The Chicago Wolves posted an 8-4 record in the month of January and entered the all-star break on a three-game winning streak.
The squad has climbed up the standings of late and is in second place in the Midwest Division with 56 points (26-17-1-3), trailing first-place Charlotte by four points, with one game in hand.
With back-to-back losses against divisional rival Rockford IceHogs in the third week of January, the Wolves changed gears and were treated to a home away from home occurrence when they rolled into Abbotsford with a pair of convincing wins over the Heat.After an off day the Wolves went into Milwaukee’s house and edged a win to end off the month, setting them up for a tight race to the finish in the final stretch of the season.
On February 3rd the Wolves bounced back from their previous efforts against the IceHogs with a 4-2 victory. Riding the streak, the Wolves looked to extend their winning streak to a season-high-tying five games, but fell short the next night against the Peoria Rivermen.
With eight out of a possible ten points in their last five outings the Wolves strong record has sprung a few standout individual performances.
It was a rewarding break for Kevin Connauton and teammate Darren Haydar, both of whom recorded a goal for the Western Conference at the 2012 AHL All-Star Game. Connauton has significantly improved in point production with 23 points on the season, tying his total of last year with a lot of hockey left to be played.
Last season Connauton registered 12 assists in 73 games but halfway through this year he’s passed that total and will be expected to be a key piece to the puzzle down the stretch.
The leading point getter for the Wolves 47 games into the season, Mark Mancari is no stranger to racking up points and is tied with Darren Haydar for first on the team with 39 points in 41 matchups this season.
While the season numbers are impressive, the month of January was especially noteworthy as Mancari recorded eight assists and 14 points to help the Howlin’ Wolves get four games above .500.
Jordan Schroeder now has 12 points over his last 12 games and has suited up in every tilt for the Wolves this season. To shed some light on his significant improvement from a year ago, the Minnesota product has recorded 28 points thus far, tying his point total of last season.
Full of experience and a Stanley Cup win under his belt, Steve Reinprecht has brought more than just his wisdom to the Wolves lineup. Reinprecht has maintained his top five standing amongst the lineup in points throughout the season and tallied four goals in the two games against the Heat. Through 28 games with the Wolves this season, the 6-foot center has recorded 26 points, which has him in fifth on the team.
COMING UP NEXTThe Wolves suited up for a matinee game against the Houston Aeros on February 7th and Jordan Schroeder played hero and buried a short-handed goal late in the third to help the Wolves edge a 2-1 victory.
Chicago is now 6-1-0-0 in matinee games since 2009-10 and have outscored its opponents 25-9 in its six morning matches over the previous three seasons.
The Wolves now have a two day break and will prepare to go on the road for back-to-back battles with the IceHogs this coming weekend.