Wolves Insider: A Goal-Scoring Juggernaut
In 2006-07, the Chicago Wolves constructed one of the greatest modern-day scoring machines in American Hockey League history. Led by league MVP Darren Haydar, who set the AHL's point-streak record by scoring in the team's first 39 games, and Rookie of the Year Brett Sterling, who stacked up 55 goals, the Wolves averaged a franchise-record 4.14 goals per game (331 tallies in 80 games).
Over the last 25 years, only one AHL team has produced more goals: The 2009-10 Hershey Bears averaged 4.28 goals during the regular season on their way to the Calder Cup championship.
Why bring this up now? Because the 2021 Wolves are blowing these numbers away. In the wake of Sunday's 8-4 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins, head coach Ryan Warsofsky's squad averages 4.78 goals per game (43 in 9 games). Yes, it's a small sample size, but it's also proper to put the team into perspective within its environment. For example, the Utica Comets rank second in the league at 4.14 goals, but no other team is within a goal of the Wolves' average output.
Led by second-year center Rem Pitlick (who paces the AHL with 8 goals) and rookie center Seth Jarvis (who paces the AHL with 11 points and ranks second with 7 goals), the Wolves have been productive in all aspects while building their 8-1-0-0 record. Chicago leads the AHL in power-play goals (10) and ranks sixth in power-play conversion rate (23.3 percent). The Wolves are tied with Bridgeport for the most shorthanded goals (3). And when playing at even-strength with a goaltender in net - perhaps the best measure of a team's prowess - the Wolves are outscoring their foes by a 29-12 margin.
PITLICK WINS CCM/AHL PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Second-year center Rem Pitlick was honored Monday as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for February after racking up a league-best eight goals in eight games. The Ottawa, Ontario, native who grew up in Minnesota also handed out two assists to share second place on the league's points list.
Pitlick started the season quickly by scoring game-winning goals against the Rockford IceHogs on Feb. 6 and Feb. 9. He posted a pair of goals in the Feb. 9 win over Rockford, then added two more on Feb. 20 against the Iowa Wild.
He has scored at least one goal in each of the Wolves' last four games, which is tied with teammate Seth Jarvis and Lehigh Valley's Max Willman for the AHL's longest goal streak this season.
THE WOLVES FAN GALLERY - WITH A ST. PAT'S TWIST!
Fans can't attend Wolves home games this season, but that doesn't mean their smiling faces can't be inside the Wolves Training Facility for every game! How do fans get inside the building? By joining the Chicago Wolves Fan Gallery, presented by Hefty, with a purchase of their own personalized cutout for just $50.
If you purchase now, your cutout will feature a St. Patrick's Day-inspired border that's green and laden with shamrocks. Each cutout will "attend" every home game. Then, at the end of the season, each cutout will be autographed and sent to you as a permanent souvenir of the 2020-21 season. To learn how to purchase a cutout and submit your picture, click here.
The Carolina Hurricanes' first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft stands atop the American Hockey League scoring list with 11 points in nine games. Jarvis, who turned 19 on Feb. 1, delivered his seventh goal and his fourth assist of the season during Sunday's 8-4 home win over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Less than four minutes after Jarvis scored his seventh goal to join Pitlick as the AHL's leading goal-scorers, Pitlick registered his eighth goal of the season during the second period of Sunday's 8-4 win over Grand Rapids to regain sole possession of the lead. Pitlick added an assist to move into second on the AHL's points chart.
Rees turned 20 years old Friday and celebrated Sunday with a pair of goals to trigger the Wolves' 8-4 win over Grand Rapids. The rookie from Ontario delivered his goals 2 minutes, 45 seconds apart and gave him 3 goals and 2 assists in his first eight professional games.
SUNDAY, FEB. 28 (AT) CHICAGO 8, GRAND RAPIDS 4
Rookie forward Phil Tomasino scored 48 seconds into the game and rookie forward Jamieson Rees added two first-period goals as the Wolves avenged Friday's loss at Grand Rapids.
Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald and forwards Seth Jarvis, Rem Pitlick, Sean Malone and David Cotton also scored for the Wolves, who never trailed to wrap up the franchise's best February.
Goaltender Beck Warm posted 29 saves to improve to 4-0-0.
FRIDAY, FEB. 26 (AT) GRAND RAPIDS 4, CHICAGO 1
Grand Rapids' Riley Barber scored 3:59 into the game and as the Griffins built a 3-0 lead on the way to handing the Wolves their first defeat of the season.
Center Rem Pitlick scored in the opening minute of the third - assisted by Sheldon Rempal and Frederic Allard - to pull the visitors within 3-1.
Goaltender Antoine Bibeau rejected 31 of 35 shots.
Friday, March 5 vs. Cleveland 7 p.m. Wolves Training Facility AHLTV
Saturday, March 6 vs. Cleveland 3 p.m. Wolves Training Facility AHLTV
Saturday, March 13 at Iowa 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Arena AHLTV
Sunday, March 14 at Iowa 3 p.m. Wells Fargo Arena AHLTV
Friday, March 19 at Grand Rapids 5 p.m. Van Andel Arena AHLTV
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