Welcome to Wolves Insider: the report presented by Power Crunch that gives you a taste of all Chicago Wolves developments as the organization enjoys its 27th season.
TIED FOR THE TOP
As the Chicago Wolves approach the halfway point of the 2021 season, they’re not looking up at anybody in the 28-team American Hockey League. The Wolves’ 12-2-0-1 record gives head coach Ryan Warsofsky’s squad an .833 points percentage, which shares the best mark in the league alongside the Henderson Silver Knights.
The Wolves continue to play well regardless of what gets thrown in their way. They’ve had most of their leading point-producers either recalled to the National Hockey League (Rem Pitlick, Jeremy Davies, Joey Keane, Frederic Allard) or called away to the Western Hockey League (Seth Jarvis). They’ve had a 13-day layoff while following the AHL’s COVID-19 protocols. They’ve had four different goaltenders play the last four games.
Nonetheless, the Wolves have won their last four games by a combined score of 21-9. Not only have they increased their Central Division to 7 points over the Grand Rapids Griffins heading into Thursday’s matinee showdown at the Wolves Training Facility in Hoffman Estates, they have increased their league-leading scoring average to 4.53 goals per game. The Wolves also pace the AHL in goal differential (+30).
Why do they keep rolling? Because there are so many prospects willing and able to score. Pitlick and Morgan Geekie each posted two 2-goal games before heading to the NHL, so now rookies such as Jamieson Rees and David Cotton are stepping forward. Each contributed a 2-goal game last weekend.
INTRODUCING WARSOFSKY WEDNESDAYS
When the Carolina Hurricanes acquired 30-year-old David Warsofsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs and loaned him to the Wolves on Feb. 15, it was more significant than simply providing the Wolves with a proven point-producing defenseman who can run the power play: It meant 33-year-old Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky gets to coach his younger brother for the first time.
Research suggests this is the first time since 1994-95 — when Blackhawks boss Darryl Sutter oversaw younger brother Rich — that a Chicago professional coach gets to coach his sibling.
The Warsofskys have a lot of great stories from their youthful adventures in Marshfield, Massachusetts, to share, so the Wolves social media platforms will introduce “Warsofsky Wednesdays” on March 31 and deliver a new episode each week through the end of the season.
Want to get a sense of their relationship: You can find a teaser right here on the Wolves’ YouTube channel.
HELP COMMON PANTRY IN APRIL WITH OUR FOOD DRIVE
Food pantries are still working overtime to fill Chicagoans’ needs!
With that in mind, the Wolves are encouraging everyone to donate canned and non-perishable goods to help Chicago-based Common Pantry, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people throughout the Chicago area.
On April 24, the Wolves are hosting a Food Drive from noon to 2 p.m at Allstate Arena. Skates will lead the group collecting donations just outside the Box Office.
The Wolves also have placed donation boxes at three locations in Hoffman Estates: Triphahn Center, Willow Recreational Center and the Club at Prairie Stone. Anyone using these facilities are encouraged to leave donations between Friday and April 19.
If you can’t make it to Allstate Arena or any of the Hoffman Estates locations, the Wolves are accepting monetary donations here:
This 20-year-old rookie from Ontario delivered the two biggest goals of Sunday’s 5-4 win at Rockford. With the game knotted 3-3 midway through the second, Rees scored to give the Wolves the lead. After the IceHogs tied it in the third, Rees outraced Rockford’s goaltender to a puck behind the net and flew to the other side to jam home a wraparound for the game-winning goal.
Cotton didn’t waste any time getting down to business in the Wolves’ first game in 13 days. The rookie from Texas knocked home a rebound 27 seconds into Saturday’s 6-3 home win over Rockford, then added another goal during the first period to help the Wolves build a 4-0 lead that wasn’t challenged. Cotton owns five goals and four assists in nine games this year.
Jeannot continues to play a dominant role in every game. He scored one goal in each of the Wolves’ weekend wins to extend his goal streak to an AHL-high five games. he also owns a nine-game point streak as he has produced 7 goals and 10 assists over that stretch. He also owns a team-high +13 plus/minus rating.
SUNDAY, MARCH 28: CHICAGO 5, (AT) ROCKFORD 4
- After the Wolves and IceHogs battled through four ties and three lead changes, rookie forward Jamieson Rees broke the final tie with a third-period goal to push Chicago’s win streak to 4.
- Rees broke the game’s final two ties with his two goals while Tanner Jeannot extended his goal streak to five games and Sean Malone and Ryan Suzuki delivered the other goals.
- Goaltender Devin Cooley stopped 20 shots to earn the win in his AHL debut.
SATURDAY, MARCH 27: (AT) CHICAGO 6, ROCKFORD 3
- Rookie forward David Cotton and defenseman Max Lajoie scored in the opening 44 seconds to set the tone for the Wolves’ third win in a row.
- Cotton posted two first-period goals while Lajoie (G, 2A), Tanner Jeannot (G, 2A), Dominik Bokk and Ryan Suzuki also scored goals and Tommy Novak handed out three assists.
- Goaltender Antoine Bibeau notched 23 saves to pick up the win.
|Thursday, April 1||vs. Grand Rapids||2 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|
|Saturday, April 3||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|
|Wednesday, April 7||at Rockford||6 p.m.||Rockford MetroCentre||AHLTV|
|Friday, April 9||at Iowa||7 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, April 10||at Iowa||6 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|