Tuesday, April 10th – Texas Stars 5 - Chicago Wolves 2
The Chicago Wolves (40-26-3-3) found themselves in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night for a game against the Texas Stars (30-28-2-2), the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars. The Stars jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Angelo Esposito and never looked back on their way to a 5-2 win. Wolves goaltender Matt Clime was replaced by Eddie Lack after Tomas Vincour made it 3-0 less than three minutes into the second period. It was too little, too late for the Wolves as Anton Rodin scored his eighth of the season, and Nicklas Jensen notched his first career AHL goal, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 4-0 deficit. Texas netminder Jack Campbell – taken by the Dallas Stars, 11th overall in the 2010 NHL draft – was brilliant in net stopping 34 of 36 shots he faced.
-The Wolves clinched a playoff spot despite the loss, as Rochester lost to Grand Rapids 5-4 in OT
-This is the 15th time the Wolves will head to the playoffs in their 18 year history
-The goal for Jensen, the Canucks 1st round pick last June, was also his first career AHL point
-Canucks prospect Taylor Matson registered an assist on Jensen’s goal, his first career AHL point in his second game after joining the team from the University of Minnesota
-Defenseman Ryan Parent returned to the Wolves lineup after being sidelined with an injury since Jan. 14th
-Rodin and Nolan Baumgartner led the way for the Wolves with four shots apiece
-Climie stopped 8 of 11 shots he faced before being replaced by Lack, who allowed one goal on 12 shots
3 Stars: 1. TEX, Sceviour 2. TEX, Campbell 3. TEX, Vincour
Friday, April 13th – Chicago Wolves 7 - Grand Rapids Griffins 5
The Wolves (40-27-3-3) concluded their seven game road trip Friday night in Grand Rapids in a tilt against the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins (33-29-7-4). Steve Reinprecht led the charge for Chicago with two goals and one assist as the Wolves won a wild one 7-5. Jordan Schroeder, Darren Haydar, Anton Rodin, Mark Mancari, and Taylor Matson with his first AHL goal also tallied for the Wolves. Eddie Lack made 36 saves in the victory, his 21st win of the season. Chicago had a 3-1 lead 17 minutes into the second period, but five Griffins goals in just over five minutes gave them a 5-3 lead. The Wolves then rebounded with four straight goals to end the game and get the victory clinching the Midwest Division title for the sixth time in franchise history.
-With his first career goal, Matson now has a goal and an assist in three games since joining the Wolves
-Defenseman Kevin Connauton picked up three assists in the game, while Stefan Schneider grabbed two helpers
-Mancari’s goal was his 30th of the season, also his league leading 10th game-winning goal
-Darren Haydar led the Wolves with 6 shots, also notched a goal and an assist
-The Wolves went 4-2-1-0 on the seven game road trip
3 stars: 1. CHI Mancari 2. GR Pare 3. CHI Connauton
Saturday, April 14th – Milwaukee Admirals 2 - Chicago Wolves 1
The Wolves (41-27-3-3) returned home - the first time since March 25th - Saturday night for a clash with the Milwaukee Admirals (38-29-2-5). Admirals’ sniper Chris Mueller notched his 32nd of the season 3:21 into overtime to give Milwaukee a 2-1 win in a hard fought, defensive game played before 15,719 at Allstate Arena in Chicago. Ryan Thang gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead late in the second, but Wolves rookie Anton Rodin was able to find the back of the net with less than seven minutes to play to send the game to overtime. Eddie Lack was brilliant in net for the Wolves, stopping 28 shots in the loss, including 13 in the second period alone.
-Rodin, the Canucks 2nd round pick in 2009, has now scored in three straight games
-The Wolves went 4-2-1-0 on the seven game road trip
-Lack (21-20-2-3) picked up an assist on Rodin’s goal, his 2nd of the season, and 4th of his AHL career
-Recently signed Canucks prospect goaltender, Joe Cannata, backed up Lack for the Wolves in anticipation of his first career start on Sunday
3 stars: 1. CHI Lack 2. CHI Rodin 3. MIL Smith
Sunday, April 15th – Chicago Wolves 4 - Peoria Rivermen 2
The Wolves (41-27-4-3) closed out the regular season on Sunday at home with a matchup against the Peoria Rivermen (39-32-2-2). In a game that featured a few Wolves regulars being rested in anticipation of the playoffs, it was the young players that stepped up and led Chicago to a 4-2 victory. Canucks 1st round pick Nicklas Jensen scored three goals, and Joe Cannata stopped 38 shots for the victory in his first professional start in goal. Cannata had his shutout bid broken 9:17 into the third period when Cade Fairchild was able to beat the former Merrimack College standout. Jensen scored a goal in all three periods, his hat trick goal coming into an empty net.
-Cannata was 10:43 away from recording a shutout in his first professional start, he had a 44 save shutout in his first game with Merrimack College
-Canucks prospect defenseman Frank Corrado picked up an assist on Jensen’s first goal, his first professional point
-Forward Anton Rodin left the game after being drilled into the boards by Rivermen defenseman Chris Bruton. Bruton received a five-minute major for boarding, and a game misconduct for the hit
-Billy Sweatt led the way for the Wolves with seven shots, Jensen finished with six
3 stars: 1. CHI Jensen 2. CHI Cannata 3. PEO Binnington
Weekly 3 Stars
1. Nicklas Jensen – 4 games, 4 points (4-0-4), 12 shots, +1
2. Anton Rodin – 4 games, 3 points (3-0-3), 9 shots
3. Steve Reinprecht – 3 games, 3 points (2-1-3), 9 shots
The Wolves kick off the 2012 playoffs Thursday in San Antonio, Texas, against the Rampage. Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be in San Antonio on Saturday, while Game 3 (April 24), Game 4 (April 25), and Game 5 (April 27) will be in Chicago. (Games 4 and 5 are if necessary). The Rampage won all four meetings against the Wolves this year, each by one goal.