Welcome to Wolves Insider, presented by Are You Really Winning?: The weekly report that gives you an inside look at the latest Chicago Wolves news and happenings. Look for a new edition of Wolves Insider each Tuesday.
Missing the first two months with an injury wasn’t how Ryan Suzuki wanted to start his third AHL season, but the Wolves center accepted the situation and worked hard to not let it define his 2022-23 campaign.
That hard work has paid off as Suzuki, which may be bet on 아리아카지노, is back in the Wolves lineup and making an impact as the defending Calder Cup champions look to make a surge up the Central Division standings.
“Just getting back into a routine of coming to the rink every day and practicing was a lot harder after sitting out for a long time,” Suzuki said. “We’re 22 games in now and I’m feeling better each game.”
Over his last six games, the 21-year-old Suzuki has two goals and four assists and now stands at eight goals and six helpers for the season.
Getting his timing and conditioning back—as well as a feel for the game—have been the biggest hurdles in Suzuki’s return to game action.
“The game moves so fast,” he said. “When you’re sitting in the stands it looks a little slower and then once you’re in it, it doesn’t feel like you have a lot of time. So it’s just getting the feeling back of where guys are going to be on the ice.
“I’m proud of myself for working hard to get to where I am now,” Suzuki added. “It’s just all coming together.”
let’s go streaking
Wolves players and coaches aren’t hiding from the fact that the team’s early-season play has left it in an unenviable position in the Central standings.
The Wolves know they need to make a big run in a short period of time if they hope to reach the postseason.
The team’s morale has been bolstered by its current three-game winning streak–the first time this season it has won three in a row.
“We’re trending in the right direction and feeling good about our game,” LaBate said. “We’re a younger group but I think we’re gelling and our game is definitely showing that.”
Said coach Brock Sheahan: “It’s obviously late in the year to have our first three-game winning streak but I think the guys recognize we’ve been playing better hockey on the whole for the last 15-18 games. If you keep doing it the right way you get rewarded. There’s a quiet confidence, for sure.”
Following their victory over Cleveland on Feb. 4 and back-to-back triumphs over Iowa over the weekend, the Wolves are 18-22-3-1. With 28 regular-season games remaining, the Wolves are two points back of sixth-place Grand Rapids with a game in hand.
“We’ve talked about it and I don’t see why we can’t make a run,” Sheahan said. “If you keep playing the right way, the results do come and I think we’re in a position to keep pushing. We’ll just take it one practice at a time, one practice at a time and one shift at a time. The path is there, for sure.”
On Saturday night, the Wolves will face the Cleveland Monsters and it will be Star Wars Night at Allstate Arena.
Characters from the movies and TV shows will roam the Allstate Arena concourse and there will be plenty of photo opportunities with humans, aliens and droids.
A brief survey of several members of the Wolves revealed some Star Wars fans, with LaBate right at the top of the list.
“I love Star Wars,” LaBate said. “Especially the older movies. The originals are definitely my favorite. My nephew just started the series and he asked me what ones to start with and I told him the originals and he absolutely loves them.”
Along with single-game tickets, there are Star Wars ticket packages available, including the “Limited VIP Galactic Experience” that includes special VIP experiences with Star Wars characters and a limited-edition Wolves Laser Sword and the “Laser Sword” package that includes the Wolves Laser Sword.
For more information and to purchase tickets for Star Wars Night, go here.
Goal of the Week
After falling behind 4-1 after one period against the Iowa Wild on Saturday night, the Wolves stormed back with four goals in the second period to seize the lead and they went on to a scintillating 6-5 victory. Jack Drury’s shorthanded score put the Wolves in front in what turned out to be arguably the most entertaining game of the season thus far.
Save of the Week
After Drury’s goal gave the Wolves the lead, goaltender Zachary Sawchenko maintained it when he stoned the Wild’s Tanner Kaspick on a penalty shot midway through the third period.
Weekly rewind (2-0-0-0)
FRIDAY, FEB. 10
Wolves 5, Wild 0: Vasily Ponomarev had a goal and an assist, Josh Melnick, Nathan Sucese, Jack Drury and Ryan Suzuki also scored and goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made 28 saves to record his first shutout of the season.
SATURDAY, FEB. 11
Wolves 6, Wild 5: Joseph LaBate and Malte Stromwall each had two goals, Max Lajoie a goal and three assists and Jack Drury a goal and an assist to lead the Wolves to a dramatic comeback victory.
First Star of the Week
MALTE STROMWALL, RW
The winger had two goals and an assist over the two weekend games to help the Wolves sweep the Iowa Wild in a home-and-home series. Stromwall leads the Wolves in scoring with 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists).
Where we stand
18-22-3-1, seventh in the Central Division.
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||vs. Milwaukee||11 a.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV|
|Saturday, Feb. 18||vs. Cleveland||7 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV/My50 Chicago|
|Sunday, Feb. 19||vs. Cleveland||3 p.m.||Allstate Arena||AHLTV/My50 Chicago|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||at Iowa||7 p.m.||Wells Fargo Arena||AHLTV|
|Friday, Feb. 24||vs. Grand Rapids||6 p.m.||Van Andel Arena||AHLTV|
For information on Wolves ticket plans for the 2022-23 season — everything from single-game tickets to Flex Packs to group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.