-game record with 29 points.
- Goaltender Jeremy Helvig parried 35 shots to earn the win.
- Forward Anthony Richard scored 81 seconds into the game to give the Wolves a lead they would not relinquish in a road win Tuesday night.
- Nineteen-year-old forwards Ryan Suzuki and Phil Tomasino also scored goals — Suzuki’s being his first as a pro — as the Wolves opened a 3-0 lead through two periods.
- Goaltender Beck Warm rejected 37 shots to set a team season-high for saves.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: On Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) loaned 22-year-old center Morgan Geekie to the Wolves. Geekie seemed like he might not ever return to the AHL after scoring three goals in his first two NHL games last March — then appearing in all eight of the ‘Canes postseason games in the bubble. But Carolina added a key veteran to its lineup via trade, which meant Geekie came here to see more time. If he was upset by the move, then he took it out on the Iowa Wild instead of moping. Geekie scored 19 seconds into Saturday’s game — the fastest Wolves opening goal since Adam Cracknell tallied 15 seconds into the game on Jan. 29, 2014, at Rochester. Geekie then assisted on Rem Pitlick’s first-period power-play goal and added his second goal in the second period. He also stuck up for rookie teammate Phil Tomasino after physical Iowa forward Cody McLeod boarded Tomasino with the score 4-0.
4: During the first 26 seasons of Chicago Wolves hockey, players wore 49 different jersey numbers: 1 through 42, 44, 45, 49, 55, 77, 84 and 92. Only five games into this season, equipment manager Ryan Shoufer has created four jerseys with new numbers: Rookie forward Patrick Harper wears No. 43, fourth-year defenseman Frederic Allard debuted No. 46 Tuesday night, veteran defenseman Alex Carrier donned No. 47 before joining the Nashville Predators taxi squad and rookie forward Phil Tomasino wears No. 50. The Wolves also have added a pair of initials to their helmets this weekend. The back of each helmet says “BS” to honor Brian Sayles, the Milwaukee Admirals’ beloved assistant to the equipment manager who passed away Feb. 10 during heart surgery.
7: Rookie center Seth Jarvis turned 19 on Feb. 1, four days before the Wolves’ opener. Despite his youth, the Winnipeg native leads the AHL with six goals in his first six games. Moreover, he has scored at least one point in every game, so he owns the AHL’s longest point streak at six games. He was tied with Texas’ Thomas Harley prior to putting up two goals Saturday night. Texas did not play Saturday.
9: Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald, one of the veterans who wears an “A” for the Wolves, leads the AHL with his +9 plus/minus rating. He was a +2 Saturday night with one assist. Rookie forward Phil Tomasino, one of just three Wolves skaters who did not score a point Saturday, settled for posting a +4 plus/minus rating that vaulted him to second place in the AHL with a +8.
15: The Wolves have scored 30 goals through five games this year — and a league-high 15 have been delivered by rookies. Physical forward Cole Smith became the latest to join the list when he scored his second career pro goal Saturday. Center Seth Jarvis leads the way with six tallies while fellow 19-year-old forward Phil Tomasino owns three — all against Rockford. Forward David Cotton contributed two Feb. 11 against Rockford while 19-year-old Jamieson Rees notched his first pro goal Feb. 6 at Rockford. Rookie center Ryan Suzuki has scored one goal in each of the last two games. The San Diego Gulls are next on the rookie goal-scoring list with nine.
388: Since the Wolves started playing on Oct. 1, 1994, a total of 678 players have donned the Burgundy and Gold. When forward Morgan Geekie made his Chicago debut Saturday night, he became the 388th player in Wolves history who also has appeared in the NHL.
|Friday, Feb. 26||at Grand Rapids||Van Andel Arena||6 p.m.||AHLTV|
|Sunday, Feb. 28||vs. Grand Rapids||Wolves Training Facility||3 p.m.||AHLTV|
|Friday, March 5||vs. Cleveland||Wolves Training Facility||7 p.m.||AHLTV|