The Ads have had a rough week in terms of match ups. In back-to-back days they faced the two best teams in the Western Conference with the Abbotsford Heat and Grand Rapids Griffins. The first game resulted in an overtime loss where the Ads held a two goal lead heading into the third period. After last night’s game in Grand Rapids… it is hard to do anything other than look ahead to Friday night’s meeting with the Chicago Wolves.
The Wolves enter Friday night’s game with a record of 9-6-0-1 good for 19 points. They sit just a point behind the Admirals in the Midwest division and continue to produce similar numbers to the Ads. Let me show you what I mean.
GP: 16 (equal)
Record: 8-4-3-1 (Ads), 9-6-0-1 (Wolves)
Points: 20 (Ads), 19 (Wolves)
GF: 44 (Ads), 43 (Wolves)
GA: 46 (Ads), 43 (Wolves)
PIM: 220 (Ads), 221 (Wolves)
Top Scorer: Colton Sissons (7 G, 6A, 13 pts), Corey Locke (5 G, 8 A, 13 pts)
Silly how things work out sometimes but, on paper, these two reflect a lot of one-another.
So far this season the Amtrak Rivalry sits with the Wolves up two wins in two meetings in Milwaukee. The first game finished 3-2 in OT. The second game finished 4-3. The Ads, coming off of their last two games with top teams in the AHL, are going to be facing yet another hot team in the Wolves Friday night. The Wolves will be walking into the Bradley Center on a five-game winning streak – the last of which was a 4-3 victory over the Griffins.
What can be a factor in this game is that last game for the Wolves. Not so much that they beat a team that dominated the Ads last night. It’s that the last game the Wolves played was last Saturday. That’s a long layoff period for a team to go through. The pro: rest. The con: rust. It’s going to be telling right out of the opening puck drop to see which hits the Wolves more, rest or rust. They’ll either be flying or making mistakes against an Ads team primed to strike back after two rough games.
Who has the edge in this game? Will the Ads bounce back Friday night? How will the long break between games impact the Wolves? Will Magnus Hellberg have a positive response to getting pulled from net in Grand Rapids? Should he even be in net for this one or could Scott Darling see another start?