Chicago Wolves


Round 2 of the Calder Cup playoffs isn’t going so well for the Chicago Wolves. They’re currently down two games against the Toronto Marlies.  The Wolves began their Round 2 run Friday night with a 5-2 loss at home.  Unfortunately they suffered a second loss, site 4-2, Saturday night also at home.  The series now moves to Toronto and the Ricoh Coliseum.

marlieslive_rd2game2_preview644x396-1Chicago will look to rally Wednesday night in Toronto.  A win gives them a chance to stay in the series and ultimately the playoffs.  A third loss puts them in a very bad position in this best of 7 series. Keep in mind Toronto swept the Milwaukee Admirals in the first round of the playoffs so they’ll be looking to repeat that performance in Round 2.

So what do the Wolves need to keep themselves in the run for the Calder Cup?  Now I don’t claim to know everything about hockey (shocking, I know!), but I can speculate. To me, the Wolves looked tired Saturday night.  Their game lacked focus and energy. If they can take the next few days off to re-focus and re-energize, they stand a good chance of keeping themselves in the playoffs.  The team certainly has the talent.

Wolves fans not looking to make a last minute trip to Canada can catch the game at 6pm on The U too, XFinity 248 or on Wednesday night.  These will be your options through most of the rest of Round 2, unless it goes to Game 7 which will be back on home ice Monday May 19.article_9b3e17a0-bc49-4fd6-b3ff-a5e2ebcafb10


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 brennan_leafs.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxnumber 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:

images (3)Chicago also has right-winger Ty Rattie, their points leader for the regular season; 31 goals, 17 assists, 48 points.  He has 1 goal, 1 assist, and 2 points in the playoffs.

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 download (4)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.

What’s Next:

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!

Wolves Playoff Schedule




We’ve had back-to-back opportunities to hang with members of the Chicago Wolves, ask at both the Brews and Bites event, and just last week at their wine tasting charity event. After meeting many of these humble, talented hotties, it was difficult to pick just one for our HAM of the Week. But after serious consideration, Christian Hanson nabs the title.

The opportunity to talk vino and hockey with our HAM of the Week was just as you could imagine—SDI’s Sharon Steed said he was the most engaging player at the wine tasting (and said he had an amazingly delicious Mark West Pinot Noir at his station), and based on this 2010 interview, we couldn’t agree about his charismatic appeal more:

But beyond his gorgeous brown “flow” and deep brown eyes, (two qualities this HAM hunter is a deep sucker for!) what else is there to know about the 28-year-old center?

Well for one, he’s sort of hockey royalty. Ask any loyal hockey fan if they’ve seen the movie Slapshot and remember the Hanson brothers—his father, Dave Hanson, played the role of “Jack Hanson”, and the character of “Killer Carlson” is based on him.

As you can see, flow runs in the family…


The 6’4”, 228 lbs. the Venetia, Pennsylvania native began his hockey career as a member of his high school team, where he helped lead them to the Double-A State Championship. He also played for the Tri-City Storm in the U.S. Hockey League for two seasons before taking his career to the University of Notre Dame. Hanson played all four years for the FIghting Irish, and although he was not selected in the 2008 NHL Draft, he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs the following year.

Christian Hanson,

Christian Hanson,

Hanson played for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, in addition to call-ups from the Maple Leafs, for the next three seasons before being drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2011. He played for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears for one season and the Boston Bruins’ affiliate, the Providence Bruins the following season.

In August 2013, Hanson signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent. In his first full season with the Wolves, he’s had four goals and ten assists in 51 games, but it’s his off-the-ice antics that really have our hearts melting.

Hanson has been verbal about his peanut allergy, even so far as having the team hosting two peanut-free games this season—one back in October and the other at yesterday’s match versus Lake Erie.

He’s an avid movie buff, having been to the Cannes Film Festival, and we’re guessing he was thrilled with the results of awards season this year. Think we’ll get him to talk about the red carpet or a “flow-off” with Jared Leto?

He’s funny, devoted to his fans, and did we mention he’s really, ridiculously good-looking and VERY single?

