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 division title in the last six years and its fifth league championship overall.
THE INJURY BUG PARACHUTES INTO CHICAGO
In the span of 22 hours over the weekend, four Chicago Wolves players suffered injuries significant enough that they needed to go directly to the locker room for treatment. While defenseman Max Lajoie was able to return for the final 25 minutes of Sunday’s home game against Grand Rapids, center Jack Drury, defenseman Josh Jacobs and forward Sam Miletic will be missing from Chicago’s lineup for a relevant amount of time.
“We’re banged up,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “Jacobs is going to be out. It’s a week-to-week thing. It looks like Drury is week-to-week. Miletic is going to be done for a while.”
Considering Drury ranks as the Wolves’ No. 4 scorer (16 goals, 21 assists), Jacobs has been a blue-line staple all season and Miletic’s speed and tenacity has been valuable on the fourth line, the Wolves will be missing valuable players as they enter the final six weeks of the season.
Fortunately, Chicago are well-positioned to endure the injury bug. Entering Wednesday’s home game against Milwaukee, the Wolves own the league’s longest active point streak (10 games). They also hold a 14-point lead in the Central Division as well as the No. 2 points percentage (.722) in the entire American Hockey League. As a bonus, top defenseman Jalen Chatfield was reassigned on loan to the Wolves Monday after playing nine games in 17 days for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
“We’ve got to piece it together,” Warsofsky said. “This is going to be a good opportunity for Kyle Marino, for (Ivan) Lodnia, (Stelio) Mattheos to play some more minutes. This is what they’ve wanted, so here’s your opportunity. We’ll need some guys to step up. We’ve probably been pretty lucky (to this point). It is what it is. Everyone deals with injuries.”
$2 BEER NIGHT
Get ready for something new from the Wolves! When the second-place Manitoba Moose come to town Friday, March 25, the Wolves are hosting $2 Beer Night.
These beers will be available from the time Allstate Arena’s doors open (6 p.m.) through the end of first intermission (approximately 8:10 p.m.). They will be sold in the Coors Light Lounge as well as the North Lobby (Exchange Street Sausage Company), South Lobby (Bull Sherman’s Grillyard) and the East Lobby.
ENJOY THIS DELICIOUS PI DAY OFFER
Celebrate March 14 — a.k.a. Pi Day — with this special offer. Purchase tickets for any of the Wolves’ final three home games in March (Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, March 22 vs. Texas and March 25 vs. Manitoba) and you’ll get a free slice of pizza at the game!
Here’s how: Click here to get to Ticketmaster and use the code SLICEOFPI when you buy. And here’s a tip just for Wolves Insider readers: You can use this code Monday OR Tuesday!
BLOOD DRIVE APRIL 23
When the Wolves and Vitalant teamed up to host a blood drive on Dec. 18, Wolves fans came through like champions! There were enough donations to save 402 lives! Incredibly, there’s even more of a demand for blood today than there was over the holidays — so the Wolves and Vitalant are partnering for another blood drive from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.
All donors receive two tickets to a 2022 Calder Cup Playoff game of their choice, a limited-edition T-shirt, a Wolves hat and have a chance to win an autographed Wolves jersey. To make an appointment, visit Vitalant.org/Wolves and use Code ORD0RS20 or call 877-258-4825.
The Wolves’ star right wing continues to find the net night after night. Noesen scored the game’s opening goal Saturday at Milwaukee and Sunday versus Grand Rapids to give him 26 goals in his last 28 Wolves games and to retake the AHL lead with 32 goals. He also paces the AHL in game-winning goals (9) and first goals (7) and ranks fourth in points (57).
After spending two weeks shuttling between Chicago and Raleigh to help out the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, the Wolves’ ace goaltender finally got back in the nets Sunday and made several highlight-reel saves as part of a 28-stop performance against Grand Rapids. Lyon leads the AHL with his 2.13 goals-against average and owns a 14-6-3 record in 24 games.
The 22-year-old rookie goaltender from Penza, Russia, has been in North America for only a month and already shown why Carolina used an NHL second-round draft pick on him in 2019. Kochetkov became the fourth goalie in Wolves history to win his first four starts. Kochetkov owns a 4-0-1 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
- Grand Rapids’ Turner Elson scored 20 seconds into overtime to snap the Wolves’ nine-game winning streak against the Griffins dating back to May 12, 2021.
- Forward Stefan Noesen recorded his 32nd goal to regain sole possession of the AHL’s goal-scoring lead. Andrew Poturalski earned the assist to set a personal season-high with 71 points.
- Goaltender Alex Lyon rejected 26 shots.
- Milwaukee’s Cole Schneider and Graham Knott scored in the first and fifth shootout rounds, respectively, to outdo Stefan Noesen’s third-round tally and claim the extra point.
- Noesen scored in the first period to pull into a share of the AHL goal-scoring lead with 31. Forwards Jamieson Rees and Andrew Poturalski picked up the assists.
- Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov posted 27 saves in regulation and overtime.
- The Wolves’ new fourth-line combo of left wing Sam Miletic, center Spencer Smallman and right wing Stelio Mattheos teamed for the second and third goals as Chicago won its fourth in a row.
- Miletic, Smallman and forward CJ Smith posted 1 goal and 1 assist apiece while defenseman Josh Jacobs scored the opening goal while Mattheos and defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald had 2 assists.
- Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 20 shots to run his record to 4-0.
NEXT FIVE GAMES
|Wednesday, March 16||vs. Milwaukee||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Saturday, March 19||at Toronto||3 p.m.||Coca-Cola Coliseum||AHLTV|
|Sunday, March 20||at Toronto||3 p.m.||Coca-Cola Coliseum||AHLTV|
|Tuesday, March 22||vs. Texas||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
|Friday, March 25||vs. Manitoba||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||My50|
All games are streamed on AHLTV.