Welcome to Wolves Insider, presented by Rivers Casino: the weekly report that gives you the latest Chicago Wolves news as the organization battles for its fifth league championship.
GET YOUR FREE TICKETS YET?
The Chicago Wolves have been honoring health care workers all season, but they’re taking it to another level this week with their exclusive Healthcare Heroes jerseys and their remarkable free-ticket offer.
Specifically, to thank all of the health care workers who have pushed themselves to the limit for the last two years, the Wolves are offering two free tickets to any of the team’s three 7 p.m. games this week at Allstate Arena: Wednesday vs. the Texas Stars, Friday vs. the Grand Rapids Griffins and Saturday vs. the Rockford IceHogs. To request tickets, go here and fill out the brief form.
This offer goes hand-in-hand with the team’s Healthcare Heroes jerseys, presented by Turtle Wax, that they’ll wear Friday and Saturday night. All of these jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit Chicago Wolves Charities and three local health care-related charities: NAMI Illinois, the Illinois Association of School Nurses, and the Chicago chapter of the National Black Nurses Association.
The blind auctions for six jerseys — forwards Jack Drury and Ryan Suzuki, defensemen Josh Jacobs and Max Lajoie and mascot Skates as well as a team-signed jersey — are underway here and close at 12 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31. The silent auctions take place Friday and Saturday near the Chicago Wolves Charities table behind Allstate Arena’s Section 105.
HITTING THE HALFWAY POINT
After the Wolves play their three home games this week, they’ll be exactly halfway through with their 76-game regular season. How are things stacking up? Well, the Wolves’ 24-7-3-1 record means they boast the Western Conference’s top points percentage (.743) and they’re leading the Central Division as they hunt for their fifth division title in the last six years.
The Wolves added reinforcements Monday when forward Stefan Noesen was reassigned to the Wolves. Noesen missed the weekend’s games at Manitoba because he was with Carolina (NHL), but he still ranks No. 2 in the AHL with 18 goals and third with 37 points. The Hurricanes also loaned rookie goaltender Jack LaFontaine to the Wolves. He’s the reigning college goaltender of the year after posting a 1.79 GAA at Minnesota.
THIS WEEK’S PROMOTIONS
Ready to enjoy craft beer with your hockey? Wednesday’s and Friday’s games are Craft Beer Nights! To get three beers, one game ticket and one exclusive T-shirt for one low price, click here.
Make sure to get to Allstate Arena Saturday for the Chicago Mid-Winter Classic, presented by Planet Fitness. The first 5,000 fans receive a Wolves rally towel courtesy of Planet Fitness as the Wolves seek to extend their 82-81 lead over Rockford since these bitter rivals started playing in October 2007.
STAR WARS NIGHT
Join us Saturday, Feb. 12, at Allstate Arena to celebrate Star Wars Night as the Wolves host the Rockford IceHogs. Unleash your inner Force-wielder, hero, creature or droid with other Star Wars fanatics as all of your favorite characters will be roaming the arena. For just $25, you can get the exclusive Star Wars Light Saber package that features one lower-level ticket and one light saber. To get yours, click here.
After racking up his 19th goal of the year Saturday at Manitoba, the Wolves captain continues to lead the American Hockey League in goals, assists (29) and points (48). The 28-year-old from Williamsville, New York, remains on pace to score 109 points this season, which would be the AHL’s highest total since Wolves MVP Jason Krog had 112 in 2007-08.
Only one Wolves player has appeared in all 35 games this season: this hard-working 25-year-old center from Moscow, Russia. Letunov, usually the last one off the ice at practice, racked up one goal and one assist Saturday and earned another assist Sunday at Manitoba. That boosted his season totals to 8 goals and 7 assists. He shares fifth on the team in goals.
With less than two minutes to go Saturday at Manitoba, Keane whistled home a shot from the point to pull the Wolves into a 3-3 tie. The Evanston-born and Homer Glen-raised Keane leads all Wolves defensemen in points with 3 goals and 13 assists in 31 appearances. He has racked up 4 points in his last four games and also helped the Carolina Hurricanes win Jan. 15.
SUNDAY, JAN. 23: (AT) MANITOBA 3, CHICAGO 1
- Converted defenseman Nelson Nogier scored two goals in the third period — including an empty-net goal with 18 seconds to go — as the Moose rallied to win at Canada Life Centre.
- Forward David Cotton scored in the first period with assists from defenseman Josh Jacobs and center Maxim Letunov as the Wolves outshot the Moose 41-23.
- Goaltender Alex Lyon stopped 20 of 22 shots.
SATURDAY, JAN. 22: (AT) MANITOBA 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
- Defenseman Joey Keane scored with 1:39 left in regulation — moments after head coach Ryan Warsofsky pulled the goalie for an extra attacker — as the Wolves forced OT after a 2-goal deficit.
- Captain Andrew Poturalski scored his league-leading 19th goal, center Maxim Letunov notched one goal and one assist and forward David Gust handed out two assists.
- Goaltender Dylan Wells posted 23 saves in his Wolves debut.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Wednesday, Jan. 26||vs. Texas||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
|Friday, Jan. 28||vs. Grand Rapids||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Saturday, Jan. 29||vs. Rockford||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Friday, Feb. 4||at Milwaukee||7 p.m.||Panther Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Feb. 4||at Milwaukee||6 p.m.||Panther Arena||AHLTV|
All games are streamed on AHLTV.