Hungry like the Wolves is an ongoing feature on Pass it to Bulis during the lockout, wherein we keep an eye on the Canucks prospects and property currently playing for the Wolves as it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to Canucks hockey for quite some time.
It’s been a while since our last update, but not much has changed for the Wolves. They still haven’t won two games in a row since their 4-game win streak to start the season. They’re still just a game above .500 and falling down the AHL standings. The Wolves are still led offensively by AHL veteran Brett Sterling, with Jordan Schroeder, Zack Kassian, and Andrew Ebbett close behind.
That’s why it may have been a surprise to see Schroeder, Kassian, and top defenceman Kevin Connauton scratched from the lineup a week ago against the Peoria Rivermen. Schroeder and Kassian may be second and third on the team in points, but the team was losing and it’s the team that matters.
“They handled it well. But I hope they were pissed off,” said head coach Scott Arniel.
The team certainly handled it well, winning 3-1 after consecutive losses to Rockford and Milwaukee. Darren Archibald scored his second goal of the season since being called up from Kalamazoo to secure the win.
The Wolves were hoping that the wake-up call and the subsequent victory would be enough to set the team on the right track. That remains to be seen, but they received one more wake-up call against the Griffins this weekend.
December 7th: Wolves 0 – 3 Griffins
Chicago (9-9-2-1), which has dropped eight of its last 10 contests, has provided Climie just 15 goals of support in his nine appearances this season.
“They were the better team than we were tonight,” said Wolves head coach Scott Arniel. “We were chasing all night long and you aren’t going to win many hockey games when you have nine shots after two periods.”
The Wolves started the night with a line of Kassian-Sterling-Ebbett. On their opening shift, a lucky bounce sprung them for an impromptu 2-on-1. Unfortunately, Kassian telegraphed the pass across the ice the entire way, and it was easily broken up. Given the wicked wrister he put on display early on in the season, this play left me scratching my head. It also wasn’t the only time that he came across as a little gun shy, showing a reluctance to pull the trigger. It seems like ages ago that he was running wild on the Abbotsford Heat in front of an arena full of Canucks fans, and brass.
An interesting combination in this game was the partnership between Anton Rodin and Jordan Schroeder. There were a handful of occasions where they nearly broke free for a ‘home run’ play, but either a good defensive play or an unlucky bounce thwarted them. I would very much like to see them continue playing together for the next little while. I think they have a legitimate chance to make sweet music together; it’s just a question of whether Arniel will let it happen.
December 8th: Wolves 2 – 1 IceHogs
They were shut out at home Friday night, but the Chicago Wolves proved one day can make all the difference when they bested the Rockford IceHogs 2-1 in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest Saturday night at the MetroCentre.
Center Andrew Ebbett and right wing Darren Haydar scored for the Wolves, while goaltender Matt Climie (3-7-0) stopped 23 of 24 shots.
Darren Haydar picked a good time to score his first goal of the season as Chicago’s captain notched the game-winner in the third period to give the Wolves a 2-1 win over the IceHogs Saturday night.
Haydar grabbed an assist to go along with his goal and Andrew Ebbett also scored his third goal of the season for the Wolves.
The Wolves outshot the IceHogs 15-9 in the first period, a period that featured 28 penalty minutes, but it was the IceHogs who headed to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
The two teams combined for 84 penalty minutes, which included two scraps on the night. Wolves forward Tim Miller took on Andrew Shaw in the second period – we’ll give the win to Shaw. Connauton then hammered away at IceHogs forward Jeremy Morin’s lip in the third period – a win for Connauton.
Hungry like the Notes: