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Thursday, November 21

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Tailgate

Wolves Tue Sep 06 2011

Wolves Prepare for 2011 Season

The Chicago Wolves will gear up for their 2011-2012 season starting with opening training camp on Sept. 26, where they will play three preseason games in the seven-day training camp. One of the three games will be a home game on Oct. 1, when the Wolves play the Milwaukee Admirals at Triphahn Community Center and Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates.

They will then follow up training camp with a handful of promotional appearances around Chicagoland, stretching from the Brookfield Zoo to a stop at the Skokie Skatium grand re-opening on Oct. 2 at 2pm.

Following their promotion appearances, the Wolves will hit the road for the opening of the season with trips to San Antonio, Houston and Milwaukee. They will then head back to Chicago for their home opener on Oct. 15 at 7pm against the Milwaukee Admirals.

Breeann Tuch

Hockey Fri Oct 09 2009

Chelios Skating Closer To Home?

As noted here earlier, former Blackhawk fan favorite and hometown guy Chris Chelios was reportedly contemplating a return to Chicago as a professional hockey player - not wearing the red,white and black of the Hawks but the maroon and gold of the Chicago Wolves.chelios.jpg

That possibility moved a step closer to reality when it was announced today that Chelios will skate with the Wolves on Monday as a possible precursor to signing a contract with the American Hockey League team, though Chelli has expressed a desire to remain in the NHL.

At 47, Chelios has played in more NHL games (1,645) than any other American-born player.

Ken Green

Wolves Wed Aug 19 2009

Chelios Coming Home?

His restaurant's here, his family's here and some would say he had the best moments of his career are here. So is Chris Chelios looking to wrap things up here?

After being let go by the Detroit Red Wings, Cheli has been shopping himself around in hopes of extending his career a bit longer, a career that spanned nine years. And in addition to sniffing around NHL teams, Chelios is reportedly also talking with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. It wouldn't be the first time the Evergreen Park native has played for a lower tier pro team after a season in the majors. In 2004, when the NHL cancelled their season because of a contract dispute with the player's union, he played for the Motor City Mechanics of the United Hockey League.

Ken Green / Comments (2)

News Sat Jan 10 2009

Short Hops

Ken Green / Comments (1)

News Fri Oct 17 2008

Short Hops

  • The Minnesota Vikings' Bernard Berrian expects boos when he returns to this old stomping grounds at Soldier Field this Sunday. C'mon Bears fans, don't let him down.
  • If his contract doesn't discourage the White Sox from resigning him, Ken Griffey Jr.'s recent knee surgery might.
  • Evanston remembers one of his favorite sons, former MLB pitcher Kevin Foster.
  • Speaking of favorite sons, new Wolves head coach Don Granato is happy to be back home as he prepared for the team's home opener Saturday night.
  • Remember the Cubs' "fan" who tried to auction off his loyalty on eBay? He may have found a buyer and a kindred spirit in the Boston Red Sox.
  • In the battle of sports radio on Chicago (well, it's actually just a two-horse race), WSCR-AM has taken the lead.
  • De La Salle's Mike Shaw is being touted by ESPN as the "next big thing" in Chicago high school basketball.
  • Even if you're not entered in this weekend Urbanathlon, you can still go down and enjoy the party.
  • The Windy City Rollers are holding tryouts. If you think you have what it takes (and can come up with a clever alias like "Val Capone" or "Lucy Furr"), come to a scrimmage preview on Monday. Incidentially, the WCR All-Stars made it to the national finals in Portland, Oregon.

Ken Green

Wolves Wed Aug 27 2008

Fresh faces behind bench, in booth

While the Chicago Wolves' players have spent their offseason toting the Calder Cup from barbecue to barbecue, the organization has been busy filling some key spots off the ice.

Following former coach John Anderson's promotion to the parent Atlanta Thrashers, the Wolves found a new coach in their own backyard, hiring Downers Grave native Don Granato. Granato has 12 years of coaching experience, including an AHL title and Coach of the Year honors with the Worcester IceCats in 2001-01. He most recently was an assistant with the St. Louis Blues and a scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Granato name is ubiquitous in Chicago hockey, as his brother Tony was a former NHL player (and current coach of the Colorado Avalanche) and sister Cammi Granato lead the U.S. to Olympic gold in 1998.

