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.
MAGIC NUMBER IS 7
With six games remaining in the 2020-21 season, the Chicago Wolves are well on the way to their fourth Central Division title in the last five years. Any combination of seven points earned by the Wolves and lost by the second-place Cleveland Monsters will clinch the crown, which means the earliest the Wolves can clinch is Saturday night when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Wolves Training Facility.
Because the AHL announced Thursday that there will be no Calder Cup Playoffs due to COVID-19 protocols, the Central Division is the biggest collective target the Wolves have this year. But this has been a year largely devoted to individuals’ development — and Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky would like to see more of it before the season ends May 15.
There’s more than one type of development. For example, the Wolves just finished playing six games in eight days — something unprecedented for the nine rookies who had been in college or juniors or overseas prior to this year. They were accustomed to two games per week. Then there’s simply getting better at your craft.
“To be honest, there are some players on our team I don’t care if they score another goal the rest of the year,” Warsofsky said. “I want them to work on things that they struggle with: Compete (level). Battles. Winning puck races. Playing with structure and having good angles. Getting them to understand the smaller details are what’s going to get them to the National Hockey League.
“Their goal-scoring ability? That’s God-given talent. That’s not going away. So we need to understand as individuals that to play in the National Hockey League, you need to find that extra gear sometimes.”
WIN A WOLVES PRIZE PACK WORTH MORE THAN $250
The Chicago Wolves want you (in the stands) in ’21-22! If you take a moment to add your name to the Wolves’ Season Ticket Waiting List, then you’re eligible to win a Wolves Prize Pack worth more than $250.Sign up now here.
The prize pack features a white authentic Wolves jersey, an AHLTV.com subscription and more!
NEW PROJECT THRIVE ZOOM SESSION THURSDAY
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes the Wolves’ Project Thrive partnership with the #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement particularly relevant now.
The Wolves host a new Project Thrive Zoom session Thursday, May 6, with former Pittsburgh Steelers center Chukky Okobi, a member of the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL championship squad, leading the session “We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know.”
Visit here to learn more.
CALLING ALL NIC HAGUE FANS
Here’s the plan for the Wolves’ next Golden Ticket raffle on Thursday, May 6: Nic Hague’s game-used, autographed stick will be up for grabs!
Hague, one of the staples on the Wolves’ blue line for the 2019 Calder Cup Finals team, has become a staple on the Vegas Golden Knights’ blue line with 5 goals and 9 assists this season. For this Golden Ticket raffle, there are 100 tickets available at just $3 apiece. Proceeds benefit Chicago Wolves Charities.
To get your ticket, click here early on Thursday.
After missing multiple weeks of game action while spending time on the Carolina Hurricanes’ taxi squad, this rookie goaltender earned his first win since March 13 with a 4-1 win over Iowa Friday night. Warm also stopped 8 shots in a relief role Saturday, so the Whistler, British Columbia, native rejected 34 of 35 shots for the weekend (.971).
Tomasino produced a goal Thursday night at Grand Rapids and Friday night against Iowa to push his goal-scoring total to a team-high 11 and his point total to a team-high 25. The 19-year-old rookie leads all AHL rookies in plus/minus rating (+17) while sharing third in goals and ranking fourth in points.
The 23-year-old defenseman shared the team lead in points during the Wolves’ 3-in-3 weekend as he scored one goal and handed out three assists. One of Lajoie’s assists made the highlight reels as he accepted a pass from the left, turned his back to David Cotton on his right and passed it between his legs to set up Cotton’s one-timer.
- Iowa scored two goals in the first period and three in the second to pull away as the Wolves wrapped up six games in an eight-day stretch.
- Rookie forward Dominik Bokk pulled the Wolves even in the first period, then forward David Gust scored in the second for his first goal with the Wolves.
- Goaltender Connor Ingram stopped 35 of 40 shots before leaving due to injury. Beck Warm rejected 8 of 8 in relief.
- Rookie forward Phil Tomasino broke a tie with a second-period power-play goal and center Sean Malone followed 88 seconds later with a short-handed goal to steer the Wolves to the home win.
- Forward Sheldon Rempal scored the Wolves’ first goal and set up Malone’s shortie while rookie forward Zach Solow closed the scoring in the third period.
- Goaltender Beck Warm stopped 26 shots to pick up the win.
- Defenseman Max Lajoie scored a goal and handed out two assists for a career-high-tying 3 points as the Wolves never trailed in their road-trip finale at Grand Rapids.
- Forwards Anthony Richard, Phil Tomasino and David Cotton added goals for Chicago while center Tommy Novak posted a pair of assists.
- Goaltender Connor Ingram stopped 29 of 31 shots to pick up his first win with the Wolves.
|Thursday, April 29||at Grand Rapids||6 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Friday, April 30||vs. Iowa||7 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|
|Saturday, May 1||vs. Iowa||7 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|
|Friday, May 7||at Grand Rapids||6 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, May 8||vs. Grand Rapids||7 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|