Wednesday, April 4th – San Antonio Rampage 2 - Chicago Wolves 1
The Chicago Wolves (38-25-3-3) continued their season high seven-game road trip in San Antonio on Wednesday night in a clash against the Rampage (37-28-3-2). The Wolves split their first two games of the road trip last Thursday and Friday in Abbotsford, entering Wednesday’s contest four points up on Peoria for top spot in the AHL Midwest Division. Meanwhile, the Rampage – the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers – entered the game in third spot in the West Division, three points back of second place Abbotsford.
The game marked a meeting of highly touted Swedish goaltending prospects as Chicago’s Eddie Lack and San Antonio’s Jacob Markstrom each got the nod to start between the pipes. Lack was born in Norrtalje, Sweden, roughly 175 km from Gavle, Sweden, the birthplace of Markstrom.
Rampage defenseman Roman Derlyuk scored his second of the season, and Scott Timmins scored the game-winner, while Markstrom was able to win the goaltending duel, making 31 saves in the 2-1 win over Chicago. Michael Davies had the lone goal for the Wolves, while Lack turned away 30 shots in the losing effort.
-San Antonio took all four games over Chicago this season, all victories were by one goal
-Wolves forwards Mark Mancari (7), Schroeder (5), and Sweatt (4), combined for half of the teams 32 shots
-Sweatt, Schroeder, and captain Nolan Baumgartner were the only Wolves to finish the game with a positive +/-, all finishing plus-1
-The Wolves dressed seven defensemen and only 11 forwards after forward Byron Bitz was called up to Vancouver earlier in the day
3 Stars: 1. SA, Timmins 2. SA, Markstrom 3. SA, Derlyuk
Friday, April 6th – Chicago Wolves 4 - Houston Aeros 2
The Wolves (38-26-3-3) made stop number four on their current seven game road trip Friday night in Houston, Texas, for a bout against the Houston Aeros (32-23-5-10). Chicago came into the contest only two points up on Peoria for top spot in the AHL Midwest Division, while Houston – affiliate of the Minnesota Wild - looked to catch third place San Antonio with a win, as they sit two points back of the Rampage. The Wolves had taken two of the three contests with the Aeros this season.
Steven Reinprecht notched a goal and two assists, and the Wolves were able to erase a couple one goal deficits to with their 39th game of the season 4-2 over Houston. Jordan Schroeder scored his 20th of the season, Mark Mancari and Darren Haydar also found the back of the net in the victory. Goaltender Matt Climie made 23 saves, the only two getting by him from Aeros forwards Joel Broda, and Nick Palmieri.
-Chicago took three of four against Houston this season, including last three in a row
-Reinprecht led the way with a goal, two assists, and was plus-3
-Mancari led the Wolves with five shots on goal
-3 stars: 1. CHI Mancari 2. CHI Reinprecht 3. HOU Broda
-This marked the first AHL game for 2011 Canucks first round draft pick Nicklas Jensen. Jensen’s OHL team, the Oshawa Generals, were eliminated from their playoffs a week ago, which gave the big forward the green light to sign an Amateur Try Out contract with the Wolves. The Denmark native is wearing number 36 for the Wolves.
Saturday, April 7th – Chicago Wolves 3 - Oklahoma City Barons 0
Stop number five on the seven game road trip found the Chicago Wolves (39-26-3-3) in Oklahoma City to take on the Barons (43-20-4-5). This was a game of AHL division leaders as the Wolves sat first in the Midwest, two points up on Peoria, while the Barons had a comfortable eleven point lead on Abbotsford for tops in the West. The Wolves defeated the Barons their one and only other time meeting this year, a 4-1 victory in Chicago, March 4th.
Eddie Lack was stellar, stopping all 29 shots he faced for his fourth shutout of the season in the Wolves 3-0 win over the Barons. Bill Sweatt showcased his speed, twice getting behind the Oklahoma defense and scoring, while Darren Haydar notched his 20th goal of the season in the victory.
-This game marked the first career AHL games for Canucks prospects Frank Corrado and Taylor Matson
-Before the game the Wolves signed Canucks 2007 draft pick Matson to an Amateur Try Out. Matson just wrapped up a four year college career at the University of Minnesota, losing on Thursday in the Frozen Four to Boston College
-Corrado joined the Wolves after his Ontario Hockey League squad, the Oshawa Generals, lost in the first round of their respective playoffs last week.
-3 stars: 1. CHI Sweatt 2. CHI Lack 3. CHI Davies
Weekly 3 Stars
1. Eddie Lack – 1-1-0, 2 GA (1.02 GAA), 61 Saves (.969 SV%), 1 Shutout
2. Billy Sweatt – 3 Games, 3 points (2+1), 10 shots, +3
3. Jordan Schroeder – 3 Games, 3 points (1+2), 10 shots, +3
The Wolves head to Texas for a showdown with the Stars (30-28-2-2) on Tuesday, before finishing off the season high seven game road trip Friday in Grand Rapids against the Griffins (32-29-7-4). They finish off the regular season with home games Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals (38-28-2-4), and Sunday against the Peoria Rivermen (39-31-2-2). The Wolves enter the week four points up on Milwaukee and Peoria for top spot in the Midwest Division, although Peoria has played two more games than Chicago and Milwaukee.