Wolves wrap up regular season; Tyler Wong wins Dan Snyder Man of the Year Award
The Chicago Wolves closed out the regular season at Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon, falling 6-2 to the Manitoba Moose.
Forwards Stefan Matteau and Tye McGinn scored for Chicago (44-22-6-4) while netminder Max Lagace (16-10-6) stopped 29 shots as the Central Division champions rested a handful of key players in preparation for Friday’s Calder Cup Playoff opener at Allstate Arena.
“The regular season is a huge mountain for any team to climb,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “It’s very difficult to get into the playoffs. That prepares you to be ready every single day. The next mountain is in front of us, which is the first-round Game 1. That’s a big mountain, too.”
Jonathan Kovacevic, Michael Spacek, Logan Shaw, Kamerin Nault, Jansen Harkins and Cole Maier scored for Manitoba (39-30-5-2). Goaltender Eric Comrie (25-16-4) recorded 14 saves.
Manitoba jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the halfway point of the first period. Kovacevic opened the scoring at the 7:53 point with a redirect before Spacek doubled the lead at 10:22 with an unassisted tally.
Matteau cut the deficit to 2-1 before the first intermission, tipping a shot from rookie defenseman Zach Whitecloud past Comrie at the 11:42 mark of the first period.
The Moose added to the lead in the third period, scoring four straight goals to take a 6-1 lead. McGinn scored for Chicago at 14:07 when he one-timed a pass from rookie forward Cody Glass past Comrie.
The Wolves open the 2019 Calder Cup playoffs on Friday, April 19, when they host the Milwaukee Admirals or the Grand Rapids Griffins in Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals. To get the best playoff tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
Prior to Sunday’s regular-season finale at Allstate Arena, the Chicago Wolves presented second-year forward Tyler Wong with the 2019 Dan Snyder Man of the Year Award. Wong earned the honor for his dedication to helping people and causes throughout the Chicago area.
One Wolves player receives the award each season in memory of Snyder, who passed away on Oct. 5, 2003, at the age of 25 after suffering head injuries in a car accident. During his two seasons with the Wolves, Snyder set the standard for community service with his tireless commitment to local people and charities. He also scored five game-winning goals during the postseason to help the Wolves capture the 2002 Calder Cup championship.
Wong, a 23-year-old forward from Cochrane, Alberta, joined the Wolves in 2017 with a reputation for eagerly donating his time and energy to multiple causes — he twice won the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year Award — and he has maintained his brisk pace with the Wolves while establishing his professional career.
“I was very blessed growing up to have the opportunity to play hockey,” Wong said. “Not everyone gets that chance. My parents (William and Julie) gave me that opportunity and they instilled in me to be humble and to have perspective on where I am — and how I might be able to help other people.”
Never one to waste free time, Wong has been a leading light at every Wolves charity event in addition to spending hours helping Feed My Starving Children and Bernie’s Book Bank. Wong also has made several visits to local libraries as part of the team’s long-running Read to Succeed program. Not only does his voice carry weight when he extols the virtues of recreational reading and the importance of setting and achieving goals, Wong’s personal story of how he ignored others’ doubts about his 5-foot-9 frame to continue to pursue his hockey dreams makes an impact with the children he meets.
“I love doing the library visits,” Wong said. “I think the kids really like to hear about the books I’m reading and it gives me the opportunity to connect with everyone personally. They can ask questions and they don’t have to be nervous.”
Wong joined a sterling list of Snyder Award honorees that includes Scooter Vaughan (2018), Brett Sterling (2010, 2017), Pat Cannone (2016), Shane Harper (2015), Michael Davies (2013, 2014), Darren Haydar (2012), Spencer Machacek (2011), Jordan Lavallee (2009), Nathan Oystrick (2008), Brian Sipotz (2007), Karl Stewart (2005, 2006) and Kurtis Foster (2004). Vaughan and Foster also received the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award that goes to the AHL’s Man of the Year.
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