MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS (10-12-2-0)
AT CHICAGO WOLVES (19-4-1-1)
ONE MORE TO TIE THE RECORD
It’s the circle of professional hockey life these days. The National Hockey League keeps swiping the Chicago Wolves’ leading scorers. The American Hockey League schedule keeps asking the Wolves to play, so the Wolves keep summoning eager replacements from the ECHL.
But no matter the names on the back of the jerseys, one thing doesn’t seem to change: the Wolves keep finding ways to win. The latest piece of evidence was discovered Friday night in Milwaukee when second-year forward Dominik Bokk scored 2:50 into overtime to give the Wolves a 1-0 victory over the Admirals.
Though the Wolves were missing their top five scorers and the Admirals were without four of their top five scorers — the result of COVID-19 issues for their NHL partners that required massive roster transfusions for the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators — both teams battled for every inch of the ice all night long. There were big hits and serious fights and flared tempers, but no goals.
For the 11th time in Wolves history, they finished 60 minutes without either side scoring. But when Bokk solved Admirals goaltender Connor Ingram (teammates last year when the Wolves were partnered with the Hurricanes AND the Predators), the Wolves had their 11th straight victory in hand. The Admirals, on the other hand, bid adieu to their five-game winning streak.
Tonight’s Superhero Night game figures to be just as hotly contested — as players with plenty to prove continue to exert themselves to the max. For the Central Division-leading Wolves, a little something extra is on the line. If they win tonight, then they tie the longest winning streak in franchise story. The 1999-2000 team won 12 in a row from Feb. 25 to March 17. To learn one of the ways this year’s team reminds of the squad that went on to claim the 2000 Turner Cup, read on:
tWO GREAT GOALIES ROTATING
In 1999-2000, head coach John Anderson rotated goaltenders Wendell Young and Andrei Trefilov most of the season. During that 12-game winning streak, each started six times. They combined for three shutouts and allowed just 23 goals in those 12 games.
This year, head coach Ryan Warsofsky has rotated goaltenders Alex Lyon and Eetu Makiniemi most of the season. During this 11-game winning streak, Makiniemi has started six times and Lyon should make his sixth start tonight. They have combined for three shutouts and allowed just 19 goals in these 11 games.
For the season, Lyon and Makiniemi have teamed up to play 24 of the Wolves’ 25 games. Their collective record is 19-3-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average (47 goals in 1,455 minutes, 21 seconds), a .925 save percentage (577 saves in 624 shots) and their four shutouts pace the AHL. Lyon ranks second in the league with his 1.76 GAA while Makiniemi ranks fourth at 2.06.
we are the wolves
The Wolves are honored to team up with Vitalant for a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today in Allstate Arena’s Skyline Room. More than 150 donors have signed up to donate at this crucial time of year when there are critical shortages because donations tend to decline during to the holiday season.
Every person who donates receives two Wolves ticket vouchers, an exclusive Wolves/Vitalant T-shirt, a Wolves hat and the chance to win an autographed Wolves jersey. The Wolves thank everyone who’s volunteering their time (and blood) today in order to help save lives.
LAST TWO GAMES
- After 60 scoreless minutes — the 11th scoreless regulation in Wolves history — forward Dominik Bokk scored 2:50 into overtime to give the Wolves their 11th consecutive win.
- Bokk’s game-winner was unassisted as he dashed up the right wing, pivoted in the high slot and fired a wrister from the top of the left circle that beat goaltender Connor Ingram.
- Goaltender Eetu Makiniemi stopped 25 saves for his second shutout and sixth straight win.
- Forward Josh Leivo’s highlight-reel goal with 1.1 seconds left not only completed a rally from a 3-1 deficit, it pushed the Wolves to their 10th straight win — second-longest streak in team history.
- Defenseman Artyom Serikov and forwards Maxim Letunov and David Cotton also scored goals while Leivo and forward Jamieson Rees each posted two assists.
- Goaltender Alex Lyon notched a season-high 33 saves to win his fifth game in a row.
By the numbers
1: And then there was 1. On Friday, the Carolina Hurricanes recalled forwards Josh Leivo and C.J. Smith on an emergency basis with the expectation they’ll play in Saturday’s home game against Los Angeles. They’ll join a forward group that includes Andrew Poturalski, Stefan Noesen and Jack Drury — each of whom made their Canes debut in Thursday’s 5-3 win over Detroit. Drury, in fact, scored a goal in his NHL debut and received First Star honors. With so many lineup staples recalled to Carolina, center Maxim Letunov (7G, 4A) stands as the only Wolves player to suit up for all 25 games.
3: Today’s game wraps up the Wolves’ third of six 3-in-3s this season. After going 1-1-1 for the first one (Nov. 12-14), they swept the second one (Nov. 26-28) to trigger their current winning streak. The Wolves haven’t swept two 3-in-3s in the same season since 2009-10, when Don Lever’s squad swept four of their 10 3-in-3 opportunities. The 1998-99 team also won four 3-in-3s.
5: The Wolves rarely take five minutes for fighting. They have scrapped just eight times this season, with Friday’s fights for Cedric Lacroix and Kyle Marino serving as the first time Chicago has entertained multiple bouts. In five of the seven games they’ve fought, the Wolves have trailed at the time of the bout. Friday’s game marked the second time the score has been tied. Regardless, here’s the key stat: The Wolves have trailed by a combined score of 11-6 before the fights, but outscored their opponents 17-1 afterward as they have won all seven games.
11: The Wolves boast the AHL’s longest active winning streak with their 11-game run that began Nov. 26 at Grand Rapids. As mentioned on Page 1 of these notes, they’re one game shy of the franchise record set in 1999-2000. But they’re two games shy of the longest AHL winning streak this season. The Utica Comets opened with 13 straight wins on the way to their current 18-1-2-0 mark that leads the North Division and the entire AHL. In related streak news, the Wolves are riding a 12-game point streak (11-0-0-1) because they lost a shootout to Rockford on Nov. 20 in the last game before the wins started flowing. The team point streak record is 14 and has been done three times: in 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2017-18.
29: During the Wolves’ 11-game winning streak, head coach Ryan Warsofsky has called on 27 skaters and two goaltenders to keep things moving in the right direction. This group includes five skaters who have come up from the ECHL in the last eight days: Forwards Noah Corson, Stephen Harper, Cedric Lacroix and Kyle Marino and defenseman Eric Williams.
34.76: The Wolves’ single-season record for shots per game was set by the 1998-99 squad with 34.65 per outing. That led the 16-team International Hockey League that season — and marks the only time in the Wolves’ first 27 years they’ve led their league in shots per game. This year’s crew has a chance to break the team record AND become the second in franchise annals to lead the league. The Wolves average 34.76 shots per game, which owns first place in the 31-team AHL by a smidge over Manitoba (34.6).
416: Since the Wolves played their first game on Oct. 1, 1994, a total of 712 players have suited up for Chicago. Forward Noah Corson became No. 712 when he made his AHL debut Friday night at Milwaukee. When center Jack Drury made his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night, he became the 416th Wolves alum 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
|Wednesday, Dec. 22||at Cleveland||6 p.m.||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse||AHLTV|
|Thursday, Dec. 23||at Cleveland||6 p.m.||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse||AHLTV|
|Friday, Dec. 31||at Rockford||6 p.m.||MetroCentre||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Jan. 1||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Sunday, Jan. 2||vs. Grand Rapids||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
All games are streamed on AHLTV.