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 STANDS AT 2
With three games left in the season, the Chicago Wolves continue to own the inside track toward winning their fourth American Hockey League Central Division title in the last five years.
Chicago’s magic number sat at 4 prior to Tuesday’s action, but dropped to two when the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Cleveland Monsters 2-0 on Tuesday night. Each time the Wolves earn a point during their final three games or the second-place Monsters fail to earn a point during their final two games, the magic number drops. The third-place Griffins also remain in the race by the slimmiest of margins. They must win their three remaining games (two vs. Cleveland and one vs. Chicago) while the Wolves must lose all three of their games in regulation.
While claiming the Central Division title would provide tangible proof of a successful season, the ultimate proof will be found on video. That’s where the 45 players who’ve suited up for the Wolves this year can show how much they’ve improved from Opening Night on Feb. 5 to Closing Night on May 15. The Wolves have devoted nearly half of their ice time to first-year professionals who, theoretically, should be enjoying the fastest ride on the learning curve, so the proof should be available for all to see.
“At the end of the day, you’re being watched,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “There are scouts in the building. There are scouts watching online. Management’s going to meet at the end of the year. We’re going to sit in a room and watch (rookie center) David Cotton’s shifts and say, ‘OK, how close is David Cotton to being in the National Hockey League? Do we need to sign a free agent? Do we need to make a draft pick?’
“There’s a lot of decisions (being made) and a lot of weight that is on these games. (Hurricanes president and CEO) Donnie Waddell is not going to sit there and say, ‘Oh, just because they’re in a practice rink on 2 o’clock on a Monday, that’s a pass.’ No, that’s not a pass. The way the Carolina Hurricanes (operate), the culture that (head coach) Rod (Brind’amour) has built is, we work. He talks about competitive consistency. That’s what I believe in, too.”
SEASON TICKET PRIZE PACK CONTEST ENDS SUNDAY!
The Chicago Wolves are going to be back at Allstate Arena in ’21-22, so you can be too! To be the first to get all the information about next season, take a moment to add your name to the Wolves’ Season Ticket Waiting List. When you do, 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!
ADD KEANE TO THE LONG LIST
Chicago native Joey Keane made his NHL debut Monday night with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 21-year-old defenseman played 19 minutes and 34 seconds in the regular-season finale at Nashville.
Keane became the 397th Wolves player in the team’s 27-year history to earn time in the NHL. A whopping 57.4 percent of all Wolves players have competed in the world’s best league.
THE NEXT GREAT GOLDEN TICKET RAFFLE
Defenseman Dylan Coghlan and his blistering slap shot earned a ton of fans during his two seasons with the Wolves. Now he’s spending his first season in the NHL as part of the Vegas Golden Knights and became the rare player who produced a hat trick during the first game in which he scored an NHL goal.
To celebrate Coghlan’s success (and to help Chicago Wolves Charities), his game-used and autographed CCM JetSpeed stick will be the prize for the next Golden Ticket raffle on Thursday, May 13.
There will be 52 tickets available (matching his Golden Knights’ uniform number) at just $5 apiece. To get your ticket, click here early on Thursday.
When this 20-year-old rookie forward gets one goal, chances are excellent he’s going to get a second. Rees recorded his third two-goal game of the year during Monday’s 6-5 victory over Rockford. That leads the Wolves in multi-goal performances. For the season, the Ontario native owns seven goals and five assists in 26 games.
The 19-year-old Tomasino leads the Wolves in goals (13) and points (2) after producing two goals and two assists during the Wolves’ three games. He also owns a six-game point streak and has been on the scoresheet in 13 of his last 14 games. His 29 points share third among all AHL rookies.
The 24-year-old Wisconsin native continues to stack up points game after game. With three assists Friday night against Grand Rapids and goals during the Wolves’ home games against Grand Rapids and Rockford, Novak owns a seven-game point streak that features 4 goals and 7 assists. His 21 assists for the season rank seventh in the AHL.
- Rookies Phil Tomasino and Jamieson Rees scored in the opening 71 seconds as the Wolves scored four times in the first period to set the tone for the matinee win.
- Rees added a second goal and forwards Brandon Hickey, David Cotton and Tommy Novak also scored while forward Dominik Bokk and defenseman Josh Healey added two assists apiece.
- Goaltender Beck Warm posted 23 saves to pick up his team-high seventh win.
- Grand Rapids’ Tyler Spezia and Turner Elson scored 62 seconds apart late in the second period to snap a tie and set up the Griffins’ win at the Wolves Training Facility.
- Center Tommy Novak extended his point streak to six games with a second-period goal while rookie forward Phil Tomasino pushed his point streak to five games with an assist.
- Goaltender Antoine Bibeau notched 26 saves.
- The Wolves scored twice late in the third to tie, but Riley Barber’s goal with 13 seconds left capped a four-point night and gave Grand Rapids the win at Van Andel Arena.
- Forwards Dominik Bokk and David Cotton scored 86 seconds apart to forge a 4-4 tie with 4:58 left while forwards Anthony Richard and Phil Tomasino gave the Wolves a 2-1 first-period lead.
- Goaltender Beck Warm posted 22 saves.
|Wednesday, May 12||at Grand Rapids||6 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Friday, May 14||at Rockford||6 p.m.||Rockford MetroCentre||AHLTV|
|Saturday, May 15||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Wolves Training Facility||AHLTV|