The Wolves opened December by snapping a four-game losing streak and winning for just the second time in nine games on Saturday; Chicago, which posted a 3-6-1-1 mark in November, sits in third place in the Midwest Division with 21 points through 20 games this year (9-8-2-1).
The Wolves have won just twice in their last eight tilts (2-4-1-1) and have slipped into a share of second place in the Midwest Division; Chicago (8-6-2-1) has racked up 19 points and trails first-place Grand Rapids by three points.
The Wolves will play five of their next seven outings on home ice after playing five of their previous seven tilts on the road; Chicago has suffered just one regulation loss in Rosemont this season (4-1-1-0), which came to Peoria on Saturday.
The Wolves close out their five-game road trip on Friday in Peoria before returning home on Saturday, where they will play four of their next five games; Chicago has posted a 2-2-0-0 mark through the first four legs of its road trip.
The Wolves posted a 5-2-1-0 mark and .688 winning percentage in October, the team’s best opening month of a season since the 2007-08 squad went 6-0-1-0; after opening the season with eight games in a 16-day stretch from Oct. 13-28, the Wolves will play just six times over the next 20 days.
The Wolves opened the 2012-13 season with four straight wins before dropping their fifth game of the year on Saturday; Chicago’s 4-0-0-0 start marked just the second time in franchise history it opened a season with four straight victories.
The Wolves back-to-back wins over Rockford on Saturday and Sunday marked the fifth time in franchise history they opened a season with two straight victories; Chicago has gone on to win a league title in three of the four previous times they started the year 2-0-0-0 (1998; 2002; 2008.)
Saturday’s game against Rockford marks the sixth time in the Wolves 19-year history, and just the second time in the last nine years, the team has opened the season at home. The Wolves have posted an 8-5-2-3 mark in regular-season openers, which includes a 3-1-1-0 mark at the Allstate Arena.
The Wolves return home for Game 3 on Tuesday, but face elimination after dropping the opening two games of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in San Antonio; Chicago has posted a 15-10 all-time mark when facing elimination in the playoffs, which includes an 8-6 mark on home ice.
Chicago will open its 15th postseason run in 18 years when it travels to San Antonio for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19; the third-seeded Wolves, who chose to start on the road due to the series being a 2-3 format, have never met the sixth-seeded Rampage in the postseason.