Wolves Take Two From Iowa Wild; Extend Winning Streak To Three
To say this season is hit or miss for the Chicago Wolves is a bit of an understatement. Still, the Wolves managed to sweep the Iowa Wild over the weekend.
Friday’s 5-0 shut out and Saturday’s come from behind 6-5 win showed just what the Wolves are capable of with all their pistons firing. The wins add to the Wolves season long win streak to three, which they hope to extend to four against the Milwaukee Admirals Wednesday in Chicago.
Friday’s 5-0 shut out of the Wild was the first back to back win since January 18th and 21st when they routed the Manitoba Moose and Rockford IceHogs in 6-2 fashion in both games.
Vasily Ponomarev scored a goal and an assist. Ponomarev’s 11th goals leads the team in scoring. Josh Melnick, Nathan Sucese, Jack Drury and Ryan Suzuki also lit the lamp with a goal each.
Pyotr Kochetkov made 28 saves to record the shutout as the Wolves. With the shut out, Kochetkov marks his first shut of the season with Chicago. His GAA dropped to 2.49 and his SV% rose to .915% for the season as well.
Saturday, Chicago would need all they could get to keep the Iowa Wild in their cage.
Joseph LaBate and Malte Stromwall had two goals a piece. LaBate’s goals were his 4th and 5th of the season, while Stromwall notched his 9th and 10th moving him into a tie for 2nd on the team just behind Vasily Ponomarev with 11.
Max Lajoie a goal and three assists. Jack Drury scored a goal and an assist to pull the Wolves past the Wild.
Zachary Sawchenko had 29 saves for the night on 34 shots.
Both wins over the Wild show that Chicago’s offense is completely capable of scoring at will, particularly Drury and Stromwell. When either, or both are productive, the Wolves win.
Drury and/or Stromwell have scored points in all but 2 of the Wolves wins this season. Add in Vasily Ponomarev, and between the three, they have points in all 18 wins for the year.
Friday’s shut also proves the Wolves defense is able to eliminate scoring threats and put the puck in the offense zone. The 28 shots Kochetkov faced from the Iowa Wild Friday is the 6th most he has seen in limited starts with Chicago this season. Sawchenko’s 34 shots faced on Saturday is also one of his lowest for the year as well.
With Milwaukee at home Wednesday, the Wolves will start a three game homestand that brings the Admirals and the Cleveland Monsters (two games) to the Windy City.
As the Wolves find themselves in the basement of the Central Division basement and at the bottom of the Western Conference, this homestand will be a welcomed respite from the road. March will be a grind mostly on the road with tough games against the Texas Stars and Manitoba Moose.
Not the perfect concoction for a team trying to pull themselves out of last place.
Will the Chicago Wolves be able to claw their way out of the hole they find themselves in? it does not look great, but if they can scrape up a few more games like two game sweep of the Iowa Wild it is very possible they end up in the middle of the pack with a respectable season.