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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wolves split two with Iowa; Power play still anemic

The Chicago Wolves split a series in Iowa, dropping a game on Friday night 2-1 to the Iowa Chops, and winning a Saturday night game 3-1 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The Friday game was decided by an Iowa power play goal in the third period. The two teams struggled in a stalemate throughout the game. Iowa Chop winger Drew Miller scored the first goal in the first period, but it was answered by Colin Stuart when he received a turnover and scored without an assist.

A lack of discipline on the Chicago side allowed the Chops to enjoy a greater advantage in power plays. That finally paid out in the third period when Bobby Ryan scored in the only third period advantage for either team.

Ondrej Pavelec received the loss, stopping 26 shots on goal. Jean-Phillippe Levasseur received the win with 25 saves. Jordan LaVallee and Stuart had four shots on goal each. The Chicago power play continues to be anemic, it failed on three chances to score in the game.

In the second game of the series, Dan Turple took the goal for the Wolves as Pavelec was called to Atlanta. Although Turple has been around the organization for several years, Chicago fans haven’t seen much of him. Most of his time was spent in the AA level Atlanta farm team, the Gwinnett Gladiators.

Because Pavelec needs rest, we are likely to see Turple play several times this season. Robert Gherson, who backed Pavelec to the Calder Cup last season, will be backing Turple.

Turple stopped 20 shots for the win in his first start of the season. There were six Iowa Power plays; he stopped each of them. Stuart came out with five shots on goal, but it was Riley Hozapfel who was the star for the Wolves. Hozapfel had four shots on goal, a goal and an assist for the evening. Grant Stevenson also scored two points, a goal and an assist. He had three shots on goal for the night. An empty net goal by Joe Motzko secured the win.

There is clearly a problem with the power play at this point. It is just not working. There have been only three power play goals by the Wolves since the season started. While the Wolves Penalty Kill is respectable, I cannot see this team moving far into the playoffs if it doesn’t get traction with the power play.

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