Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicago Wolves throw BBQ, defeat Moose 2:1

Last night at the Allstate arena the Wolves played playoff hockey, tight, powerful playoff hockey and a beautiful thing it was to see. If the team keeps this up they will not only make the playoffs but avoid meeting Milwaukee in the first round. A very tasty prospect indeed for the Wolves.

The game featured high SOG totals Manitoba's goalie Curtis Sanford faced 29 SOG turning away 27, while Ondrej fPavlec faced a challenging 46, only letting a single shot in. Pavlec is a tough nettie, he has been the primary stater for the Wolves since his return from injury. It is worrisome to many his frequent use. But he seems to be the hot hand and with a two home game winning streak and four days rest until Fridays Iowa game he might be considered for the road start also.

Here are some images of the game:


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Milwaukee Looks good, Damn good....

First place Milwaukee came to the Allstate Arena last night to play hard against the Chicago Wolves,play hard they did. The home team did well and had a great team effort to keep the score to a 1:0 It bodes well for the next meeting of these old rivals on March 14th.

Presently in the west it lines up like this:
Milwaukee 76 points
Rockford 64 points
Houston 63 points
Chicago 61 points

Obviously a bad weekend or a couple of injuries, return of players from injured reserve could change the order below first. The key for the playoffs, a mere 7 weeks away is fourth. That unenviable position will probably be playing Milwaukee and and see quick elimination. Second and third just need to make it to the playoffs but fourth, they will have to advance the hard way through the team play of the Admirals and the one, two punch of Mark Dekanick and Drew McIntire in goal.

Here are some images of last nights game:


Monday, February 16, 2009

What Chad Denny Did on His Day Off!

Today a group of children on the north side at the American Indian Center got to hear Chicago Wolf Chad Denny share with them a common heritage ,that of being of a Native North American . Chad Denny current player of the Wolves came into the city not only to sign autographs, eat lunch with a group kids on their day off from school. But also to share time and a common culture despite the difference in urban and rural, basketball and hockey, Chicago and Mi'Kmaq of Eskasoni First Nation of Nova Socita.
The Chicago school children asked many questions about life in the American Hockey League and what it takes to become a professional hockey player. “Hard work, it doesn't come over night” said Denny, hard work indeed he then told about skating coaches, long practices and studying the game.

The American Indian Center is located at 1630 West Wilson Ave , between Ravenswood and Ashland, in the site of an old Masonic Temple. It has lofty spaces, lovely light and plenty of space to accommodate the dreams of Special Events Coordinator Cyndee Fox-Starr. Who proudly told me Chicago is the center of the third largest urban Native American population in the country. We also have the only urban cultural center in the country, all of this makes for frequent and rich calendar of events. Members also told me of a theatre of the third floor which they also hoped would someday open producing works produced by members of the community and their children. The sign on the front door tells the opener to pull gently but firmly. Somehow it seems to fit this place, a strong heritage gently but firmly moving into the future. For more in formation on the center or a full calendar of future events call 773.275.58.71 .

The next major event is a Pow Wow at the Joilet Junior College on March 14th , for details of the event contact Fred Harris at (815) 280-2566

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Krazy Karl Stewart Returns to the AllState! Rochester Takes 2 points from Wolves wins 4:3

I've written briefly before about Karl Stewart, the Wolves agitator of the past par excellence but there was more to him than that. Karl had a quality on the ice that I value as much as skill and sportsmanship, joy, yes, joy. Karl played with the heart of a kid at 2:20 listening for the school bell and running home to strap them on a hit the pond. When everything is a possibility and life is a frozen pond until dark, when dinner and homework beckon. When Karl Stewart skated he made those of us who were lucky enough to have had such a childhood feel it again, when he scored a goal we were back on the pond with him. This was the Krazy Karl I hope to see last night on the ice.