In the broadcast booth, the Wolves hired Joel Shaver after Pat Foley's prodigal return to the Blackhawks booth this summer. Shaver, who was the director of broadcasting with the Houston Aeros, joins current analyst Bill Gardner for all Wolves broadcasts on Comcast Digital Channel 100. While Foley will no doubt be missed by Wolves fans, Shaver's youth and AHL experience should provide a fresh voice to the organization.

The Wolves will begin their defense of the Calder Cup October 11 in Houston, and the home opener and banner raising ceremony occurs October 18 against Peoria. Full and partial season ticket packages are currently on sale by calling 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visiting the team's website, including new club seating options.

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Wed Jun 11 2008

Chicago claims Calder Cup

Ahh, home sweet home.

After failing to clinch the Calder Cup twice in Wilkes-Barre last weekend, the Chicago Wolves returned to the friendly environs of the Allstate Arena and, with the aid of a hat trick by Jason Krog, defeated the Penguins 5-2 to earn their 4th title in franchise history.

The Wolves had gone 10-2 throughout the playoffs at Allstate, and were in “good hands” in jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Nathan Oystrick and Jason Krog. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scrambled back to tie the game at 2-2 in the 2nd period, setting up a showdown in the third.

There, Krog took matters into his own hands. He netted his 2nd goal of the night at the 4:44 mark, off a pass from Jesse Schultz past a diving Penguin defenseman. With 4:37 left, Krog’s breakaway goal gave him a hat trick and gave the Wolves a healthy two-goal cushion as the countdown began. Winger Brett Sterling finished up the scoring two minutes later, and all that was left for the Wolves was to skate the hardware around the ice.

Krog, who was the AHL’s MVP in the regular season, added to his trophy tally by being named the Finals MVP after netting 10 points in the 6-game series, capped by his hat trick in Game 6. Krog also set a franchise postseason record with 38 points.

The title is the Wolves second Calder Cup, having also won in 2002. The team also won the Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000 in the now-defunct International Hockey League. And yes, that’s four titles in the franchise’s 14 years – one more than the Blackhawks have won in their history. Not that anyone’s counting. Congrats to the Wolves on a superb season, and for showing Chicago hockey fans that championships do exist.

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Sun Jun 08 2008

Wolves wilt in Wilkes-Barre

With two chances this weekend to wrap up the Calder Cup, the Wolves stumbled, dropping Game Four 3-2 and Game Five 5-1.

After a scoreless period and a half, the Wolves picked up a 1-0 lead in Game Five Saturday via a Bryan Little goal off a rebound scramble. The Penguins countered with three goals in seven minutes on Wolves goalie Ondrej Pavelec, then added two more markers in the third period to wrap up the scoring. Wilkes-Barre took advantage of their nine powerplays, connecting on two of them, while the Wolves only had three man-advantages.

In Friday’s Game Four, the Penguins utilized a pair of 5-on-3 advantages to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead, before Wolves captain Darren Haydar logged a pair of power-play goals to tie the game at 2-2. Wilkes-Barre got the winning goal in the third period on the powerplay as well, as a shot by Penguins forward Nathan Smith was deflected by the Wolves and past Pavelec.

With the losses, the series will return to Rosemont on Tuesday for Game Six. If necessary, Game Seven will be at Allstate Arena Thursday.

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Wed Jun 04 2008

Wolves in Calder hunt

While the NHL’s Stanley Cup may be won tonight, there is also a championship on ice being contested involving a Chicago team. The Chicago Wolves, who advanced to the AHL finals with a 4-1 series victory over the Toronto Marlies May 23, have jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Tonight, the team visits the Penguins for Game 3 (unfortunately, Dunder-Mifflin does not have naming rights for the stadium), with Game 4 and a possible Game 5 scheduled for Friday and Saturday. If necessary, the series shifts back to Rosemont's Allstate Arena next Tuesday and Thursday.

