Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the latest Chicago Wolves news as the organization bids for its fifth league championship.
MEET THE WOLVES’ RED-HOT BLUELINER
After reaching the pinnacle of North American junior hockey by winning the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires (coached by former Wolves boss Rocky Thompson), defenseman Jalen Chatfield started his professional career in October 2017 with the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets.
Chatfield scored two goals late in his rookie year, but didn’t score during the 2018-19 or 2019-20 campaigns with the Comets. He spent all of last season with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, but did not muster a goal in his 18 appearances. All told, Chatfield went 109 games (regular season and playoffs) without a goal.
Then the 24-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan, native arrived in Chicago last month. Chatfield already owns four goals in eight games — most among all AHL defensemen and 1 behind team leader Andrew Poturalski.
Chatfield has scored one goal in each of the Wolves’ three games, which marks the longest streak for a Chicago defenseman since highly touted Nic Hague (now part of the top defensive pairing for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights) reeled off five goals during a four-game streak Dec. 5-15, 2018. What’s the scoop on this scoring spree?
“(It’s) the team, the system,” Chatfield said. “A lot of hard work in the summers. A lot of things that go into it that people don’t know. A big thing for me, too, is just shooting the puck and working on my shot a lot. (I was) skating every day, working on scoring, just constantly trying to improve my game. At the end of the day, I just want to come in here and be the best teammate and contribute the most I can. Whatever helps. If it’s defensively, if it’s offensively, that’s what I’m here for.”
SIGN UP FOR THE BLOOD DRIVE ON DEC. 18
The Wolves and Vitalant are proud to host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Allstate Arena’s Skyline Room in Rosemont. The drive precedes the Wolves’ home game against the Milwaukee Admirals at 7 p.m., so it’s the perfect opportunity to donate and then enjoy a terrific rivalry.
Skates, the Wolves mascot, will be at the Skyline Room to meet and greet donors. In addition, all donors receive two ticket vouchers to a Wolves game of their choice, a limited-edition Vitalant/Chicago Wolves T-shirt, a Wolves hat and will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed Wolves jersey. To set an appointment, visit Vitalant.org/Wolves (search for Group Code RS20) or call 877-258-4825.
Donating blood is safe and easy — and serves a vital need during the holidays. All blood types are in short supply.
FOOD DRIVE AND FEED6 FOOD-PACKING
Not only are the Wolves accepting non-perishable food items at every home game this month to help Common Pantry in Chicago, the Wolves are teaming up with Feed6 for a Hunger Heroes food-packing event Saturday at Allstate Arena’s Skyline Room. Volunteers are projected to pack at least 50,000 meals — all of which will be distributed quickly by Northern Illinois Food Bank.
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.
Just eight games into the season, this fifth-year pro defenseman already has doubled his previous career-high in goals. The 25-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan, native owns four goals, including one in each of the last three games. He produced the Wolves’ game-winning goal in Sunday’s 4-2 comeback victory over the Milwaukee Admirals.
After signing a contract with the Wolves this summer, this 20-year-old defenseman from Dmitrov, Russia, has embarked on his first season in North America. In his first AHL game, Serikov produced an assist. In his second AHL game (on Sunday against Milwaukee), he delivered his first goal with a powerful slap shot to launch the Wolves’ rally.
Last year, Lajoie led all Wolves defensemen in scoring with six goals and 15 assists in 27 games. His excellence earned a pair of playoff appearances for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The Quebec City native turned 24 on Friday and celebrated by scoring his first goal of the year during Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Milwaukee.
SUNDAY, NOV. 7: (at) CHICAGO 4, MILWAUKEE 2
- After the Admirals scored two early power-play goals, the Wolves pulled even by the end of the first period and earned their fourth straight win over Milwaukee with two goals in the third period.
- Defenseman Jalen Chatfield scored for the third straight game while defensemen Max Lajoie and Artyom Serikov produced their first goals of the year and forward David Gust added his third.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi posted 24 saves to maintain his perfect record in his rookie year.
SATURDAY, NOV. 6: MANITOBA 5, (at) CHICAGO 1
- The Moose scored three unanswered goals in the first period and the Wolves couldn’t catch up as their five-game winning streak came to a close at Allstate Arena.
- Defenseman Jalen Chatfield scored the Wolves’ lone goal to pull the hosts within 3-1 just 1:07 into the second. Forwards Josh Leivo and David Gust earned the assists.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi stopped 25 of 29 shots.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|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|
|Friday, Nov. 19||at Rockford||7 p.m.||MetroCentre||AHLTV|
All games are streamed on AHLTV. The Sunday, Nov. 14, game will be broadcast on NHL Network as well.