After dropping their season opener to the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Wolves rebounded over the weekend by taking both games against the Milwaukee Admirals. The teams played in Milwaukee and at Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Stars from the weekend include Andrew Poturalski, Eetu Makiniemi, and David Cotton.
Friday, October 22 at Milwaukee
On Friday, the Wolves played their first game in nearly a week, traveling just north of the border to take on the Admirals. Throughout both games this past weekend, the Admirals dressed several players who spent the 2021 season with the Wolves. In addition, the Wolves needed a win after entering the contest 0-1.
The Wolves struck in the first two periods on Friday. David Cotton and Jalen Chatfield tallied their first goals of the 2021-22 campaign. Ryan Suzuki, David Gust, and Stefan Noesen tallied their first assists while Poturalski tallied his second of the season.
In the third, the Wolves added the insurance marker off the stick of C.J. Smith. The goal was Smith’s second in as many games and proved to be the game-winner. Late tallies from the Admirals cut the deficit down to one, but the Wolves held on in what was a very heavy and chippy game by both sides.
Friday was a perfect road win to take back to Allstate Arena for Saturday’s matchup. Eetu Makiniemi was the first star of the game after making 41 saves on 43 shots. In addition, Andrew Potrualski picked up two assists to earn second star while Smith’s game-winner earned him third star honors.
Overall, the game was a tough matchup for the Wolves. The Wolves were outplayed early, but Makiniemi shined and kept the game scoreless. Once the Wolves scored the first goal, the tides turned as the visitors dominated much of the remainder of the game. Milwaukee’s two late goals weren’t cause for concern, as the second goal came with just seconds left on the clock.
Saturday, October 23 at Allstate Arena
The Wolves’ second home game of the season proved to be much better than the first. Rather than showing signs of exhaustion from the prior night, the Wolves came out and dominated the Admirals. Six total goals, including three in the first period, were more than enough for the Wolves to take down the Admirals for the second straight night. Every player but one who scored for the Wolves on Saturday tallied their first of the campaign.
Goals from David Gust, Stefan Noesen, and Maxim Letunov were the difference in the opening frame. The captain, Poturalski, scored his first as the lone tally in the middle frame and Stelio Mattheos added his first of the season in the third. The Wolves’ final goal was scored by C.J. Smith, who has scored a goal in all three games for the Wolves thus far.
By the end of the game, Noesen and Poturalski both tallied a goal and an assist. Cotton recorded two assists in the win and Alex Lyon stopped 18 of 19 pucks he faced. After being outshot 43-31 on Friday night, the Wolves rebounded by dominating Milwaukee 37-19 in the category.
Saturday showed just how good this season’s Wolves team can be. They played with incredible energy on the second half of a home-and-home, showing this team’s depth and talent. Even with several major departures from last season’s team, this season’s team is just as good, if not better.
On Saturday, Samantha Hiller refereed the Wolves’ 6-1 win. In doing so, she joins nine other women officiating in the AHL this season. Its a historic milestone that is overdue. Now, that number is going to grow as seasons pass. For this season, the Wolves can mark Samantha Hiller becoming the first woman to referee at Allstate Arena in an AHL game.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Wolves will hit the road for three games to finish out the week. On Wednesday, Chicago pays Grand Rapids a visit at 6:00 p.m. CDT. On Friday, the Wolves are back in Milwaukee then heading to Grand Rapids on Sunday for a spooky second matchup with the Griffins. A tough road trip is a perfect opportunity for the Wolves to translate their gained momentum into wins early in the season.
Follow On Tap Sports Net on social media!