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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 week.


If it appears that Max Comtois is comfortable defending himself during skirmishes with opponents, it’s no coincidence—the Wolves forward has participated in more than his share of fights over the years.

Comtois is a black belt in karate and as a youngster traveled throughout Eastern Canada participating in—and often winning—martial arts tournaments.

“I started when I was 6 or 7,” Comtois said. “I was home in Montreal and I wanted to try something different and I started karate and I loved it. I said I wanted to reach black belt before I was 15 and I got it when I was 13 or 14.

“I was pretty fortunate to be good at fighting,” Comtois continued. “When I was younger, I wasn’t very tall but I had long legs and that was my biggest strength.”

Comtois indicated his karate skills don’t help much during hockey fights, saying “when I was fighting in karate, I used my kicks and my length and you can’t really do that in fighting in hockey. Also, you’re fighting on steel so it’s a little different.”

The discipline does translate in other ways—both on and off the ice.

“The whole focus is on yourself and it’s in your head,” Comtois said. “When doing competitions, you’re in front of a crowd and you’re fighting by yourself so you need to have your mind free of everything and let go of any pressure. Hockey is a team sport but when you’re out there you’re not afraid to make plays because you’ve been in those situations.

“It helped me with flexibility as well,” the 25-year-old added. “I can get out of certain injuries because I worked a lot on flexibility when I was doing karate. It also helps with self-control–stuff I still apply in my day-to-day life.”

Comtois, who has 11 goals and 14 assists in 30 games this season. said he doesn’t practice karate these days, but could revisit it in the future.

“I want to go and do it but I don’t think it’s the right idea to go fight again,” he said. “It’s always something I have in the back of my mind, wondering if I can go back and pick it up again.”


When Domenick Fensore scored the game-winning goal during the Wolves’ 2-1 victory over the Moose on Wednesday night in Manitoba, the defenseman became the final player on the active roster to find the back of the net this season.

Fensore’s goal came on the heels of fellow blue liner Tory Dello scoring his first goal of the season to help the Wolves top the IceHogs 4-1 last Friday at Rockford.

While it took Fensore 14 games to score due to joining the team in November and then missing time with an injury, Dello tallied in his 29th game of the season.

“When you don’t score for half the year and then one goes off a leg and in, it’s always funny and it feels really good to get one,” said Dello, who beat IceHogs goaltender Mitchell Weeks with a shot from the point. “Points aren’t what I pride myself on. They’re nice when they come along but it’s more about my defensive game and being a good penalty killer. That’s the stuff I focus on.”

To that end, Dello has been a stalwart on the back end. The 26-year-old joins Cavan Fitzgerald as the only players on the Wolves with a positive plus-minus rating, a good indicator of a player’s impact at both ends of the ice. Dello is a plus-3 while Fitzgerald leads the way with a plus-7.

While Dello is defense-first, he acknowledges the need to chip in offensively when the opportunity arises.

“Especially in today’s hockey you have to be able to play offense so I do try to when I get my chances,” Dello said. “It’s never going to be my first thought–that will always be to keep the puck out of our net. But it’s always rewarding when you get one.”


Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald scored this beauty to put the Wolves on the right track and they went on to defeat the IceHogs 4-1 last Friday night in Rockford.



During the Wolves’ 2-1 victory over the Moose on Wednesday night, goaltender Adam Scheel stoned Manitoba forward Jeff Malott on a breakaway–one of Scheel’s 32 saves in the game.



Wolves forward Max Comtois delivered this open-ice hit on the Moose’s Wyatt Bongiovanni during Tuesday night’s game in Manitoba.



In January, the Wolves are spotlighting Dementia Awareness and the tireless and heroic work done by caregivers.

With his grandmother living with Dementia, Wolves forward Chris Terry knows the importance the role caregivers have in providing support and comfort to those afflicted.

“It’s a thankless job,” Terry said. “It’s a disease that you wish nobody ever got but we’re fortunate to have some understanding of it and have caregivers who are able to be a support system to ensure that they’re not only happy, but safe.”

Terry’s grandmother lives north of Toronto in what is known in Canada as Cottage Country and he has experienced first-hand the effects Dementia has had on her.

“The memory loss is really tough to deal with,” Terry said. “It’s one of the simple things in life we take for granted. The times she does remember things you truly value. It’s hard to watch at times but we’re happy she’s still happy.”

“Between my mom and her two sisters, they’re pretty instrumental in ensuring not only her safety but her happiness and will continue to look after her,” Terry added.

Terry is proud of the work the Wolves organization has done to shine a spotlight on Dementia Awareness, including auctioning the special jerseys the veteran and his teammates will don during games this weekend.

“It’s great to be on a team that creates awareness for such a huge initiative,” Terry said. “I’m really happy the organization values it.”

Wolves players will wear Dementia Awareness jerseys, presented by Campfire Marshmallows, when they host the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night and the Manitoba Moose on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

The commemorative jerseys will be available to own through a variety of initiatives with proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association, Lewy Body Dementia Association, Dementia Society, other Dementia Awareness-related charities and Chicago Wolves Charities, driven by Kia.

Six Dementia Awareness jerseys will be available via blind auction. The process is easy: Simply bid the highest amount you are willing to pay for a specific jersey and the highest bid submitted for each jersey by 12 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 29 will be the winner. The minimum bid is $275, and no one will know what others are bidding.

Jerseys for Terry, Keith Kinkaid, Kyle Marino, Cory Conacher, Rocco Grimaldi, as well as mascot Skates, will be available in the blind auction. The blind auction can be entered online and at Allstate Arena.

To bid in-arena, pick up a blind auction form at the Chicago Wolves Charities Table behind Section 105 at this weekend’s games.

Weekly rewind (3-0-0-0)


Wolves 4, IceHogs 1: Max Comtois had two goals, Cavan Fitzgerald and Tory Dello also scored and Adam Scheel continued his standout play in net to lift the Wolves to their third win in a row and fifth in the last six games.


Wolves 2, Moose 1: Vasily Ponomarev led the way offensively with a goal and an assist, Max Comtois also scored and Adam Scheel was once again strong in goal for the Wolves.


Wolves 2, Moose 1: Domenick Fensore scored the game-winner in the third period and Vasily Ponomarev also had a goal to help the Wolves secure their fifth consecutive victory.

First Star of the Week


The 27-year-old from Boston not only scored the opening goal during last Friday’s win over the Rockford IceHogs, but Fitzgerald was a plus-1 over the three games to lead a Wolves defense that yielded a combined three goals during the trio of victories.

Where we stand

15-16-3-2, fifth in the Central Division.


Saturday, Jan. 27 vs. Milwaukee 7 p.m. Allstate Arena AHLTV/My50 Chicago
Sunday, Jan. 28 vs. Manitoba 3 p.m. Allstate Arena AHLTV/My50 Chicago
Friday, Feb. 2 at Cleveland 6 p.m. Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse AHLTV
Saturday, Feb. 3 at Cleveland Noon Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse AHLTV
Friday, Feb. 9 at Milwaukee 7 p.m. UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena AHLTV