Ladies, sickness if you’re like me, getting to a playoff game or two is essential, but with Blackhawks playoff tickets so out of reach, what’s a gal to do? Why not check out the AHL Calder Cup playoffs? Our hometown team, the Chicago Wolves, defeated the Rochester Americans in Round 1 to move on to Round 2 against the Toronto Marlies (the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate). The best of seven series begins tonight (Friday, May 9th) at home, the Allstate Arena, at 7:30pm.
What You Need To Know:
The Wolves earned 100 points during the regular season, finishing second in the AHL’s Western Conference. The Marlies were third with 96 points. The Wolves have the number one goalie in the league, Jake Allen, who has a 2.03 GAA and a .928 save percentage. The Marlies have T.J. Brennan, the number four goal scorer in the AHL, with 25 goals during the regular season.
In Round 1, the Wolves battled through 5 games against the Rochester Americans to get through to Round 2. Despite a shutout Game 3, Chicago lost Game 4, but rallied for Game 5. The Marlies swept the Milwaukee Admirals in only 3 games. The Wolves seem to be the “comeback kids”, having come from behind in a number of games during the regular season and battling back to win Round 1. The Marlies won 45 of their 76 regular season games, one of which was against the Wolves. These two teams are pretty evenly matched, which I believe will make this second round series a very exciting one.
Players to Watch:
Chicago Wolves: First and foremost, I must mention goaltender Jake Allen. As I previously stated, he’s the number one goalie in the AHL but its more than that. There’s just something about Jake in net that’s very impressive. Check out some of his highlights with the Wolves’ NHL affiliate, the St.Louis Blues:
The Toronto Marlies, also as previously stated, have the AHL’s number four goal scorer in T.J. Brennan. The 25 year old New Jersey native has 25 goals, 47 assists, and 72 points in the regular season; 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points in the playoffs. The Marlies’ goalie is Drew MacIntyre, who earned himself a 2.53 GAA and a .917 save percentage during the regular season.
Having been at Games 3 and 4 of Round 1, I know just how fun and exciting they are. My bestie and I sat on the glass for Game 3 at just $50 a piece; ya can’t beat that! Each game begins with Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart”, fireworks, and pyrotechnics. Skates, the Wolves’ mascot, even shoots fireworks from his paws! Game 3 was extra exciting considering it was a shutout. Even though the Wolves lost Game 4, it was still just as fun and I got to experience the family friendly vibe, having taken my friend and her two young boys. The boys even got to meet Skates and some of the Wolves‘ players, which made their night! Wanna get in on the action? Round 2 begins Friday night, grab some tickets here. Game 2 continues at home on Saturday (tickets here). Catch Games 3 and 4 are in Toronto but you can catch them on The U Too on Wednesday May 14 and Friday May 16. Complete Western Conference Semis schedule is below. See you at AllState!