Cleat Geeks

Hungry Like the Wolves: Iowa Wild vs. Chicago Wolves

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Wolves welcomed the Iowa Wild to the Allstate Arena Friday night as they tried to fight off a three game losing streak.cannone-benoitWolvesAllStars

In recent news for the Wolves, defenseman Andre Benoit and center Pat Cannone have been selected to represent the Chicago Wolves at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic. They will suit up for the Central Division and the Western Conference during the event on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Syracuse, N.Y. This will be Cannone’s first All-Star game while 32 year old Benoit will make his second appearance.

Blues prospect and star Wolves player Ty Rattie was recently called up by the St. Louis Blues this past week. Rattie scored his first NHL goal in the Blues 5-2 rout of the Devils. Prior to being called up, Rattie shared the team lead with 23 points (9g, 14a) with the Wolves this season.

nedomlelThe Wolves have also welcomed a new face to the team.  The Chicago Wolves announced Friday that defenseman Richard Nedomlel has been reassigned to the organization by St. Louis.

The 22-year-old Nedomlel (“NEE-duhm-ehl”) was acquired Friday from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for future considerations. Nedomlel appeared in two games for Grand Rapids (AHL) and 10 games for Toledo (ECHL) this season and posted 2 assists along with 20 penalty minutes.

The Chicago Wolves lead the season series 2-1-0-0.  Last time these teams played was here at the Allstate on December 26th, 2015 and the Wild won 2-1 despite 25 saves from Phoniex Copley.

Tonight, the Wolves look to get back in the win column after dropping their last three games, all on the road. And they did just that.

The Wolves came out aggressive to start the first period.  A lot of opportunities early and executed the dump and chase really well.

John Anderson’s crew would get their first powerplay opportunity at 10:14 into the first period.  The Wolves generated three shots on goal but could not find the back of the net. The Wolves powerplay continued to struggle, especially against the Wild this season. The Wolves have only scored on 17% of their powerplay opportunities.

One thing that has not been a hassle for the Wolves is the penalty kill. They are 81.2% when a man down vs. the Wild this season and raised that percentage in the first period after fighting off a 4 min penalty near the end of the period.

The shots were all even at 12 heading into the second period.

The second was much like the first, shots and only shots.

Both teams had plenty of good looks and shots on goal but failed to get it past the net-minder.

The Wolves had a powerplay opportunity at 5:25 but accomplished no shots on Wild goalie Jeremy Smith.

The Wolves lead the shot category 14-12 in the second, 26-24 for the game.

It was all tied at 0-0 coming into the third period. Both teams have had some time off, predicting the third period would be a matter of who wants it more. And the Wolves showed that they did.

All Star Pat Cannone scored around midway through the third to give the Wolves the 1-0 lead.  In the end, that proved to be the game winner.PatCannoneup

Andre Benoit and Eriah Hayes tallied on a goal each to increase the lead to 3-0.

Benoit and Cannone proved they were All Stars tonight and the stars of their team.

Your three stars of the game were Pat Cannone, Phoniex Copley and Eriah Hayes.

Copley allowed eight goals in his last two starts but recorded his third shutout of the season tonight with an impressive 34 saves.

WolvesPhoenixCopley gave up eight goals in his last two starts and when talking to him after the game, he had this to say: “Tightening up, positioning, controlling rebounds…pretty basic stuff.” “Sometimes you lose track of that and it can cost you.”

Talking to John Anderson after the game, he said it was only a matter of time before we broke the three game losing streak: “We had to buckle down and not having the brain cramps that happened in the last three games.”

The Wolves had a lot of shots in the first and second period but Anderson said something had to be fixed going into the third: “ I had on the whiteboard in the locker room to put the puck up high on him…they didn’t listen to me until the third period I guess.”

Anderson had a good laugh after that response.

“But overall we played a solid game, didn’t give up a lot, and Copley had a huge save on the powerplay in the second period and I think that picked our team up.”

Coming into tonight, the Wolves were 1-3-0-0 on the season when tied after two.  Hence the result, the Wolves added another win to that category, especially coming off a two day rest.

The Wolves have a quick turnaround as they play again tomorrow night as Lake Erie comes to the AllState. The River Monsters were in Roosemont on January 3rd and the Wolves blew them out of the water in style with a 5-2 win.

The Wolves broke the losing streak, and now look to start a winning streak. Let’s Go Wolves.

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