Milwaukee Musings: On the Road in Des Moines
Notes for the week of March 15.
A week removed from back-to-back losses at the hands of the Cleveland Monsters, the Chicago Wolves hit the road to Des Moines for two contests against the Iowa Wild. Iowa—the Central Division’s worst team this season—managed just two goals over the weekend against a rejuvenated Wolves squad that potted ten themselves.
Chicago remains atop the division standings with a 10-2-1 record and a 0.808 winning percentage, but their roster remains in flux with the Carolina Hurricanes making some recent transactions and the Nashville Predators housing several players in the NHL.
The Wolves will travel to Grand Rapids for games on Friday night and Tuesday night this coming week.
Explore: Nashville’s AHL/ECHL Prospects
March 13 @ Iowa Wild
Chicago started off their road trip with a statement 4-0 win over Iowa on Saturday night. Forward Tanner Jeannot helped catalyze the Wolves’ victory, taking on Cody McLeod in a fight early in period two and adding a power play goal later in that frame.
Goalie Beck Warm earned his first shutout of the season, while Chicago’s other three goals came from Dominik Bokk, Tommy Novak (PP), and Sheldon Rempal—his first of the year.
March 14 @ Iowa Wild
Chicago bested their Saturday night victory with a 6-2 win over Iowa on Sunday where bad blood continued as the two teams combined for 58 minutes of penalties.
Dominik Bokk opened the game’s scoring with a power play tally before Iowa’s Damien Giroux responded. The Wolves' man advantage helped overpower the Wild, tallying on three of four opportunities; Goals were scored by David Warsofsky and Phil Tomasino.
Tanner Jeannot added a shorthanded goal in period two, and Josh Healey scored his first of the season with assists from Sheldon Rempal and Cole Smith.
Players of the Week
Tommy Novak: I’m running out of adjectives to describe Tommy Novak. Centering a line between Tanner Jeannot and Phil Tomasino last weekend, Novak brought stability, a little bit of salt, and his offensive touch, scoring a power play goal and recording two primary assists. He can be trusted to win important defensive zone faceoffs, dish sweet assists to his linemates, and bring a physical presence when needed. [RK]
Tanner Jeannot: Jeannot has returned to the Wolves lineup with a bang, providing the leadership and production in all situations that help make this team go. Over the weekend, he scored two goals—including one shorthanded—and added three more assists plus a fight with former Pred Cody McLeod.
Jeannot is now tied with Tommy Novak for the team lead in scoring—13 points—but has played four fewer games. [ED]
Notes and Quotes
- Tucson Roadrunners: Tucson played twice last weekend, dropping game one to the Ontario Reign and then beating the San Diego Gulls 4-1. Michael Carcone and Josh Wilkins were both held pointless.
- Cleveland Monsters: The Monsters March 12 game against the Rochester Americans was rescheduled for April 10.
- Over the weeked, as usual, it was easy to spot Tommy Novak in his usual spot on the left (facing the goalie) half wall on the power play. But Patrick Harper and Cole Smith were also given time on the man advantage; The former was playing opposite of Novak’s spot, and the latter was posted in front of the net. It’s an easy way to try and get a struggling player like Harper going offensively.
- Sheldon Rempal scored quite the goal on Saturday with a beautiful toe drag around Iowa’s Calen Addison.
- With the way both are playing, don’t be surprised if Tanner Jeannot and Tommy Novak work their way back to Nashville this season, especially if the organization is an active seller at the trade deadline.
- With Nashville’s defense corps depleted by injury, it’s worth noting the organization has few options left should things get worse. There are only three other defenders contracted by the team: Brandon Fortunato, Luke Prokop, and Tyler Lewington (who is injured).
- On top of that, Boston University and David Farrance’s season isn’t quite over. The Terriers lost to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East Tournament but still have a good shot at making the NCAA tournament. We’ll know this coming Sunday, but once his season is over, Nashville will likely keep him in the NHL should he sign.
- Phil Tomasino was given a ten-minute misconduct on Saturday for unsportsmanlike conduct. Here’s a video of the incident, but it doesn’t show the whole picture. There was some post-whistle activity just a minute before, and my best guess is the officials didn’t take kindly to Tomasino and Mason Shaw punching.
- Tomasino also added his fifth goal of the season last week with a nice puck touch over Hunter Jones. Despite his size, he thrives in the high-danger, middle-of-the-ice areas by constantly moving his feet in search of rebounds or other scoring chances./
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theahl.com, or hand-tracked myself.