Despite rally Wolves lose Calder Cup Championship in 5 games
By Ray Hanania
The Chicago Wolves made fans in Chicagoland proud. They entered the Calder Cup Championship Finals 11 years after winning the prized Hocky honor in 2008 after defeating the San Diego Gulls in Conference Finals.
The Wolves are a powerful and entertaining hockey team but they failed to overcome a challenge from the Charlotte Checkers who won the Calder Cup taking four of the first five games.
Although the Wolves lost they have proven to be a strong contender in professional hockey and we look forward to them returning to the new hockey seasons this Fall in October.
Here is a recap of the final 5th Game of the Calder Cup Championship Finals froim Saturday night at the Allstate Arena which the Charlotte Checkers won 5 to 3.
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Chicago Wolves in the final game of the 2019 Calder Cup Trophy Championship Finals lose to the Charlotte Checkers in 5 games
ROSEMONT, Illinois – The Chicago Wolves’ 25th anniversary season came to a close Saturday night at Allstate Arena as the Charlotte Checkers posted a 5-3 victory in Game 5 to clinch the Calder Cup.
The teams exchanged four goals in a wild final 3:06 as the Wolves twice pulled within one, but the Checkers responded both times with an empty-net goal.
Brooks Macek, Gage Quinney and Cody Glass scored for the Wolves (12-10), who played without injured AHL MVP Daniel Carr for the second game in a row. Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk (10-9) posted 27 saves while Charlotte’s Alex Nedeljkovic (10-4) stopped 26 shots.
“What I’m proud of most, though, is I thought our team played the best that we possibly could have,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “And that’s what I said to our players: ‘You shouldn’t be sad. I know it’s tough when you don’t win championships, but you shouldn’t be sad when that’s all you have. You did everything you could. I’m proud of that.’ “
“I think everybody in the room is proud of themselves – and they should be,” said Wolves alternate captain Curtis McKenzie. “It was a heck of a year. It was such a fun group this year and guys worked so hard and just grinded the whole way. I think everybody should be very happy. As much as it stings, the guys had a good year.”
Recap of the five game series in which Charlotte Checkers won the Calder Cup Trophy from the Chicago Wolves
Charlotte (15-4) took the lead just 1:31 into the game as Aleksi Saarela spied Andrew Poturalski flying down the right side and fed him for a quick blast. The Checkers pushed it to 2-0 at 8:25 of the second when Morgan Geekie intercepted a clearing attempt and knocked it home from point-blank range.
Macek gave the Wolves a boost with 25 seconds left in the second period when his leg redirected Tomas Hyka’s one-timer from the slot.
The Wolves peppered Nedeljkovic early in the third period in search of the equalizer, but defenseman Trevor Carrick gave Charlotte some breathing room with a goal at 6:15.
Thompson pulled Dansk with 3:16 left and the Wolves needed just 10 seconds to take advantage of the extra attacker as Quinney scored.
Dansk was pulled again, but Poturalski fired home an empty-netter with 1:47 to play. Dansk was removed again and Glass scored with 38.1 seconds to go to cut the margin to 4-3. Dansk came out a fourth time, but Zach Nastasiuk clinched it with an empty-netter with 16 seconds to go.
The Wolves will host their 2019-20 opener in early October at Allstate Arena. To get the best prices and benefits on season tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com
or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
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Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.
Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News
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