MANITOBA MOOSE (4-3-1-0)
AT CHICAGO WOLVES (5-1-0-0)
Upon further review, the Chicago Wolves’ 6-3 road win over Grand Rapids on Halloween provided one of the most rare feats in franchise history.
Prior to last Sunday’s contest, the Wolves had played 2,080 regular-season games and 249 playoff games. Of those 2,329 games, only twice had TWO or more Wolves players produced at least five points in the same contest.
The first time occurred during the Wolves’ second season on March 24, 1996, when Rob Brown (2G, 6A), Dan Currie (4G, 1A) and Steve Maltais (2G, 3A) stamped their names all over the scoresheet and record book in a 10-3 home win over the Kansas City Blades. Brown’s eight-point effort remains Chicago’s single-game standard while Currie remains the only Wolves player to own two four-goal nights. The team also set the standard for power-play goals (8) that doesn’t figure to be approached any time soon.
The second such game happened Nov. 4, 2006, when Jason Krog (3G, 4A) and rookie Brett Sterling (2G, 3A) went wild in a 10-5 triumph at Peoria. Krog’s seven-point night remains the second-best single-game showing in team history.
The third such game occurred Sunday when captain Andrew Poturalski (3G, 2A) and linemate C.J. Smith (1G, 4A) stacked up five points apiece against the Griffins. They join Tucson’s Hudson Fasching as the only AHL players to put up 5 points in a game this season. Smith stands as the only player with a four-assist effort while Poturalski set this season’s AHL standard with a +5 plus/minus rating.
THE FIVE-POINT CLUB
As you can imagine in this relatively defensive-oriented era, players don’t produce 5 points in a game nearly as much as they did in the good ol’ days. Andrew Poturalski and C.J. Smith joined Brooks Macek, who handed out five assists on Nov. 7, 2018, at Milwaukee, as the only Wolves players to hit the 5-point mark since the calendar flipped to 2010.
Since the Wolves were founded in 1994, there have been 24 single-game efforts of 5 points or more. The franchise’s all-time leaders are, unsurprisingly, Steve Maltais (1994-2005) and Rob Brown (1995-97, 2000-03). The top two point-producers in Wolves history own five such games apiece. Jason Krog (2006-08, 2009-11), the AHL’s 2008 Most Valuable Player, posted four 5-point games.
Dan Currie (1995-96) and Cory Larose (2006-07) have a pair of 5-point efforts while Lonny Bohonos (March 23, 2005), Brett Sterling (Nov. 4, 2006) and Spencer Machacek (Oct. 24, 2009) join Macek, Poturalski and Smith in the one-timers club. If Poturalski and Smith want to shoot for something tonight, Larose is the only Wolves player to produce 5 points in consecutive games. He accomplished the feat Dec. 12-15, 2006.
we are the wolves
When Wolves center Andrew Poturalski earned the AHL Player of the Week award at noon Monday, he became the 18th Wolves player to receive the award since Chicago joined the league prior to the 2001-02 season. Morgan Geekie was the last one to be so honored on Feb. 21 this year. Darren Haydar and
Jason Krog are the only Wolves to win the award twice.
Two hours after taking that award, Poturalski was honored as the AHL’s Player of the Month for October. He became the fifth Chicago skater to collect the award since it was instituted prior to the 2007-08 season.
He joins a group that consists of Kenny Agostino (December 2016), Brandon Pirri (December 2018), Daniel Carr (February 2019) and Rem Pitlick (February 2021).
LAST TWO GAMES
- 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.
- 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.
By the numbers
1.61: Wolves goaltenders Alex Lyon and Eetu Makiniemi have teamed up to allow 1.60 goals per game during the team’s active five-game winning streak. Lyon, the 28-year-old veteran from Minnesota, and Makiniemi, the 22-year-old rookie from Finland, have been taking turns in net, which means Lyon figures to get the nod tonight. During this five-game run, the duo has combined to reject 130 of 138 shots (a .942 save percentage) and allow just eight goals in 298 minutes and 56 seconds (1.61 goals against average).
2: The Wolves paced the American Hockey League in scoring last season with 4.00 goals per game — and head coach Ryan Warsofsky’s squad has picked up right where it left off. Chicago ranks second in the 31-team race with 4.17 goals per game. The Utica Comets, who are averaging 4.20 goals (21 in 5 games), snuck ahead of the Wolves Friday night.
2: Captain Andrew Poturalski earned two awards Monday: The AHL’s Player of the Week nod for Oct. 25-31 because he piled up four goals and five assists in three games — and the AHL’s Player of the Month honor for October for producing a league-leading 14 points (5G, 9A) in six games. Poturalski became the second Wolves player to win the Player of the Week and Player of the Month at the same time. He joined Kenny Agostino, who pulled the double on Jan. 1, 2017. Agostino went on to claim the AHL’s Most Valuable Player award.
5: The Wolves are riding a five-game winning streak into this game, which is not a rare deal in these parts. This marks the ninth season in a row that Chicago has strung together at least one five-game winning streak.
6: The Wolves have opened the scoring in all six of their games this season. In fact, they’ve built at least a 2-0 lead in every game except the 4-2 win Oct. 29 at Milwaukee. To refresh, the Wolves have jumped to one 1-0 lead, two 2-0 leads (Oct. 16 vs. Rockford and Oct. 31 at Grand Rapids), two 3-0 leads (Oct. 22 at Milwaukee and Oct. 27 at Grand Rapids) and one 6-0 lead (Oct. 23 vs. Milwaukee).
8: Last year, the Wolves ranked third among the AHL’s 28 teams in penalty minutes with an average of 16.03 PIMS per game. But this year, the Wolves are the second-most gentlemanly team in the AHL. Chicago served just 48 penalty minutes in its first six games as the squad has been assessed 24 minors and no majors. The 8.0 penalty minutes per game lags way behind league-leading Toronto, which averages 24.1 penalty minutes per tilt.
32: On Friday, the Seattle Kraken revealed the identity of their AHL partner. The Coachella Valley Firebirds will be based in Palm Desert, California, and become the AHL’s 32nd team next season. This season, the Kraken’s prospects are sharing the Charlotte Checkers with the Florida Panthers.
412: Since the Wolves organization played its first game on Oct. 1, 1994, a total of 706 players have suited up for Chicago. Forward Kyle Marino was the latest to make his debut when he played Sunday at Grand Rapids. When 19-year-old forward Seth Jarvis made his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes on Halloween (he scored his first goal Wednesday against the Blackhawks) he became the 412th current or former Wolves player to compete in the greatest league in the world. Put another way, 58.4 percent of all Wolves have played in the NHL.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|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|
|Wednesday, Nov. 17||at Grand Rapids||10 a.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
All games are streamed on AHLTV.