Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the latest Chicago Wolves news as the organization bids for its fifth league championship.
MAKINIEMI MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
When the Chicago Wolves convened for preseason training camp, rookie goaltender Eetu Makiniemi was one of the few players without a reputation in North America. But it hasn’t taken long for the 22-year-old Finland native to make a name for himself here.
In his seven appearances for the Wolves through one month of the season, Makiniemi boasts a 5-1-1 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He shares fourth place among all American Hockey League goalies in wins, ranks ninth in GAA and stands 10th in save percentage. The only other rookies who rank top 10 in all three categories are the Utica Comets’ combo of Akira Schmid and Nico Daws.
Makiniemi delivered two more sterling performances over the weekend as the Carolina Hurricanes’ fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft limited the Rockford IceHogs to one goal (late in the game when Rockford had a 6-on-4 advantage on the ice) and two goals in Sunday’s game against Toronto. Makiniemi rejected multiple breakaways by the Marlies — something he has done all year.
“He’s coming from a good league in Finland, but he has been really sharp in every game,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “He has won us some hockey games, has made big saves when we’ve needed him to. He’s got a bright, bright future.”
MORE THAN ADOPT-A-DOG
The Wolves’ next Adopt-A-Dog Night is 7 p.m. Saturday at Allstate Arena. More than 1,500 deserving dogs have been given forever homes through the Adopt-A-Dog program presented by Premier Veterinary Group, but that’s not the only way the Wolves look out for local dogs and cats.
This summer, the Wolves and several great partners (including Rescue Pack Chicago and the Chicago Police Department) teamed up for monthly Pet Health Fairs throughout Chicago. At the seven fairs, a total of 2,649 dogs and cats received free vaccinations and microchips!
BLOOD DRIVE. DEC. 18. DONATE.
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 ORD0RS20) 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.
GET TO SATURDAY’s RED KETTLE GAME
The Wolves are partnering with the Salvation Army for Saturday’s Red Kettle Game at Allstate Arena. At this time of the year, the Salvation Army’s services are more necessary than ever.
A portion of the proceeds of each ticket purchased for Saturday’s game helps the Salvation Army. And if you’d like to volunteer to ring the bell at a red kettle this season, visit RegisterToRing.com.
The Wolves’ third-line center carries a four-game point streak into Wednesday’s morning game at Grand Rapids. The 25-year-old from Moscow scored a goal Friday night at Rockford, assisted on Sam Miletic’s goal Saturday night against Toronto and gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead on Sunday afternoon with his third goal of the season.
This skilled 20-year-old forward from Ontario was a staple in the Wolves lineup last season with 8 goals and 6 assists in 29 games, but he missed the first month of this season due to knee surgery. Rees made his season debut Friday at Rockford, then produced his first point of the year Sunday afternoon when he drove the play that led to Maxim Letunov’s goal.
The Wolves captain got the weekend off to a flying start with a goal in the opening minute Friday night at Rockford. The reigning AHL Player of the Month owns 6 goals and 9 assists in 11 games, so his 15 points rank No. 1 among all Central Division skaters and tied for fifth among all AHL players.
- With 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime, Toronto rookie center Semyon Der-Arguchintsev scored to give the visitors the extra point at Allstate Arena.
- Center Maxim Letunov extended his point streak to four games with a first-period goal that was assisted by forward Jamieson Rees and defenseman EJoey Keane.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi rejected 25 of 27 shots.
- In the Marlies’ first trip to Chicago in seven seasons, the visitors scored two goals in the opening five minutes and kept going despite the Wolves owning a 39-25 shot advantage.
- Forward Sam Miletic recorded his first goal with the Wolves as linemates Spencer Smallman and Maxim Letunov set up his score.
- Goaltender Beck Warm stopped 20 shots in his first AHL game this season.
- The Wolves scored three first-period goals and outshot Rockford 16-1 in the opening 20 minutes to secure the win in Rockford.
- Forwards Andrew Poturalski and Stefan Noesen and defenseman Eric Gelinas scored in the first period while center Maxim Letunov added an empty-net goal late.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi notched 18 saves.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Wednesday, Nov. 17||at Grand Rapids||10 a.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Friday, Nov. 19||at Rockford||7 p.m.||MetroCentre||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Nov. 20||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Friday, Nov. 26||at Grand Rapids||6 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
All games are streamed on AHLTV. The Sunday, Nov. 14, game will be broadcast on NHL Network as well.