Throughout our history, the Chicago Wolves have been one of the more dominant teams in the league. These teams have been led by Hall of Fame veterans as well as some of the game’s best up-and-coming talent. We’ve hoisted four championship banners to Allstate Arena’s rafters along with countless more conference and divisional honors.
With so many great teams in our history, we settled the debate this summer with the help of our friends at EA Sports and their NHL 20 game. Our Wolves Elite Frozen Eight tournament started with eight of our finest teams (1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2017 and 2019) and concluded with a best-of-3 Wolves Cup Finals between the top-seeded 2008 Calder Cup champions and the second-seeded 1998 Turner Cup champions.
We streamed all of the games on our Chicago Wolves Twitch channel and here’s how the tournament played out:
SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
- Wednesday, June 17 (Game 1): With the 2008 Calder Cup champs and 2017 Central Division champs tied 2-2 early in the third, 2008 AHL MVP Jason Krog scores three straight goals to lead the top-seeded 2008s into the semis with a 5-2 victory.
- Thursday, June 18 (Game 2): The first upset! Defenseman Mark Popovic scored on a rebound 1:52 into overtime and the fifth-seeded 2007 team edged the fourth-seeded 2002 Calder Cup champions by a 3-2 score.
- Friday, June 19 (Game 3): Alex Semak piled up three goals and three assists while Steve Maltais posted two goals and three assists as the second-seeded 1998 Turner Cup champions eliminated the seventh-seeded 2005 Calder Cup finalists.
- Monday, June 22 (Game 4): Curtis McKenzie scores with 2:13 left to lift the sixth-seeded 2019 Calder Cup finalists to a 6-5 victory over the third-seeded 2000 Turner Cup champions. T.J. Tynan produces a hat trick for the winners while Steve Larouche scored three goals for the 2000 squad.
- Wednesday, June 24 (Game 5): In a physical battle between the top-seeded 2008 Calder Cup champions and the high-scoring fifth-seeded 2007 squad, Darren Haydar racked up one goal and four assists to lead 2008 to a 5-1 victory and a spot in the Wolves Cup! Haydar, by the way, also scored the lone goal for the 2007 crew.
- Friday, June 26 (Game 6): The 1998 Turner Cup champions rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period, tied the game in the final minute of regulation and earned a 6-5 victory over the 2019 Calder Cup finalists. Scott Pearson’s goal during the second round of the shootout pushed John Anderson’s 1998 squad into the Wolves Cup Finals!
- Tuesday, June 30 (Game 7): In Game 1 of the best-of-3 Wolves Cup Finals, John Anderson’s top-seeded 2008 Calder Cup champions seized a 4-1 lead in the first period over John Anderson’s second-seeded 1998 Turner Cup champions and carried on to a 7-4 victory. Jason Krog, Darren Haydar and Brett Sterling scored two goals apiece for the winners while Scott Pearson notched two tallies for the 1998 crew.
- Wednesday, July 1 (Game 8): We’re going to need a third and final game as the 1998 Turner Cup champs pull even in the series with a 3-1 victory over the 2008 Calder Cup champs in Game 2. Wendell Young stopped 20 shots and Alex Semak delivered two goals for the winners.
- Thursday, July 2 (Game 9): The 1998 squad jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 3, then held on to win 3-2 as goaltender Wendell Young stopped four shots in the final 45 seconds during the 2008 team’s furious final flurry. And who scored the game-winning goal? None other than Steve Maltais, only the greatest goal-scorer in franchise history. Congratulations to John Anderson’s 1998 team.