The Chicago Wolves posted their first three-win week from Nov. 3-9, picking up victories in Grand Rapids on Wednesday (3-1) and Iowa on Saturday (4-2) and Sunday (5-1) to give the team its first winning streak of more than two games this season; the triumphs moved the Wolves’ 2014-15 record to 8-2-2-0, good for second in the Midwest Division and the club’s best start since 2008-09 when it accrued a 8-2-1-1 mark in its first 12 games.
The Chicago Wolves embarked on their first “three-in-three” of the season last week, collecting wins on Friday (6-5 OT in Grand Rapids) and Saturday (5-1 vs. Milwaukee) before getting tripped up on Sunday (4-1 in Milwaukee); Sunday’s contest marked the first game of the team’s annual circus road trip, nicknamed for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey act that takes over Allstate Arena each November, which runs for nine games (tying a franchise record) and 20 days this season.
After starting the season strong with a 3-0-1-0 record, the Chicago Wolves suffered their first regulation loss and first string of consecutive losses this weekend against Milwaukee (3-2 OT) and Rockford (4-3) to push their overall mark to 3-1-2-0 and 2-1-1-0 in the Midwest Division; a strong intra-division record (26-11-2-5) last season helped the Wolves claim the Midwest title and they will look to bounce back and gain ground with their first “three-in-three” starting on Friday, continuing a string of eight consecutive games against division rivals.
The Chicago Wolves kicked off their Midwest Division schedule with dominant wins over the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday (4-0) and Saturday (7-2), remaining unbeaten in regulation with a 3-0-1-0 record and 7 points, good for second in the league; the only team with more points than Chicago is its Midwest Division rival and next opponent, the Milwaukee Admirals, who have collected a perfect 4-0-0-0 record to start their season.
The Chicago Wolves earned three of a possible four points during their weekend doubleheader against Charlotte at Allstate Arena, improving their record in home openers to 13-6-1-1 (.667) and 5-1-1-0 (.786) when opening the season at home; on Friday and Saturday the team will host its newest Midwest Division opponent, the Lake Erie Monsters, who the Wolves went 3-0-1-0 against last season when they were members of the North Division.
The Chicago Wolves return to action this weekend with a home-opening doubleheader against the Charlotte Checkers. Head coach John Anderson will resume his duties behind the bench and will be flanked by two new additions in assistant coaches Mark Hardy and Brad Tapper. The Wolves are 12-6-1-1 (.650) in home openers, including a 4-1-1-0 (.750) mark when they begin the season in their own barn.
The Wolves dropped the opening two games of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Marlies at Allstate Arena last week and now hit the road to Toronto for Games 3-5 (if necessary) looking to shrink the 2-0 deficit; Chicago is 2-7 all-time when starting off a postseason series with consecutive losses and 1-2 when doing so on home ice, with the pair of series victories coming in 2000 and 2002, both championship seasons.
Starting off the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs strong, the second-seeded Wolves closed out the Western Conference Quarterfinals with a 4-2 win over Rochester in a decisive Game 5 on Sunday and move on to the Western Conference Semifinals to face third-seeded Toronto; this will be the 13th time in 16 postseason appearances that Chicago has made it to the final eight teams, posting an 8-4 series record in the first 12 instances and 8-2 under head coach JOHN ANDERSON.
After going 1-1 in Rochester to open the Western Conference Quarterfinals, the Wolves return to the comfort of Allstate Arena looking to capture two more games and the first round against the Americans; Chicago has not split on the road to open a postseason series since 2002 and is 4-3 all-time when doing so, including three rounds during the 2002 Calder Cup playoffs during which they posted an .857 winning percentage (12-2) at home to claim the championship.
The Wolves, the Western Conference’s 2nd seed and Midwest Division champions, finally learned their playoff fate on Saturday night and will face the 7th-seeded Rochester Americans in the best-of-five first round; Chicago has never faced Rochester in the postseason, but split this season’s two-game series and are 6-7-1-0-0 all-time against the Amerks.
The Wolves close out their regular-season schedule this week with three games against division opponents while continuing to chase Grand Rapids for the Midwest Division title, sitting 4 points back with a game in hand; Chicago clinched the 16th playoff berth in team history on April 5 and needs 1 point to ensure home-ice advantage for the Calder Cup playoffs.