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SEELEY THE SCORER
It took Ronan Seeley 36 games this season to notch his first career AHL goal and it appears to have opened the scoring floodgates for the young Wolves defenseman.
Seeley found the back of the net during the Wolves’ 3-2 overtime victory over Rockford on Saturday night when the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, native took a feed from Ryan Suzuki in the slot and ripped a one-timer past IceHogs goaltender Arvid Soderblom.
Seeley followed that up with two goals during Sunday’s game against the Grand Rapids Griffins and, suddenly, his three tallies have him in a tie with Anttoni Honka for third-most among Wolves blueliners behind William Lagesson (seven) and Griffin Mendel (four).
“It’s nice to get a few goals here but I’m not really changing the way I play or anything,” Seeley, 20, said. “Scoring has been a big part of my game in the past. It’s been a little slower here but I wasn’t really too worried about it. Working on defense is much more important if I want to make it to the next level.”
Seeley, the Carolina Hurricanes’ seventh-round (208th overall) selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, had 11 goals and 33 assists in 52 games with Everett of the WHL last season. This season with the Wolves, he has added eight assists in 38 games.
“Last season, I had some goals—it’s part of my game,” Seeley said. “I’d say I’m a two-way defenseman and part of the game is scoring.”
Seeley’s efforts at both ends of the ice have caught the eye of Wolves coach Brock Sheahan.
“He’s been playing really good hockey of late,” Sheahan said. “He’s getting rewarded offensively but he’s been good on both sides of the puck for a while now.”
Melnick the Magician
All season, Josh Melnick has sported the best plus-minus rating (a plus is given when a player is on the ice when his team scores while at even strength and a minus is given when the other team scores) on the Wolves. The statistic is an indicator of a player’s effectiveness at both ends of the ice.
Currently, Melnick is tied with Lagesson for tops on the Wolves with a plus-7. During his AHL career, which includes three-plus seasons with the Texas Stars before Melnick joined the Wolves this season, he is a plus-27.
“Definitely something I pride myself on in my game is putting pucks in the net and creating offense but being strong on the defensive side of the puck as well,” Melnick, 27, said. “The more you keep pucks out of your net the better chance you have to win a game.”
Even with many different linemates this season due to injuries this season, Melnick has been able to remain consistent in his play. In addition to his plus-minus rating, Melnick is tied for third in scoring for the Wolves with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 39 games.
“We have a lot of good players on our team and being able to work with a bunch of different guys has been great,” Melnick said.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Wolves captain Max Lajoie’s goal in overtime gave the Wolves a 3-2 victory over Central Division-rival Rockford on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
The goal was Lajoie’s second of the season and his first game-winner during the 2022-23 campaign.
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weekly REWIND (1-3-0)
Tuesday, Jan. 24
Roadrunners 5, Wolves 1: Jamieson Rees scored for the Wolves but it wasn’t enough as the Roadrunners prevailed behind two goals from Cameron Hebig and one each from Michael Carcone, Ryan McGregor and Laurent Dauphin. Tucson goaltender Tyler Parks made 27 saves to help snap the Wolves’ two-game winning streak.
Wednesday, Jan. 25
Roadrunners 4, Wolves 1: Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald scored his first goal of the season for the Wolves but the defending Calder Cup champions fell as the Roadrunners got goals from Bokondji Imama, Hudson Elynuik, Laurent Dauphin and Adam Cracknell.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Wolves 3, IceHogs 2 OT: Max Lajoie scored the game-winner in OT and Ronan Seeley and Logan Lambdin added goals for the Wolves, who snapped a two-game losing skid while playing for the first time since returning from a season-long, six-game road trip.
Sunday, Jan. 29
Griffins 5, Wolves 3: Ronan Seeley had two goals and Ryan Suzuki added a goal and an assist but the Wolves couldn’t hold an early lead and dropped the second of back-to-back home games.
First Star of the Week
The defenseman scored his first professional goal during Saturday’s victory over Rockford and added two more goals Sunday against Grand Rapids.
Even though the Wolves didn’t have a game Monday, defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald added a point to his stat line. The AHL reviews all goals and awarded Fitzgerald an assist on goal scored by Logan Lambbin against Rockford on Saturday night.
The scoring on the third-period goal that tied the game at 2-2 now reads: Lambdin (Lajoie, Fitzgerald). Fitzgerald now has a goal and an assist over the five games he’s played since returning to the Wolves lineup following shoulder surgery.
Where we stand
15-21-3-1, seventh in the Central Division.
|Friday, Feb. 3||at Cleveland||6 p.m.||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Feb. 4||at Cleveland||6 p.m.||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse||AHLTV|
|Friday, Feb. 10||vs. Iowa||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV/My50 Chicago|
|Saturday, Feb. 11||at Iowa||6 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||vs. Milwaukee||11 a.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
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