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Lajoie wins Breslin Unsung Hero

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.


Defenseman Max Lajoie was honored during Sunday’s game as the winner of the 2022 Tim Breslin Unsung Hero Award, which goes to the Wolves player who best exemplifies Breslin’s on-ice spirit and team-first attribute.

“It’s a huge honor,” Lajoie said. “I’m really happy to be given this award. I read Tim Breslin’s story online and it’s very meaningful to me to be associated with him.”

Breslin, the Addison native who was one of the first players signed after the Wolves organization was founded in 1994, was an important part of the Wolves’ first five teams — including the 1998 Turner Cup champions. Not only did Breslin play a valuable role on the ice and in the dressing room, he embraced being a role model in the community and continually volunteered to make appearances at Wolves events such as Read To Succeed.

Breslin passed away on Feb. 9, 2005, due to complications from appendiceal cancer. In response to his death, the Wolves created the Unsung Hero award as well as the Breslin Memorial Scholarship that provides $7,500 toward college tuition for a high-school senior who has overcome a personal hardship.

Lajoie, a 24-year-old from Quebec City, earned the Unsung Hero honor as voted by Wolves fans in March. Lajoie owns 3 goals and 28 assists in 55 games this season — he ranks eighth on the team with 31 points — and is part of the team’s top defensive pairing with Joey Keane, but his value to the team goes much deeper.

“He is our unsung hero,” said Wolves head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “You probably don’t see all of the good stuff that he does and the details to his game. He just plays exactly how we want to play. He’s extremely coachable. He plays in all situations. He’s a great teammate. I could go on and on about this kid. Sometimes you wish you had about 15 of him just because he does things the right way.”

Peoria Notre Dame High School senior Olivia Munson, who devotes herself to numerous noble causes despite an ambitious academic and athletic schedule, won the Breslin Scholarship. She will attend Xavier in the fall.

“Through loss I choose to bring life to everyone I meet,” Munson wrote. “Empathy and caring are strong parts of my character. I love helping others and excited about my future as a nurse.”

To learn more about Tim Breslin’s life and family, please take a moment to read this story by former Daily Herald columnist Barry Rozner.


The people have spoken! So many Wolves fans enjoyed our inaugural $2 Beer Night on March 25 — made even greater by the exciting overtime win over Manitoba — that we’re bringing it back for the regular-season home finale against Rockford on Thursday, April 28.

$2 beers will be available at specific concession stands in each Allstate Arena lobby through the end of the first intermission. For tickets, click here.


The Chicago Wolves and Turtle Wax are teaming up to host First Responders Night on Saturday, April 23. Prior to the Wolves’ 7 p.m. game against Milwaukee, there will be a Touch-A-Truck event in Allstate Arena’s South parking lot that will feature police, fire, EMS and other vehicles. All fans with tickets are welcome to attend the event from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

help save lives april 23

There are still appointments available for the Wolves/Vitalant blood drive on Saturday, April 23, at Allstate Arena’s Skyline Room. The Wolves and Vitalant are trying to equal or exceed the incredible support from the previous blood drive on Dec. 18 — when Wolves fans stepped up to donate enough blood to save 402 lives.

Everyone who donates between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on April 23 receives 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.



With a goal 51 seconds into the second period Sunday against Cleveland, Noesen became the first AHL player since 2011 (and the first Wolves player since 2007) to score 40 goals in a season. The 29-year-old from Plano, Texas, has scored five more goals than his nearest AHL pursuer (Abbotsford’s Sheldon Dries) and also ranks third in the league with 75 points.


Fittingly, the Wolves captain earned the primary assist on Noesen’s 40th goal as the linemates have collaborated many times this season. Poturalski added his 25th goal later in Sunday’s game to retain a share of the AHL scoring lead. He owns 88 points (25G, 63A) in 63 games as he remains on track to become the first AHL player since 2010 to score 100 points.


The 22-year-old rookie remains the AHL’s hottest goaltender as he earned two more victories last week to extend his winning streak to 7 games. Since coming over from Russia Feb. 15 to join the Wolves, Kochetkov owns an 11-0-1 record with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals in any of his last 10 starts.

REWIND (3-0-0-0)


  • Forward Stefan Noesen became the first AHL player since 2011 to reach the 40-goal mark and rookie Noel Gunler scored his first pro goal in North America to highlight the Wolves’ win.
  • Forwards Spencer Smallman and Andrew Poturalski and defenseman Jalen Chatfield also scored goals while Smallman and Poturalski also added one assist apiece.
  • Goaltender Alex Lyon rejected 23 shots to earn the win.


  • Defenseman Jesper Sellgren scored 46 seconds into overtime — set up by Andrew Poturalski and Stefan Noesen — to give the Wolves the win and cut their Central Division magic number to 5.
  • Forward Spencer Smallman produced a short-handed goal four minutes into the third — set up by Vasily Ponomarev and Jalen Chatfield — to break a scoreless tie.
  • Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov posted 27 saves to seize his seventh straight win.


  • Forward CJ Smith scored two goals for the second game in a row as the Wolves recovered from an early deficit to clinch a first-round bye in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
  • Forwards David Gust scored Chicago’s first goal while Stefan Noesen’s league-leading 39th goal wound up being his 10th game-winner of the year — tying the Wolves’ single-season record.
  • Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 16 shots to earn his sixth straight win.


Wednesday, April 13 at Texas 7 p.m. H-E-B Center AHLTV
Friday, April 15 at Texas 7 p.m. H-E-B Center AHLTV
Saturday, April 16 at Texas 7 p.m. H-E-B Center AHLTV
Tuesday, April 19 vs. Rockford 7 p.m. Allstate Arena My50
Friday, April 22 at Grand Rapids 6 p.m. Van Andel Arena AHLTV

All games are streamed on AHLTV.