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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Chicago Wolves v. Iowa Stars 12.16

The Iowa Stars enter the Friday night game against the Wolves leading the Chicagoans by two points in the standings, but just barely doing better than the home town favorites in percentage of games won. Overall, we should catch them as we play more games. Iowa has dropped 3 of its last four, only defeating the Wolves in a shootout in Des Moines last week.

Questions are being raised about whether the Iowa franchise will remain in Des Moines, but team officials assured the Des Moines Register recently that they plan to stay. Mike Ellis and Dan Smith man the pipes with Smith ranked 7th among AHL goalies with a 91.5 percent save ratio and a 2.5 GAA. Ellis is ranked 20th with a 90.9 percent save ratio and a 2.89 GAA. Smith has notched two shutouts this season so far.

The Stars have one of the worst power plays, scoring on just 11.8 percent of their chances at home, 12.9 percent overall. The PK also needs some work as it is working just 81.5 percent of the time, 82.2 percent at home.

However, that shootout win was no accident. They’ve had four chances and have taken home the brass ring three times. The Wolves, in comparison are particularly weak on shootouts, having taken only one of their four.

The usual goons are still among the top penalty earners in the league: Garrett Burnett has 104 Pims, but sadly his talents were deemed… well, he was sent down. Zack Stortini has 101 Penalty minutes however, and we can look forward to his goonery tomorrow night. The most likely match-ups if the gloves drop appear to be Stortini and B J Crombeen from the Stars. They might face who? Abid perhaps, and Lessard.


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