Cleat Geeks

Recap: Chicago Wolves vs. Charlotte Checkers

In the fifth game of the AHL regular season, the Chicago Wolves hosted the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, in a Central Division match-up that pitted two of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Chicago came into this game fresh off a heartbreaking shootout loss at the hands of in-state rival Rockford, while Charlotte was coming off of a 4-1 win over Grand Rapids as they continue their exhausting 10-game road trip in the Windy City.

The scoring began almost instantly, as Wolves left winger Magnus Paajarvi  netted the first goal of the contest just four minutes into the contest with the help of Andre Benoit and Danny Kristo; however, that would be the only goal of the period as both defensive units put the pressure on the opposing forwards.

The second period featured a near-identical beginning as Ivan Barbashev put one in the back of the net just three minutes into the period, handing the Wolves a 2-0 lead. Zach O’Brien and Tommy Vannelli both recorded assists on that Barbashev goal.

ChicagoWolves1But the Chicago offensive attack would not stop there – with less than a minute remaining in the period, Magnus Paajarvi took quality passes from Pat Cannone and Danny Kristo and turned them into a goal that would be his second of the game and fourth of the season.

A fight broke out earlier in the second period featuring Wolves right winger Jacob Doty and Checkers left winger Kyle Hagel. Much to the dismay of the fans and the players, neither Doty nor Hagel won the fight, as it ended in a draw; however, both players landed solid hits on each other, making for a very entertaining and evenly-matched fight.

While the offensive onslaught of the Wolves stole much of the spotlight, it was Chicago goalie Pheonix Copley who was the undoubted player of the game. In just his second start of the season, Copley stopped all 23 Checkers shots on goal, getting his first win and his first shutout in a Wolves uniform.

As this is still a very young season, the standings are in constant flux as teams try to assert themselves as the top dogs in their divisions and conferences. With that said, the win tonight puts Chicago in a tie with Lake Erie for first place in the Central Division, while Charlotte’s loss drops them down to third place in the Central Division.

The Wolves play their next game this Friday night (10/30) where it is craft beer night, at home against the Manitoba Moose. You can get your tickets for that game right here. While the Checkers get a one-day break before they head to Rockford to face the IceHogs in a Tuesday night (10/27) contest.







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