The Wolves played their final game before Saturday, March 14, due to COWID-19 issues that delayed their two games against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Despite the long hiatus, the Wolves responded well in both games of the home-and-home series with the IceHogs on Saturday and Sunday.

The two wins bring the Wolves’ record to 12-2-0-1 for the season. The Wolves are the most dominant team in the AHL so far this season. Only the former Wolves, Henderson’s Silver Knights and the Laval Rockets can keep up with the Wolves in the standings.

There were many highlights for both teams in both games, with strong performances from both newcomers and regulars.

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The Wolves got off to a good start Saturday night and wasted no time in opening the scoring. Chicago scored two goals in the first minute of the game, with David Cotton and Max Lajoie scoring their fourth and third goals of the season, respectively.

Just before the end of the first half, David Cotton’s second goal ensured that Wolves went into the first break with a three point lead.

David Cotton’s fourth goal of the season gave the Wolves an early lead in the first period, scoring 27 seconds into the game.

The teams traded goals in the second half: Dominic Bock and Ryan Suzuki scored their fourth goals of the season, while Cody Franson and Evan Barratt scored for the visitors. Despite some answers from the Hogs, the Wolves went into the second intermission with a 5-2 lead after a strong second period.

Reese Johnson scored the final goal for the IceHogs just before the middle of the third period. However, his goal was nullified when Tanner Jeannot evened the score for the Wolves with his sixth goal of the season just 51 seconds into the game.

David Cotton became the matchwinner with his two early goals. Tanner Jeannot added a goal and two assists, and Tommy Novak added three goals of his own in the 6-3 victory.

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Sunday’s game turned out to be much closer than Saturday’s. At home, the Ice Hogs put up a real fight against the Power Wolves.

The Ice Hogs opened the game on Sunday morning with Dylan McLaughlin scoring his third goal of the season. The power play came late in the first period and gave the Ice Hogs life just before the first intermission. However, Tanner Jeannot scored an unassisted goal just 21 seconds after the break. Both teams went into halftime trailing.

Tanner Jeannot’s seventh goal of the season helped the Wolves keep pace with the Ice Hogs in Sunday’s win.

Wolves opened the second half with Sean Malone’s first goal of the season. The Ice Hogs answered with two goals of their own in less than four minutes. Despite Rockford’s goals, the Wolves added two more to end the period with a one goal lead.

IceHogs forward Josias Slavin scored his first professional goal in the third period in his AHL debut on Sunday. Slavin’s college season at Colorado College ended in March, allowing him to sign with the IceHogs.

His goal early in the third period tied the score for the Ice Pigs. But Jamison Reese gave the Wolves a lead they would not relinquish with his second goal of the day and fifth of the season after 4:41.

The Wolves’ victory also marked the debut of goalkeeper Devin Cooley, who was called up to the national team to replace Beck Warma.

Assessment

The weekend was a big boost for the Wolves, who hadn’t played a game in two weeks. Both of the Wolves’ games against the Grand Rapids Griffins have been postponed due to issues with COVID-19. The Wolves currently sit atop the Central Division and have a good chance of making the AHL playoffs in 2021, if they ever do.

It was a weekend of great performances from the Wolves players. Tanner Jeannot, Jamison Reese, and Ryan Suzuki are just a few of the names that have performed well against the IceHogs. Jeannot added four points to his 17-point record, Reese added two goals, including the game-winner on Sunday, and Suzuki scored in every game of the weekend series.

The Wolves still have a full month of April ahead of them, with 12 games left to play. However, only four of these games will take place at Triphan Ice Arena, meaning the Wolves will need to keep winning to stay at the top of the division standings.

What now?

The Wolves take over at 1st. April resumes play against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT at Tryfan Ice Arena. The Wolves will face off against the Griffins for the first time on February 28, as two games in March have been postponed.

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