Hockey fans walked out of the Allstate Arena for the final time in 2016-2017 as the Chicago Wolves fell 5-2 to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night. The Griffins won round two of the playoffs vs. the Wolves four games to one and are advancing to the AHL Western Conference Finals.
Despite getting beat up in round two, the season as a whole was very positive. While expectations were not high/uncertain, first year coach Craig Berube lead his squad to a division title with a 44-19-8 (101 points) record. The Wolves scored 251 goals which was third-highest in the AHL, with center Wade Megan lead the league in goals with 33 and Kenny Agostino leading the league in points with 83. Defense and goaltending was solid as well with the 11th lowest goals against at 200.
When it came to penalties and power play goals against, they were middle of the road, while their power play scoring was 6th best in the AHL with 61 power play goals.
The goaltending tandem was between Phoenix Copley, who recorded a 2.31 GAA in 25 games before being involved in the Shattenkirk trade, Jordan Binnington who played in 32 games with a 2.71 GAA and Ville Husso who played down the stretch and in the playoffs with a 2.37 GAA.
As for the playoffs, the Wolves defeated the Charlotte Checkers in five games before they lost in five to the Griffins. Husso started in net for ten games and had a GAA of 3.36 while Binnington came in garbage time down and had a 1.86 GAA. Agostino had ten points in 10 games as he lead the team in scoring in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Overall, good year and fun to watch. As for next year? It will be interesting. The St. Louis Blues affiliation contract is up this year and rumors are circulating that it will not be renewed. Though nothing is for sure, only time will tell.
Until next year Wolves fans.