Stewart was with the Wolves for three years, some of my favorite Karl moments were his break-a-aways, he could go from one end of the ice to another before the opposition knew what hit them. I always suspected he scared the jingle bells out of most goalies at those moments. Sometimes after scoring a goal he would grab the goalies water bottle and take a nice long drink, just to let the guy know he was there. That usually got him a penalty and John Anderson's ire,Stewie didn't do that often but when he did the crowd loved it. If you watched his mouth it was constantly in motion, yipping and yapping especially as he skated by the bench. He was as someone put it a total agitator and we loved him for it, he was our very own Krazy Karl.

I had a couple of chances to talk to him personally ,Stewart once told me he played with "his heart on his sleeve". That was as much a asset as a problem to the team. Krazy Karl was not so much a loose canon but a pistol at times, no question his often ill timed penalties hurt the team. I wondered what might of had changed over the years with the spent in the NHL would he still be the same player gripping our hearts as he took the ice?

When the announcer called his name there were cheers, knowing the layout of the Allstate he had to of heard them. When he hit the ice he was still there our Karl Stewart. Probably not crazy after all these years but still, the heart was there. In his stride, the smile and a few of his moves and a though he left Ondrej Pavlelec's water bottle alone after he scored his goal he did take a long loving look at it.

Believe it or not there was other action on the ice last night. The final score was 4:3, Amerks the last place team in the AHL showed that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future. In the last year Rochester has had more than a few blows. The Amerks have changed coaches, almost lost their building, changed affiliations mid year last year and had most of their stars leave for greener pastures. The team that was on the ice worked as a team and the second goalie, Mike Brodeur, well he was a pretty sight to see with that rare goalie "wall" glow. After pulling Tyler Plante at the end of the first Mike Brodeur put in a performance that should make him a starter. It simply was poetry, many will remember Brodeur from his third position with Rockford last year, judging by last night he deserves to move up the roster.

As always her are some images of the game:


Monday, February 9, 2009

Aeros Shoot down Wolves 6:3

Last night the Houston Aeros did it again, or shall I say the Wolves did it again. Lost to the Houston Aeros and dug themselves deeper into the standings. Much like a novice driver facing his first snow storm, spinning wheels with a bad PP and a poor PK. Guys, guys get a grip, vets show some passion and defense please stop making Ondrej Pavlec the loneliest man in town. Defence is a three man line, two blue liners and a goalie, please don't make me repeat my self a third time. Pavelec may be a touch slow side to side since his injury but being hung out to dry is costing the Wolves points they can't afford to loose.

On the positive side, the kids look good and are playing with fire, Joey Crabb is probably making Atlanta wonder why they sent him down to Chicago. Four points on Saturday, one last night and he showed no mercy to Kurtis Foster skating for Houston on a conditioning assignment from the Minnesota Wild. Crabb landed the hardest hit of the night on the ex-Wolf, considering Foster is easily a foot taller than Crabb he probably was impressed as he picked himself off of the ice. Welcome home Kurtis, you have been missed Big Man. Chad Denny, the kid is finishing his checks consistently and taking the opposition out of play. Mike Hamilton, Spencer Machacek and Rylan Kaip all are looking good too. There is enough here to still see the glass half full Candide, but March approaches and the playoff run in earnest. Milwaukee is running away and the middle is getting tighter. No room for mistakes or slumps now, there will be plenty of time to think about those on the golf course in May.

Time to get serious boys.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Peoria Rivermen go down for the first time at the Allstate

Last night the Peoria Rivermen lost to the Chicago Wolves for the first time this season 5:1. Most notably Joey Crabb recently returning from assignment in Atlanta scored a hat trick plus an assist for good measure. Not bad for a guy adjusting to the temperature change from sunny Atlanta.

As always here some images of the game:


Wolves Chomp Iowa Chops 4-3 January 29th

A week ago tonight the Chicago Wolves met the challenge against the Iowa Chops beating them in a shoot out at the Allsaate arena. Here are some images of the game.