It's Leivo to the rescue as Wolves win 10th in a row
Josh Leivo scored with just two seconds remaining to lift the Chicago Wolves to their 10th straight victory, a 4-3 triumph over Manitoba in a Thursday matinee at the Allstate Arena.
The Wolves are now two games from tying the franchise record of 12 straight wins, set by the 1999-2000 squad that went on to win the Turner Cup.
Here are some facts on this run:
• The first victory came in Grand Rapids on Nov. 26. The Wolves were down 3-0 after two periods and seemingly on their way to a fifth loss in six games. But coach Ryan Warsofsky delivered a fiery speech that ignited his squad.
Said captain Andrew Poturalski, who leads the American Hockey League with 34 points: "He challenged us in the locker room and said, 'What are you guys made of? Are you going to lay down and take a loss here or are you guys gonna come back and show you're competitors?' After the game we were all giving it right back to him: This is what we're made of. It was a great win for us."
Poturalski set a franchise record with 4 points in that third period and the Wolves prevailed 5-3. It was the first time the Wolves rallied from a 3-goal deficit in the third period.
• The current 10-game streak is the second best in franchise history.
• The Wolves are 18-4-1-1, the best start in franchise history.
• The team's top line of Poturalski, Stefan Noesen (24 points) and C.J. Smith (28 points) has combined for a whopping 86 points in 24 games.
• The Wolves' outshot their opponents in a franchise-record 16 straight games. That streak ended Thursday.
• Poturalski, Smith and Leivo each have a 5-point game -- becoming the 10th, 11th and 12th players in Wolves history to accomplish that feat.
• Saturday's 7 p.m. game against Milwaukee at Allstate Arena is Superhero Night. The first 5,000 fans get a superhero-themed Wolves 2022 Wall Calendar. It's also Adopt-A-Dog Night. There will also be a blood drive with Vitalant from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Allstate Arena's Skyline Room. There are still a few appointments available to donate between 6 and 7 p.m. Everyone who donates gets two ticket vouchers, an exclusive T-shirt, a Wolves hat and the chance to win an autographed Wolves jersey.
• For the first time, the Wolves are hosting a New Year's Day game. They will play the Rockford IceHogs (the Blackhawks' affiliate) at 7 p.m. in the Chicago New Year's Classic.