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Wolves Weekend: Chicago wins three games in Texas against stars





Photo: Texas Stars Pro Hockey

Another weekend, another complete Chicago Wolves hockey roster. The Wolves ventured to Texas to face the Stars for three games in four days. In those three games, Wolves have scored 19 goals en route to the three-game sweep.

Wolves entered the weekend on a six-game winning streak. In the team’s last ten games after this weekend’s three wins, the team is 9-0-0-1. The only shootout loss in their last ten games came on November 20 against the Rockford IceHogs.

After a successful weekend that also saw Andrew Poturalski win the AHL Player of the Week award, let’s dive into all three games.

Thursday December 9: Loups 8, Etoiles 4

Thursday’s game opened in a ridiculous fashion in Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas, and the number of points was no different. In the first 3:36 of the match, each team scored two goals. For wolves, CJ Smith and Poturalski scored at 0:33 and 3:05, respectively. For the Stars, Josh Melnick and Riley Damiani scored at 2:47 and 3:36 in the first period.

Despite the early back and forth, Wolves took the lead at 6:16 of the first set. Jack Drury cleared a loose puck in net for Texas and scored his fifth goal of the season to give Wolves a 3-2 lead.

Despite the lead, the Stars fought back before the first was over. Anthony Louis, a former Rockford IceHog, registered his sixth of the season to tie the game 3-3.

The second half was almost as eventful as the first. CJ Smith scored his second goal of the game just 24 seconds to give Wolves a lead. However, a goal from Ty Dellandrea once again tied the game at 11:42 of the period. That said, Wolves have taken over and put the game out of reach.

Three goals in less than six minutes opened the game. Josh Leivo and Joey Keane have tallied their Fourth and second goal, respectively, of the season and Smith’s hat-trick goal gave Wolves a 7-4 lead heading into the second intermission.

Leivo’s second goal of the night in the final five minutes of the third period capped an impressive 8-4 win for Wolves. This is the team’s seventh consecutive victory with two more games against the Stars scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday December 11: Wolves 4, Stars 3 (OT)

Saturday’s affair turned out to be much tighter than Thursday’s three-game opening set. Although Wolves dominated the shots on goal and the scoreboard on Thursday, Saturday turned out to be a tie game. That said, it was the Wolves who struck first when Poturalski scored on the power play.

Ty Dellandrea scored again in the three-game set to tie the game at 16:08. After the first period there was a noticeable trend. Each team has scored a goal in each period. The second period was marked by goals from Stefan Noesen for the Wolves and Riley Damiani for the Stars. In the third, it was CJ Smith and Curtis McKenzie for their teams, respectively.

Three periods weren’t enough as Wolves and Stars went into extra time. However, during extra time Stefan Noesen’s second of the game capped the visitors’ overtime victory. Wolves took the 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 of the weekend’s streak.

Sunday December 12: Wolves 7, Stars 2

After Saturday’s game ended electrically, Wolves were more interested in making Sunday’s game more like Thursday’s result. Fortunately for Chicago, it turned out that way. Although the Stars struck first thanks to Ben Gleason, Wolves tied the score with Jack Drury’s sixth of the season at 1:20 p.m.

The second period was marked by a pair of goals by Stefan Noesen, who continues to warm up with his trio mates. However, in the third period Wolves opened the game, edging the Stars 4-1 in the final period.

Josh Jacobs led the third period scoring for Wolves. Soon after, Drury scored his second of the game to continue taking the lead. Although Rhett Gardner scored at 12:03 on a penalty shot, Wolves added two more to close the game against Poturalski and Spencer Smallman. Wolves secured another victory, extending their streak to nine in a row.

Reflections of the author

What a weekend for the Chicago Wolves. Andrew Poturalski continued his incredible pace with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in three games over the weekend. In addition, Josh Leivo added nine points (two goals, seven assists), Noesen seven points (four goals, three assists) and Jack Drury five points (three goals, two assists). That doesn’t include the strong offensive performances of Joey Keane and CJ Smith. Keane had four points (one goal, three assists) and Smith had four goals and two assists. Dominance was the word to describe this three-game set.

Wolves are clicking at the right time. Although players trade throughout the roster due to some COVID-19 issues with the Hurricanes, the depth of the team shines and carries the load. Currently, Wolves’ front row occupies three of the top six spots in the league, with Smith and Poturalski as the top two. Noesen is currently sixth with 24 points. The whole team clicks, in addition to receiving fantastic goalkeepers from Eetu Makiniemi and Alex Lyon.

Wolves are on the right track. It’ll be a fun season, as long as COVID-19 doesn’t hurt hurricanes or wolves too much.

What’s next?

The Wolves are back at the Allstate Arena on Thursday, December 16. It’ll be one of those exciting 11am starts against the Manitoba Moose this week.

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Work as an accountant during the day. Big Chicago sports fan. I played college football and I just wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. Twitter: @rnldluce Instagram: @rnldluce