UPDATE: At the end of the 2nd, the Chicago Wolves are trailing Utica 3-2 after all five goals were scored in the 2nd period.
UPDATE: At the end of 2nd period, the Chicago Wolves take a 3-2 lead thanks to goals by Mathieu Brodeur and Benn Ferriero in the frame.
While home-ice advantage gives the Comets a leg up, the Wolves have been very comfortable in enemy barns during 2014-15. Chicago is the only playoff team in the league with more wins on the road than at home during the regular season. Away from Rosemont this year, the team averaged 0.95 more goals per game and allowed 0.27 fewer.
The Chicago Wolves and Utica Comets provided an entertaining Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday, extending the tilt into a second overtime before the Comets’ Bobby Sanguinetti ended it at 83:10. The defenseman’s tally gave the Comets a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five opening round after the top-ranked squad was forced to the extra session by a feisty Wolves team that rallied from two goals down in the third period, tying the game with 1.0 left on the clock.
The Chicago Wolves completed their 21st regular season last week and turn their attention to the opening round of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs and their opponent, the top-ranked Utica Comets.
The Wolves and the Marlies enter today’s game tied for seventh place in the Western Conference with 87 points. Whichever team wins this game wraps up the No. 7 seed and faces No. 2 seed Grand Rapids (100 points) in the best-of-five Western Conference quarterfinals. Today’s loser accepts the No. 8 seed and faces top-seeded Utica (103 points).
With two games to go in the regular season, the Wolves still have a chance to be either the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed when the playoffs start next week. Their list of potential first-round opponents remains four-deep: Utica, Grand Rapids, San Antonio and Rockford.
The Chicago Wolves enter the final weekend of the season with a game against in-state rival Rockford, pitting two of the Western Conference’s hottest teams against each other. Since their last meeting on March 15, the Wolves have posted a 10-3-0-0 record while the IceHogs have gone 11-3-0-0.
The Wolves look to move within striking distance of a postseason berth tonight as their magic number hovers at six. If Chicago can collect three wins this weekend it will be on its way to the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs regardless of other teams’ results.