Wolf Prowl - March 25th, 2012

Patrick Johnston
March 25 2012 01:14PM


Eddie Lack and his teammates are standing tall.
(Photo: Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)

A good week for the Wolves, featuring solid-as-ever goaltending and signs of improved defensive work.

Read on for more after the jump!

Weekly Wrap

Four close games since last Saturday brought 3 wins and a loss. The Wolves had a Great Lakes-themed road trip to start the week, a game in Toronto against the Marlies bracketed by two games in Cleveland to play Lake Erie. They hosted Hamilton last night in Chicago.

Last Saturday's game against Lake Erie resulted in a very misleading 1-0 win for the Wolves. Matt Climie's shutout was solid, but even more jmpressive was the Wolves' offensive dominance. They fired 42 shots (more than twice the number Climie faced) at the Monsters' goal. Steve Reinprecht was the only one who managed to beat Lake Erie goalie Cedrick Desjardins, scoring shorthanded in the 2nd period.

The second game of the trip was the next day in Toronto, knocking off the Marlies 3-2. (Be sure to click through, our own Thomas Drance covered the game for the Province.) The kid line seems to have found their groove again, with Bill Sweatt and Mike Davies both bagging goals. Kevin Connauton scored his first goal in a month. Eddie Lack took the win.

Thursday, it was back to Lake Erie. In another 3-2 win, the kid line struck again, Jordan Schroeder scoring this time out. Andrew Gordon scored and Darren Haydar's first in five games was the winner. Gordon and Schroeder both scored on the powerplay, while Haydar got the unconventional empty-net game-winner (Lake Erie actually scored their second goal after Haydar's goal). Matt Climie was back in net for the win.

Last night, the Wolves returned home, but couldn't find the extra gear to overcome Hamilton. losing 3-2. Eddie Lack was his usual quality self and Tim Miller and Mike Duco found the net. The powerplay went 0-for-6.

Standouts

As mentioned the kid line is back in gear. Though they didn't score against Hamilton, they still combined for a dozen shots on net (including 6 for Sweatt).

Brad Hunt, on an amateur tryout contract after an outstandin college career, picked up his first two AHL assists on Thursday.

As a unit, the defence looks far more sound. The Wolves have gone five straight games giving up 30 shots or fewer, a nice change from most of the year when shot totals in the 30-plus range have been all-too-regular.

Lowlights

Both Mark Mancari and Anton Rodin, despite shooting plenty, went pointless over the past week.

Lineup Notes

Not much movement in the roster, things have been pretty steady since the trade deadline. The Canucks announced that with Joe Cannata's college season now over, he has signed with the team and will join the Wolves for the rest of the season. He's spending a few days in Vancouver before meeting up with the Crimson and Gold in Abbotsford at the end of the week.

Andrew Gordon picked up a leg injury on Thursday and was a scratch on Saturday. Stefan Schneider drew in to the lineup as Gordon's replacement.

Last Saturday, Eddie Lack was sricken with the flu, so the team signed B.J. O'Brien to a Professional Tryout for the day. He served as Climie's back up.

Before Sunday's game, Mark Matheson will be recognized with the team's Unsung Hero award for his work in the community.

The Hunting Ahead

The Wolves host Houston today at the Allstate Arena and then head to Abbotsford for a two game set on Thursday and Friday.

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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