Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the latest Chicago Wolves news as the organization bids for its fifth league championship.
THE TEAM TO SEE IN NOVEMBER
The Chicago Wolves enjoyed last week’s road trip so much, they won all three of their games over a five-day period by a combined score of 13-5. But now head coach Ryan Warsofsky and his Central Division-leading squad are eager to play seven games this month at Allstate Arena.
Starting with Saturday’s 7 p.m. visit by Manitoba, the Wolves play at home all four Saturdays in November — which explains why Saturday is Hockey Night in Chicago — as well as three Sunday afternoons.
Hockey fans are eager to see this team that has zoomed to the top of the American Hockey League charts. Not only do the Wolves have a head start on winning the Central Division for the fifth time in six years, they’re on top of the AHL in goal differential (+12), road wins (4) and active winning streak (five games). They’re also the only team in the league that has scored the first goal in each of its games.
Moreover, the Wolves boast the most productive top line in the AHL. Center Andrew Poturalski has received most of the recognition because the league’s reigning Player of the Week and Player of the Month paces the league in points (14), but left wing C.J. Smith and right wing Stefan Noesen already have formed a tight bond with the team captain.
When Poturalski (3G, 2A) and Smith (1G, 4A) each produced five points in Sunday’s win at Grand Rapids, they became the first Wolves teammates to notch five points in the same game since Jason Krog (3G, 4A) and Brett Sterling (2G, 3A) in a 10-5 win on Nov. 4, 2006, at Peoria.
MILITARY APPRECIATION WEEKEND
With Veterans Day here soon, the Wolves are eager to express their gratitude to the men and women who have made it their duty to protect our freedoms. The Wolves welcome everyone for Military Appreciation Weekend on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
JOIN OUR FOOD DRIVE
The Wolves encourage every fan to take part in this month’s Food Drive that benefits Common Pantry in Chicago. At all seven home games in November, the Wolves will collect non-perishable food items just inside every Allstate Arena entrance. Thanks to our fans’ generosity, we donated more than a ton of food in April. We want to do even better at this crucial time of year.
SATURDAY IS HOCKEY NIGHT IN CHICAGO
If you want to enjoy a live hockey game in Chicago on Saturday night, then you’ll want to count on the Wolves to make it happen! While the other team in town has just one Saturday home game this season, the Wolves are hosting 16 Saturday night home games — including all four Saturdays in November. That’s why Saturday is Hockey Night in Chicago. To get the best deals on tickets, email a Wolves ticket representative here or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
Who leads the American Hockey League in scoring? Why, it’s none other than Wolves captain Andrew Poturalski. The 27-year-old from Williamsville, New York, produced five points in Sunday’s win at Grand Rapids to seize the AHL lead with 14 points (5G, 9A) in just six games. Poturalski won the AHL’s scoring title last year and seeks to go back-to-back.
Poturalski wasn’t the only Wolves player to pile up 5 points Sunday. Linemate C.J. Smith posted one goal and four assists — helping on all three of Poturalski’s tallies — as he moved into a share of second place among AHL scoring leaders. The Des Moines native owns 4 goals and 7 assists this season, which ranks second on the team.
This 28-year-old pro with plenty of NHL and AHL experience serves as the perfect complement to Poturalski and Smith on the Wolves’ top line. Noesen, who split last season between San Jose (NHL), San Jose (AHL), Toronto (NHL) and Toronto (AHL), handed out three assists Sunday to push his season totals to two goals and five assists in six games.
SUNDAY, OCT. 31: CHICAGO 6, (at) GRAND RAPIDS 3
- Wolves captain Andrew Poturalski produced his first professional hat trick and added two assists as Chicago never trailed while claiming its fifth consecutive win.
- Forward C.J. Smith also notched five points with one goal and four assists while forward Stefan Noesen handed out three assists and defensemen Joey Keane and Jalen Chatfield added goals.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi posted 24 saves to maintain his perfect record in his rookie year.
FRIDAY, OCT. 29: CHICAGO 4, (at) MILWAUKEE 2
- Trailing 2-1 after two periods, the Wolves scored three goals in a six-minute span of the third period to extend their winning streak to four games.
- Forwards Andrew Poturalski and Spencer Smallman and defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald delivered in the third while forward Stefan Noesen opened the scoring in the first.
- Goaltender Alex Lyon posted 22 saves to defeat the Admirals for the second time in seven days.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 27: CHICAGO 3, (at) GRAND RAPIDS 0
- The Wolves jumped out to a 2-0 lead for the fourth consecutive game and stayed the course to register their third win in a row.
- Rookie center Jack Drury recorded his first two pro goals in North America — both on the power play — while forward David Gust posted the other goal and Andrew Poturalski had two assists.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi stopped 25 shots to earn his first shutout in North America.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Saturday, Nov. 6||vs. Manitoba||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Sunday, Nov. 7||vs. Milwaukee||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Friday, Nov. 12||at Rockford||7 p.m.||MetroCentre||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Nov. 13||vs. Toronto||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Sunday, Nov. 14||vs. Toronto||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
All games are streamed on AHLTV.