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Saturday, November 04, 2006

SLAM. Wolves end Omaha streak

The Chicago Wolves are on a roll, they defeated the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, away, in a 3-1 dustup in Omaha. The Knights had entered the game on top of the league, with an eight game win streak. Forwards Darren Haydar and Jason Krog continued their streak of points, now at eleven games this season, while goalie Michael Garnett continued his win streak, making 29 saves.

It is a huge victory for the Wolves, who continue to dominate on the road. The Wolves do not seem to be winning through great defense, indeed, their penalty kill is ranked 12th in the league, at 85.5 percent, and the team is giving up an average of three goals a game. And Michael Garnett, who has stood in for the injured Fred Brathwaite, has turned away a lot of shots, but is still not considered one of the top twenty goalies in the league.

Instead, the credit should go to the other end of the ice where a line of veterans, including Krog, Haydar, Derek MacKenzie and Steve Martins are regularly lighting lamps. Two solid lines, perhaps a third line developing— if the Wolves put together three lines they are going to be very dangerous in the Western Division.

But the weakness is now and has always been defense. Looking over the victory over the Knights, the Wolves took 28 minutes of penalties, much of it by blue liners who either were undisciplined or lacked the ability to cover their assignment. The Wolves enter their twelfth game leading the league in penalty minutes.

The road trip continues tomorrow night with a visit to the Peoria Rivermen. The Rivermen lost their opener against the Wolves. They are 5-4-0-1 so far this year.

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