Follow Christian Hanson on Twitter at @Hanson20er and Instagram at @Christianhanson20.



Listen up, unhealthy ladies: Chicago’s two hockey teams, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Wolves, will host back-to-back blood drives over the next week in collaboration with LifeSource, Chicagoland’s largest blood center. We ladies are in high demand for blood donation, and all of us here at SDI are asking for you to get out donate, and save lives.

There is no substitute for human blood and after a harsh winter that kept many donors indoors, female donors are needed more than ever. Women are more likely to be turned away as donors due to low iron levels, making it necessary that we show up in larger numbers than our male counterparts. Just one donation can save up to three lives and LifeSource must see 1000 donors EACH DAY to ensure an adequate blood suppy for area patients in need of transfusions in the hospitals they serve.

If that wasn’t motivation enough, the fact that LifeSource has teamed up with the Blackhawks and the Wolves should get you moving.

Blackhawks Drive:  Saturday, March 22

Chose between two suburban donation locations: Rosemont and Oak Brook between 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Westin Hotel O’Hare

6100 N. River Rd.

Rosemont, IL  60018


Doubletree Hotel

1909 Spring Rd.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

While no players will be present for this specific drive, as they have in the past, Tommy Hawk will be there and donors will have the opportunity to win a pair of Blackhawks playoff tickets, autographed Blackhawks jerseys, sticks and tickets to a regular-season game! Make your appointment TODAY by signing up HERE.

Chicago Wolves Blood Drive

Wolves Drive: Tuesday, March 25

The Wolves drive will be conveniently hosted at the Allstate Arena in the Skyline Room from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Wolves players will be present and VIP team locker room tours will be given to all donors. Donors will also have the chance to enter to win one of 60 tickets to upcoming Wolves games in April.

To schedule an appointment for the Wolves drive, click HERE.

For more information on the donor process and blood donation in general, visit LifeSource’s homepage.

Remember, it only takes an hour of your life to save up to three lives. Nothing feels better than giving back to those in need.  Grab your friends and go donate.

Jake Allen, <a href=

rx Sharon Steed, Angelique Robinson, ” src=”×768.jpg” width=”467″ height=”350″ /> Jake Allen, Sharon Steed, Angelique Robinson, Adam Cracknell

Full disclosure: I don’t know anything about hockey. Ok, that’s a lie. I know that the players skate around a rink with the goal of using their sticks to get the puck into the net. And when they do, it’s really exciting. So it’s basically like football but indoors and with fighting. You know, kind of.

So when I was assigned to cover a Chicago Wolves charity fundraiser, I was a little concerned. But since I’m up for just about anything that involves sports, I thought: why not? Then I got a little worried. Would I have to ask the players questions about hockey?? Would they expect me to know something about the current standings in the AHL? I was pretty sure I was going to have to cram in a ton of AHL hockey intel prior to the event so I wouldn’t walk in there looking lost, confused, and like a total puck bunny on a mission without a clue.

Chicago Wolves 2014 Wine Tasting

Luckily, the event ended up being a wine tasting which meant that all I really needed to know was how to drink wine. I’m basically a professional at doing that (and so was my lovely date, my cousin Angelique), so I felt confident that I would succeed.

The annual event is hosted by the Wolves to raise money for the Chicago Wolves Charities and open to the public. Six players had their own personal wine tasting stations. We were given a tasting sheet that each player signed after we tasted their wine. After we visited each table, we were allowed to go back to our favorite one and get a full glass. The players were also gracious enough to sign autographs for fans; people brought jerseys, posters, books, t-shirts and everything else under the sun.

Taylor Chorney and Sharon Steed

Taylor Chorney and Sharon Steed

But before we did any of that, we were offered a glass of champagne (to clear our palates, obviously). We drank our champs (pronounced shamps) and grabbed a few appetizers. I had the bruschetta and four-cheese stuffed ravioli with marinara sauce. My cousin had the same and some cheese and crackers. The food was good, the champs was great and we were ready to do our favorite thing: drink wine.