The championship round is familiar hunting ground for the Wolves, who are making their sixth appearance in 14 years between the IHL and the AHL. In their last visit to the finals, the Wolves won the Calder Cup in 2002, their first year in the AHL.

Game 2’s 4-2 victory saw the Wolves' Darren Haydar pick up two goals and an assist while becoming the AHL career postseason leader in goals (53) and points (121). Haydar broke the record in his 91st career playoff game.

Also pacing the way for the Wolves has been Jason Krog, who notched a pair of assists in each game and is leading the Calder Cup scoring with 32 total points, one short of the franchise record set by Rob Brown in 2002.

Chicago is well-positioned to win the Calder Cup, as the team has never lost a post-season series with a 2-0 lead. Despite averaging a goal less on the road, the Wolves have gone 4-4 this year away from Allstate. Two more road wins this week and the team will be skating with the hardware for the fourth time.

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Tue May 20 2008

Wolves still hunting

After dropping Games 4 and 5 to the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Wolves rallied to victory in Games 6 and 7, advancing to the Western Conference finals against the Toronto Marlies. The series opened Friday with a 4-1 Wolves victory, led by AHL MVP Jason Krog’s hat trick. In Sunday’s Game 2, Krog quickly added two more tallies in the first 3:08, and rookie goalie Ondrej Pavelec took care of the rest, earning the shutout in a 5-0 victory. The Wolves took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven matchup as the series shifts to the Great White North tonight and tomorrow for Games 3 and 4.

Whew, all caught up.

The Conference finals are familiar turf for the Wolves, who have reached the round eight times in their 13-year history. Their most recent trip was a year ago, when Chicago’s prolific offense was shut down by the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 4-1 series defeat. This year’s team still focuses on the offense, but has seen a stronger defensive corps (along with the emergence of Pavelec) help shut down its opponents. Pavelec has posted 2.05 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 15 post-season games in '08, leading all active netminders.

The Marlies won the North Division and finished second in the West to the Wolves with 109 points to Chicago’s 111. The two teams split their season series, each earning a victory on home ice, a trend that continued for the Wolves in the first two games of the finals. Chicago is 3-3 on the road this postseason, and their 8-3 loss in Toronto on April 8 was a daunting defeat, but the team is hoping the momentum from the first two games carries over into tonight.

The next home game, if necessary, will be Friday at the Allstate Arena at 7:30 p.m, and as always, tickets are available, along with that complimentary pregame meal.

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Fri May 09 2008

Home is Where the Win Is

The Wolves and the Rockford IceHogs enter tonight's Game 5 at Allstate Arena knotted at two games apiece. After jumping out to a 2-0 nothing lead (including a 7-3 drubbing in Game 2), Chicago was unable to pick up a victory in Rockford's MetroCentre.

Game 3 saw the Hogs shutting down the Wolves high-powered "O" in a 3-1 win, with the lone Chicago tally coming with 1:16 left in the game by center Bryan Little. In Game 4, Rockford jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding off a late Wolves rally for the 3-2 lead and the series tie.

The common factor in the first four games has been the home ice advantage, a trend that existed during the team's regular season matchups as well. Chicago was 5-0 against Rockford in Rosemont, but could only win one of the five games on the road. With two of the possible three games remaining slated for Allstate Arena, the pattern bodes well for Chicago, though a Game 7 is always a risky proposition.

Despite the even series, Wolves netminder Ondrej Pavelec has been stellar in net during his first career postseason. Rockford has averaged 37 shots per game, but Pavelec has posted a .932 save percentage and not given up more than three goals in any game yet.

Looking at tonight's game, a fast start may be the key to victory. The team scoring first has earned the 'W' in all four games so far, and while the Wolves lead the AHL in the regular season with 93 first period goals, they've struggled to start in the previous two games. A quick start tonight could get Chicago back on track to the Conference finals.

As always, tickets for tonight's game are available here, and the free food buffet always bears repeating. Schedule after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeremy Piniak

Hockey Thu May 01 2008

Rivalry gets ramped up

Although I’ve been giving myself over to baseball the past few weeks (Go Sox!) the recent cold snap reminded me that hockey is in the midst of its playoff stretch, and lo and behold, the Chicago Wolves did advance past the Milwaukee Admirals with a 4-2 series victory Saturday.

