Sunday, December 30, 2007

The girl's got game!

Saturday night and the Wolves went down to the always tough QC Flames. However the highlight of the evening for this photographer was the "Extra Effort Kids" during the third period break. One mite, the lone girl on the team has the right stuff, pink gloves and all.

I tell ya this girl's got game!

If it's Sunday it must be a day off....

Friday morning dawned bright and sunny, the weather forecast couldn't have been more gloomy, 6-8" of snow was to fall between us and the game in Milwaukee. Still we planned to make it, the van was gassed,bags were packed "in case" an overnight stay was needed, the Kissane/Rickard Hockey press team left for the Wolves -Admirals game hours early on a wing and a prayer.

Yes the driving was not pleasant but we made it with time to spare for dinner and to settle into the BC for the nights festivities. It was to be a tough game for both teams with a stellar example of imaginative work by referee Chris Ciamaga. As per usual for a technical wrap of of both games I will refer readers to the capable hands of Patrick Kissane at "Sit down and Shut up", the linky you will find at the right. The outcome of the game? The Wolves won in a challenging game. Kissane and I ended up spending the night in Milwaukee as did many of the Chicago fans. Thank you wireless connections and Travelocity.

Here are a few images from the game.


Friday, December 28, 2007

The rivaly has started, Wolves and Ice Hogs, what fun!

Last night the Ice Hogs made the 45 minute trip down route 90 to the Wolf Den and stunk up the joint, literally. Speculation was made by those sitting near the team is that the Hogs equiptmant manager neglected to wash the sweaters the night before. Oh dear, oh my! What we have here is total lack of respect for basic hygiene. Goodness knows what the Wolves will forget to wash for the Jan 4th meeting at the Metro in Rockford. it might be worth the drive to just see what they come up with.

The game, I will as usual refer readers to my partner in crime Kissane for a full report on all three frames. In short, the Wolves won in overtime after battling with a team they should have beaten handily by the end of the first period due to call ups by the Blackhawks. Nathan Oystrick scored a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, (a fight, goal and an assist, to the uninformed) his first of the season, atta boy may there be many more in your career.

Grant Lewis recently called up from Gwinett was knocked unconscious by a hard hit during the third period. I had a close, unobstructed view of the hit and from my angle it looked clean. However, there are differing opinions on this matter and from other angles there appears to be an elbow involved. Clean or cheap, I'll take this opportunity to climb on a nurses soap box momentarily and address the the sleeping giant. The Players Association has to publicly address the issue of head protection and concussions. At Traverse City I had the opportunity to speak to team physicians at length on the subject, it was illuminating. The NFL and the IHL (UHL) are in the early stages of addressing the problem. The use of improved mouth guards, helmets that really strap down or better helmets are being discussed among team and league medical professionals. It is time for these quiet talks to move from the locker rooms to the board rooms. The effects of post concussion syndrome last long after the cheering stops. These are our sons and daughters on the ice, lets look beyond the game we love to the health of children we love more.

I'll step down now, it is time to get psyched for the next game. Tonight at the Bradley Center against the Milwaukee Admirals. Now this one should be a ring tailed tooter!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Haydar's back, Nathan Oystrick is Hot! Hot! Hot!

Last night the Chicago Wolves welcomed their captain, Daryn Haydar back home to home ice. At the dawn of this season the Wolves lost their captain and their MVP from last season Brett Sterling to the Atlanta Thrashers. Sterling returned earlier last month and hs been the scoring powerhouse he was last year. Haydar marked his return by to goals, and showing some very pretty skating. He hasn't lost anything in the rarified air of the AHL and seems to have returned eager to lead his team and lend maturity to the locker room . Something the Wolves seemed to need since Fred Brathwate's departure to Russia last week.

Nathan Oystrick #22, what can I say? I will take full advantage of the Blog format and speak in the first person. I am a fan of the defensive game. Nathan Oystrick has been with the Wolves for two years now and it has been a treat to see him develop. In the last three weeks as the Wolves have headed in to a team wide tail spin he has scored 5 count em' 5 goals. Oystrick is presently part of the Krog,Haydar,Sterling scoring line. In the past he was regarded as "protection" looks like that is changing. This photographer couldn't be more delighted, not only is this young man a constant source of great images, when spoken to always engaging and eager to speak to fans of the defensive game. It is as pleasure to see good things happening to this genuinely nice and hard working young man. You go for it Oysty, I'll be watching!

The score last night oh yes it was a win, not a hell fire and brimstone. However a win is a win, the Wolves seem to be finding organization and their legs after several weeks of spotty performances and looking for leadership. To use one of my Dad's phrases, "the ship is comming around, it's time to go for the weather mark" It's December boys, Captains back, time to lay the foundation for this years playoffs run.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Devided loyalties, Amerks and Wolves

Last night at the Allstate arena the curse was broken, the losing streak was snapped the #1 Chicago Wolves beat the Rochester Americans . Our returning nettie Pavelec seems to be finding his AHL feet after his stint in Atlanta. Wolves fans have lots of reasons to be confident going into tonights Riverman game at 7:30 in Peoria.