My cousin and I started with the reds, and our first stop was Christian Hanson’s table. He had a Mark West Pinot Noir that was delicious. Next up was goalie Jake Allen’s El Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon. I love me a good Cab, so I was pretty pumped to taste this one. And lucky for me, Jake was very generous with his wine. Then we headed to team captain Taylor Chorney’s table where he had Los Cardos Malbec. Hands down – best wine of the night.

The whites were next on the menu, and they didn’t disappoint. Alex Bolduc’s Bogle Sauvignon Blanc was pretty delicious, as was Pat Cannone’s Gazela Vihno Verdo. But the best of this flight was definitely Adam Cracknell’s Stella Pinot Grigio.

Duck faces with Adam Cracknel

Duck faces with Adam Cracknel

Not because it tasted great but because Adam by far the most entertaining of the crew, which is saying a lot because all of the guys could not have been nicer or more down to earth. We really bonded over the important things in life like Juicy J, selfies and being black.

Now time for the superlatives, because who doesn’t want to relive high school?

Best pour: Jake Allen (there’s a reason why he ran out of his wine first)

Most engaging: Christian Hanson. He interviewed me for Wolves TV and was a natural. Watch out, Al Michaels.

Best selfie game: Alex Bolduc. Guys. He wasn’t even trying.

Alex Bolduc selfie

Alex Bolduc selfie

Best dressed: Taylor Chorney. And you know what? He gets best smile as well. Good looking guy, that one. And as nice as can be.

Most likely to be in a Drake video: Adam Cracknell

Biggest disappointment: That none of them are on Tinder. Really, guys. It’s awesome and you can make new friends. Of “friends.” Whatever. No judgement.

Most knowledgeable about his wine: Pat Cannone. Seriously, this dude knew his vino.

Biggest ladies man: Assistant coach Dave Allison. Within five minutes of us walking in the door, he offered my cousin and I game tickets. No really.

Drunkest: Me. Because wine. Duh.

Sharon Steed and Assistant Coach Dave Allison

Sharon Steed and Assistant Coach Dave Allison

In the end, we had a great time. The players were absolutely delightful, the Wolves staff were all more than accomodating and assistant coach Dave wasted no time making us feel right at home. The best part? The event raised over $12,000 for Chicago Wolves charities. It doesn’t really get better than drinking wine for others. Cheers to being great humanitarians!

Chicago Wolves 2014 Wine Tasting

Chicago Wolves Wine Tasting

It’s not very often a team hosts a fundraiser that was made with us winos ladies in mind. As much as we love our sports, sildenafil we’re equally as passionate about wine, viagra so when the two come together, it is a match made in SDI heaven.

The Chicago Wolves are back in the fundraising mood (something they are incredibly good at) just a few weeks after their successful Brews & Bites Fundraiser, that we had the pleasure of attending (read our full review here). This time, our favorite ‘other’ Chicago hockey team is taking it up a notch and targeting us ladies with a wine tasting inspired fundraiser at Harry Caray’s Steakhouse in Rosemont on Thursday, March 13 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm CT.

Similar to the successful Brews & Bites event, the Wine Tasting will feature several Wolves players situated at different wine tasting stations, allowing fans ample time to meet and mingle with the guys while sampling a variety of wines. Currently scheduled to appear are Pat Cannone, Adam Cracknell, Kieth Aucoin, Christian Hanson, Jake Allen, Alex Bolduc, and Assistant Coaches Scott Allen and Dave Allison.

Wine tasting and Wolves? Yes, please.

Wine tasting and Wolves? Yes, please. Source:

Tickets are $55.00 (purchase here) and also includes raffle prizes, an affordable silent auction, heavy appetizers, and a Wolves wine glass.  The fact that a handful of incredibly worthy local charities, all part of the Chicago Wolves Charities, will benefit from our consumption and canoodling, makes this a no-brainer in our book.

If you dig hockey, and the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal in public places (lit rooms) with humble and handsome hockey players, (something that is incredibly difficult to do with the Blackhawks) then there is no better opportunity than at this Wine Tasting event. So round up your posse, pick the designated driver – or better yet – call Uber – and make your way out to Rosemont next Thursday night for a night of wine and Wolves.  We’ll see you there.

back to top