Leading the way was netminder Ondrej Pavelec, who recorded his first career postseason shutout in a series clenching 3-0 Game 6 victory. After an offensive attack failed to tickle the twine in a 2-0 loss in Game 4 last Wednesday the Wolves rebounded the next night with a 4-1 victory in Game 5, led by goals from Brett Sterling and Darren Haydar in the first period.

The victory sets up a highly anticipated showdown between the Wolves and the Blackhawks affiliate Rockford IceHogs, starting with Game 1 tonight at the Allstate Arena. The top two seeds in the West division literally fought tooth and nail throughout the season, with the teams accumulating more than 150 penalty minutes in a pair of brawl-filled games late in the season. The battle was tight on the scoreboard as well, with six of the 10 overall games decided by a single goal. The Wolves did garner a 6-3-1-0 record against Rockford during the regular season, including a perfect 5-0 at Allstate.

With all the animosity between the two squads, expect the series to be a chippy, hard-hitting physical affair, but the Wolves should have the offense to prevail in what should be a captivating matchup.

And don’t forget, free food!

Find the full 7-game schedule after the jump, and buy tickets here.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Wed Apr 23 2008

Winning ain't easy, but Wolves finding ways

Following the Game 1 overtime heartbreak loss, the Wolves bounced back to take Games 2 and 3 from the Milwaukee Admirals last weekend heading into tonight’s Game 4 in Milwaukee. Chicago has never lost a best-of-seven series they’ve had a 2-1 lead in, but the Admirals are always a stiff test. Eight of the 13 contests between the two teams this season have been decided by one goal, including all three postseason contests. However, the Wolves do own an 8-4-1 advantage against the Admirals this year, meaning although the games have been close, Chicago has found ways to earn Ws.

Recapping, in Game 2, Wolves forward Jesse Schultz netted the game-winner at 5:54 of the third period, just 27 seconds after Milwaukee had tied the game at 1-1. The Wolves survived a late powerplay and 6-on-4 advantage as goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves and earned his first playoff victory.

Darren Haydar’s overtime tally, his second of the game, gave the Wolves a come-from-behind 4-3 win in Game 3. Chicago had entered the third ahead 2-1, but Milwaukee’s Josh Langfeld netted a quick pair of goals to put the Admirals up 3-2. In what may be the turning point of the series, Wolves forward Kevin Doell tied the game at 3 with a shorthanded breakaway tally against Ads goalie Pekka Rinne. Had Milwaukee scored on the powerplay instead, the Wolves would have faced a two goal deficit with 8 minutes left, most likely giving the Admirals the game and series lead, as well as a huge momentum boost.

As it stands, though the remaining games expect to be tight, a victory tonight will put the Wolves in the driver’s seat and returning home for Game 5 tomorrow. And don’t forget, anyone going to the game gets free food!

Jeremy Piniak

Wolves Fri Apr 18 2008

Wolves Still in the Hunt

Yes, Chicagoland, there is still playoff hockey to be had this year.

Wednesday night the top-seeded Wolves opened their quest for the Calder Cup by welcoming the Milwaukee Admirals to the Allstate Arena for Game 1 of the West Division Semifinals. The Ads were uncouth guests, coming back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to steal a 4-3 victory in overtime.

Chicago looks for revenge tonight in Game 2, which is currently in progress in Rosemont. (Yes, this post was meant to be made well before Friday night, but human error made that not happen.)

The remaining first-round playoff schedule is located after the jump.

In addition to the thrill of playoff hockey, there's an added bonus for fans attending any home playoff game. Every ticket purchase valued at $20 or more will include a complimentary pregame meal for all postseason games. Fans can enjoy a buffet with pastas, salads, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, along with chips, desserts and soda in the Skyline Room of the Allstate Arena 90 minutes prior to each game starting tonight.

Tickets can be purchased via the usual Ticketmaster means, or by calling the Wolves directly at 1-800-THE-WOLVES.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeremy Piniak

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