Another weekend, another slate of Chicago Wolves hockey. Over the weekend, the Wolves hosted their division foe, the Iowa Wild, for a game before heading to Des Moines for two additional games. The Iowa-filled weekend was heavily in the Wolves favor. In fact, the Wolves swept all three games against the Wild.
Thursday’s home game was one of two shutouts over the weekend. In total, the Wild only scored one goal against the Wolves. Aside from that, it was Chicago’s series to take as they dominated from the opening face-off on Thursday to the final horn on Sunday.
After going 3-0, let’s recap the successful weekend for the Wolves.
Thursday, December 2: Wolves 2, Wild 0
The Wolves hosted a rare Thursday night home game at Allstate Arena. Typically, home games are only on weekends, or the occasional Wednesday night. However, Thursday’s unique start proved to be favorable for the hosting Wolves. The first period set the tempo as the Wolves outshot the Wild 15-1 and tallied the only goal of the period off defenseman Jesper Sellgren‘s stick.
A strong play from breakout candidate David Gust set up a perfect one-timer for the defenseman. It was his first goal of his AHL career, and a pretty one after blasting it through Iowa goaltender Dereck Baribeau.
After a lack of scoring in the middle frame, but a more Iowa driven period, the Wolves went to the third with a one goal advantage. Early in the period, just like in the first, the Wolves struck. This time, Sam Miletic tallied his second goal of the season in gorgeous fashion to pad the lead.
Hustle and heart led to the sensational goal for Miletic. After a beautiful 30-save performance from Alex Lyon in net, the Wolves took the 2-0 win. Chicago set their sights west as they traveled to Des Moines for two games.
Saturday, December 4: Wolves 2, Wild 1
As noted in the opening section of this piece, the Wild scored a lone goal in the three games against Chicago. That said, that goal came from Matt Boldy in the first period of Saturday’s game. The power play tally gave the Wild the 1-0 lead entering the intermission. However, the Wolves refused to go away.
In the second period, one of the team’s top depth scorers, Maxim Letunov, tallied his sixth goal of the season to tie the game. After entering the third period tied, the Wolves once again accepted the comeback kid role to ultimately secure a victory.
In the third period, Jack Drury‘s third goal of the season gave the Wolves the lead for good. Another point for captain Andrew Poturalski, who tallied his 250th career point on the assist, set the tempo for the Wolves to finish strong. The goal was official at the 47-second mark, and Eetu Makiniemi stopped all 11 Wild shots to secure the win on the road.
Sunday, December 5: Wolves 4, Wild 0
Sunday’s game was not nearly as close as Saturday’s. The Wolves ultimately outshot the Wild in their building 43-20 and saw Alex Lyon record his second straight shutout on Sunday.
In the first period, the Wolves received two late-period tallies from David Cotton and Drury to give the Wolves the lead after 20 minutes.
Cotton’s goal was a breathe of fresh air. The forward has not played since November 13, so a goal in his return was exactly what the Wolves needed.
In the second period, the Wolves struck early again as they have all season. At the 51-second mark, Stefan Noesen potted his sixth of the season to extend the lead to three goals. After hanging on through 40 minutes, the Wolves received their fourth goal from Josh Leivo in the third period to seal the win. The power play tally in the first 90 seconds of the period was more than enough to spoil the weekend for Iowa. With the win, Alex Lyon stopped all 50 shots he faced against the Wild in two games.
The Wolves are firing on all cylinders. Entering the holiday season, the Wolves are riding a six-game win streak in addition to going 7-1-1-1 in their last ten games. At 14-4-1-1, the Wolves continue to position themselves for a deep run in the Calder Cup Playoffs later this season.
In impressive fashion, Andrew Poturalski continues to keep up his impressive numbers. After the weekend, Poturalski is tied with Jack Quinn for the AHL lead in points. With 24 points in 20 games, the captain is on an impressive pace.
This Wolves team continues to impress. With two players in the top 5 for AHL scoring, the Wolves have the necessary scoring to compete. In addition, the Wolves are receiving a lot of depth scoring from supporting players while getting incredible goaltending from Lyon and Makiniemi. This team is fun and now is the time to get to Allstate Arena to see them in person.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Wolves venture to Texas for three games with the Stars this weekend. The first game on Thursday, December 9 will start at 7:00 p.m. CST. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the two teams will do battle at 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST, respectively. The Wolves return home for a date with the Manitoba Moose on December 16.
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