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No team in the league has been better on the power play than the Wolves, who are on fire with a man advantage.
“Our power play has been clicking for us,” coach Dave Barr said. “It’s won us games and it’s kept us in games.”
Chicago has found the back of the net 26 times in 98 power-play opportunities. The Wolves are especially lethal while on the road, topping the AHL with a 28.3 percentage (13 for 46). At Allstate Arena, they stand fourth at 25.0 percent (13 for 52).
“The group is getting into their positions quickly,” Barr said. “They’re feeling good about what they’re doing and confidence is a huge part of it.”
Rocco Grimaldi is tied for the AHL lead with seven power-play goals while Chris Terry has notched five, including a marker during the Wolves’ 7-4 loss to the Admirals on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Defenseman Matt Donovan is tied for second in the league with 11 assists with an extra skater.
“The part that gets overlooked sometimes is that we’re working,” Barr said. “The thing is, sometimes when you have an extra player on the ice there’s a belief you don’t have to work as hard. But we’re working hard to get loose pucks back and to get to the front of the net. That’s a big reason why we’re scoring goals.”
WAGNER REWARDED FOR STRONG PLAY
After joining the Wolves on a Professional Tryout Contract over the summer, Ryan Wagner earned himself a Standard Player Contract, inking the deal on Dec. 13.
The forward has been a stalwart on the Wolves’ fourth line with his scrappiness and play-making ability. Wagner has three goals and two assists in 21 games and sports a sparkling 21.4 shooting percentage.
“It’s nice to finally put pen to paper but it doesn’t really change anything—I’m going to play my game,” Wagner, 27, said. “I’m here to help the team any way I can, whether I’m on the fourth line and with whatever minutes I’m getting. I want to play my part in helping this team succeed.”
Wagner began his professional career with parts of two seasons with the Wolves from 2017-19 before spending four campaigns with the Colorado Eagles. The Park Ridge native called re-joining the Wolves and signing a deal for the rest of the season “a no-brainer.”
“I’m happy to be here,” Wagner continued. “My family is here and my wife and I love it here.”
Wagner added that earning the AHL deal is “definitely a pat on the back for myself, but I’m not satisfied. I want more. The goal is to win. We’re just getting started and we’re going to finish strong.”
IMPACT PLAY OF THE WEEK
On Saturday night at Allstate Arena, Rocco Grimaldi took a nifty pass from Vasily Ponomarev and buried his team-leading 15th goal of the season to pull the Wolves into 2-2 tie with the Milwaukee Admirals.
REPUBLIC BANK SAVE OF THE WEEK
Goaltender Antti Raanta made his highlight-reel save against the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night to help the Wolves extend their season-long, five-game points streak.
C.D.E. COLLISION CENTERS’ COLLISION OF THE WEEK
Wolves forward Dominic Franco delivered this crunching check on the Admirals’ Spencer Stastney during Wednesday night’s game in Milwaukee.
Weekly rewind (0-1-1-0)
SATURDAY, DEC. 23
Admirals 3, Wolves 2 (OT): Isaac Ratcliffe and Rocco Grimaldi scored and Antti Raanta was strong in goal but the Wolves fell in overtime to see their three-game winning streak snapped.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27
Admirals 7, Wolves 4: Chris Terry, Griffin Mendel, Mitch Vande Sompel and Rocco Grimaldi scored but it wasn’t enough as the Wolves had their five-game points streak ended.
First Star of the Week
VASILY PONOMAREV, F
The 21-year-old from Moscow, Russia, had assists in each of the Wolves’ two games to run his season-long points streak to seven contests. For the season, Ponomarev has five goals and 13 assists in 17 games.
Where we stand
8-14-2-2, seventh in the Central Division.
|Friday, Dec. 29
|vs. Grand Rapids
|Saturday, Dec. 30
|Tuesday, Jan. 2
|Friday, Jan. 5
|Saturday, Jan. 6