February, thus far, has been particularly good for the Chicago Wolves. Starting February 4th and just ending the 19th, the Wolves were on, what we in the business call, a streak. A five-game point streak to be exact. To beat all, just as soon as their streak was snapped, they popped up with a win to potentially start a new one.
2-1 Milwaukee Admirals (SOL)
Pyotr Kochetkov tended 2 scoreless periods before giving up a tying goal in the third as the Wolves lost in a shout out to the Admirals. The loss was the fifth game in a row that Kochetkov had given up two goals or fewer. He ended the night with a .93 GAA and a saving percentage of .960. Of the 25 shots his faced in regulation, 24 of them did not make it passed the Russian playing in his first season in North America.
Scoring for the Wolves was Jamieson Rees late in the third period on a rebound off the initial shot of Ryan Suzuki. The goal was his 10th of the season. Ryan Suzuki (7th) and Josh Melnick (15th) recorded assists on the goal.
With the loss Chicago’s record dropped to 18-22-3-2 BUT the team picked up a vital point in the standings.
4-3 Cleveland Monsters (W)
Vasily Ponomarev decided to take a turn on the scoreboard for the Wolves with his 12th and 13th goals of the season. Mackenzie MacEachern added one with an assist from Max Lejoie. The apple was Lejoie 2nd of the year while the goal was MacEachern’s 2nd in just 13 games with the Wolves. Wolves fans will remember Mackenzie MacEachern from his two-year stint with Chicago from 2016 to 18. In that tour MacEachern tallied 21 points and was +5.
Alex Green’s first goal of the season midway through the gave the Wolves a 4-2 advantage midway through the third.
Four was enough for Pyotr Kochetkov to keep the Wolves in the game. Kochetkov’s line for the night ran 24 SV, 3.01 GAA and .889 SV%.
Picking up yet again important points, The Wolves’ record improved to 19-22-3-2
3-2 Cleveland Monsters (L)
Five points was the season’s longest point streak for the Wolves, and in retribution for the win the night before the Monsters of Cleveland stopped Chicago’s streak right there.
Malte Stromwall and Jamieson Rees both scored their 11th goals of the season. Stromwall’s goal was his 32nd point thus far. Rees’s was his 30th.
Zachary Sawchenko took the loss on just 12 saves on 14 shots. Sawchenko’s outing was much improved, despite both ending in a loss, over his last 2 times on the ice. His line for the night was a much improved 112 SV, 2.11 GAA and .857 SV%.
4-1 Iowa Wild (W)
Shaking off the loss, and the snapping of their points streak, Chicago opened up on the Iowa Wild with a 4-1 win. Max Lejoie turned up with a goal and two assists. As did Ryan Suzuki. Lajoie’s goal was his 5th of the campaign, and his assist were his 21st and 22nd. Suzuki’s goal was his 9th, and his assists were his 8th and 9th notches on his belt.
Malte Stromwall, and Josh Melnick added the other goals with assists from Mackenzie MacEachern and Jack Drury respectively.
Net tender Pyotr Kochetkov upped his record to 9-4-1-1 by recording 23 saves on 24 shots. His GAA was a lean 1.03 and his SV% was a hefty .958.
Chicago’s five game point streak in February has brought the team timely points when points are needed most. With 65 points they now sit just one point behind the Grand Rapid Griffins and San Jose Barracuda each with 66 points. By no means are the Wolves out of the woods, but this surge of points brings them one step further from the basement of the Central Division, and a rung or two removed from the bottom of the league’s barrel.