As usual I will refer you to Patrick Kissanes's site, for the full low down of the game I'll just show you the good hunting that was had by this Rochester native turned Chicago transplant. Both of my teams looked good last night, but I have to admitt it I enjoyed the outcome as well as the game.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

What a difference a day makes, or a good nights sleep...

Just a short word to those that have missed my entries. Yes, yes, the next blog is in the works. My torn rota tor cuff is mending, a mono pod has been procured and Kissane and I have left our house temporally during renovations for a hotel. Have jump drives and laptops the blogs will travel. There will be lots of photos posted of my beloved Rochester Amerks battling it out with my #1 Wolves. Plus a few of my favorite gymnast in the nets Fred Brathwaite who is no longer in a Wolves uniform.

Until tomorrow or maybe Saturday morning my readers....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Return of the King, Kari Lehtonen a Wolf again.....

It may only be for a three day rehab stint, but Kari Lehtonen is wearing a Wolves jersey once more. Last night the familiar name was announced as the goal tender for the home team and the Tuesday night crowd of 3000 faithful fans greeted the returning hero, our Kari. I had forgotten how tall he was, Kari Lehtonen is one tall dude. His performance? This tall one, classic, the quick butterfly remains and the ermine like movements between the pipes are still there. Upon close observation you can observe changes in his stance, a result of conditioning and working with a core muscle coach to correct a nagging groin problem. What you see is what you get here,a more mature version of the boy that left Chicago two years ago for the NHL.Lehtonen wears the NHL goalie mantle well.

The outcome of the game was never in doubt, the Quad City Flames seemed to never leave the locker room their only a goal in the last 30 seconds placed them on the board. Yet another win for the Wolves, the first for the favorite son in his recovery tour.


Return of Rockford 11/24/2007

One of the great joys of this hockey season is that Rockford has become the Blackhawks affiliate. Last weekend a colleague who spent many an hour watching the Hawks play from the organists bench in the old barn joined Kissane and I for the Wolves and Rockford match up. After properly fortify ourselves with Margarettas we arrived at the Allstate in time for the pregame fire works.

It didn't take long for the old Hawks fans to see the the light. By the second goal my friend Barb was swinging a Wolves shirt over her head and celebrating every Wolves goal. Sorry Rocky. you have lost another one to the winning Wolves....

Here are a few images showing what the cheering was all about...


Monday, November 12, 2007

The New York Swing...

Veterans Day weekend and the Chicago Wolves take their annual swing through Upstate New York and to Hamilton for an intense weekend of hockey, hockey, hockey. At this point in the season Chicago's finest are undefeated in regulation time. Syarause, Hamilton and the always pesky Amerks were spoiling for the chance to change that record. Fortunately for the Wolves and the eight hardy faithful fans that made the trip the home teams went home to their beds bitterly disapointed and the Wolves impressive record is still intact.

Here are some images from the road:


Monday, November 5, 2007

Admirals Hand Wolves First Loss of Season.

On October 27th, the Saturday before All Hollows eve we packed up the van and following the Chicago Wolves headed north to Milwaukee for the first meeting the Ads' and the Wolves. Chicago had a pristine 6:0 record at puck drop that was not to survive the night. The tired Wolves lost their first game to the team Chicago fans had decided to take for granted this year. Look again- Coach Claude Noel may be gone but Milwaukee's back and ready to pick up where they left off last year. "Never Say Die"? OK, I'll give you this one Milwaukee, but there will be a next time!

Here are a few images of the game.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/19/2007 Wolves-s Hogs, an introduction

Last night in the Allstate arena the Chicago Wolves and the new and improved AHL Rockford IceHogs shook hands for the first time. Was this the start of a genuine rivalry? The jury is still out on that one but it was a intensely physical first period. So physical it included single matches and a line brawl.

Not to beat on a dead horse but this Hog team is not the same team we cheered in Rockford last May for the Colonial Cup. They are transplants for Norfolk VA, the mysterious east where players sleep in their own beds every night and travel budgets are spent on gas for the team bus. Listening to the PPP Show one can learn the East is a very chippy place they play a physical game out there, nothing personal. But everyone seems to have the Broad Street Bully attitude, if they cant beat you they will beat you. The Wolves first encountered this philosophy in the 05' Calder Cup final series against the Philly Phantoms. Simply put in 05' the Wolves had never played such an unrelentingly physical team that year and they sent us home without a cup in four games. Given last nights win Coach John Anderson learned his lessons well 05' because the Wolves got their bearings and the win last night in this first meeting of the East and West.

Here are some images from the game...