Milwaukee Musings: Back From a Break
Notes for the week of March 29.
After collecting four points on a road trip to Iowa, the Chicago Wolves faced a setback with two games—on March 19 and March 23—postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. After that lengthy delay, the Wolves finally hit the ice again this past Saturday, hosting Rockford before traveling to their in-state rival on Sunday.
Chicago came away with another four points and now sits at 12-2-1 with a 0.833 points percentage—tied for best in the AHL with the Henderson Silver Knights. The Wolves will host two home games this week: tomorrow against Grand Rapids and Saturday against Rockford.
Explore: Nashville’s AHL/ECHL Prospects
March 27 v. Rockford IceHogs
The Wolves tested rookie goalie Ivan Nalimov early, peppering him with 17 shots in the first period and scoring three times—including two from the Carolina Hurricanes’ David Cotton. The IceHogs responded in period two, including a goal from former Pred Cody Franson, but ultimately, Chicago smothered Rockford 6-3.
Tanner Jeannot scored his sixth goal of the season, and Tommy Novak recorded three primary assists, including two at even-strength.
March 28 @ Rockford IceHogs
The Wolves and IceHogs split the opening frame on Sunday, which included a three-on-one goal from Tanner Jeannot. Period two saw five more goals added to the scoresheet, including a power-play tally for Rockford; Chicago’s penalty kill units allowed three goals on five chances during this contest.
Chicago ultimately pulled out a close 5-4 win in Devin Cooley’s AHL debut with two goals from Carolina’s Jamieson Rees.
Players of the Week
Tanner Jeannot: Tanner Jeannot continues to be dominant for the Wolves. In ten games this year, he has an eye-popping 17 points, including six primary points scored at even strength. He’s riding a five-game goal-scoring streak and has recorded a point in all ten games this year except for one. [RK]
Tyler Lewington: Lewington’s return—although without much fanfare—was a huge deal for the Wolves who are thin at defense. Over the weekend, Chicago went with Lewington, Cavan Fitzgerald, Josh Healey, Brandon Hickey, Max Lajoie, and Matt Murphy on the blueline. Lewington is a solid AHL veteran who looked like he hadn’t missed much time, starting with Fitzgerald and recording two shots on net in two games. [ED]
Notes and Quotes
- Tucson Roadrunners: The Roadrunners have gone 1-4-1 in their last six against San Diego and Ontario. Michael Carcone dressed for all six games scoring one goal and one assist in that span; Josh Wilkins dressed for four of those games and scored his first goal of the season on March 26 against Ontario.
- Cleveland Monsters: Cleveland has gone 2-2 in their last four games, and Brandon Fortunato was a scratch for all but one—a 3-1 win over Texas on March 25. He remains without a point on the season.
- Defender Tyler Lewington finally returned from injury and played in both games last weekend—just his second and third games of the year.
- Phil Tomasino, Tommy Novak, and Tanner Jeannot skated on Chicago’s top line this weekend and displayed some excellent chemistry. Tomasino is forechecking with more efficiency each game, and his puck-hungry, disruptive play is obvious, especially to opposing defenders.
- Devin Cooley made his AHL debut on Sunday after being sent down from the Nashville Predators’ taxi squad. Stopping 20 of 24 shots, Cooley noted pre-game that he was itching to get back in the net after nearly a month off from games since his recall from the ECHL.
- Luke Evangelista made his pro debut on Sunday after over a year without a competitive hockey game. I caught up with the 2020 second-round pick before his first game with the Wolves.
- David Farrance joined Nashville’s taxi squad over the weekend. When everyone gets healthy, the organization will have some decisions to make on Farrance, Jérémy Davies, Rem Pitlick, and Frédéric Allard with a currently full taxi squad.
- Wolves defender David Warsofsky and his brother, head coach Ryan Warsofsky, are in a unique scenario, and Chicago is rolling with it, having introduced “Warsofsky Wednesdays.”
- Tommy Novak has scored just three goals this year, but he’s also notched 16 points in 14 contests for Chicago. He’s tenth in the league in points per game (1.14) and has emerged as the Wolves’ most reliable and consistent option down the middle; It would be hard to argue he’s less important to this squad than Tanner Jeannot—the AHL’s leader in PPG with 1.70./
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com, theahl.com, or hand-tracked myself.