CHICAGO – They’ve already had the best regular season record in the history of the franchise which was also the best in the American Hockey League for the 2022 season.
Now the Chicago Wolves are taking care of business in the postseason, taking another step closer to ending their 14-year championship drought.
A 3-0 win over Stockton in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday at Allstate Arena clinched a spot for the team in the Calder Cup Finals for the first time since 2019. The affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes will take the ice against the Eastern Conference Final winner, which will be either Springfield or Laval, on Sunday at 7 PM in Rosemont with Game 2 scheduled for Monday at the same time.
They’ll be looking for their fifth title overall, having won two Turner Cups in the IHL (1998, 2000) and two Calder Cups in the AHL (2002, 2008).
After winning the first three games of the series against the Heat, the Wolves dropped two straight in Stockton to force the Game 6 at Allstate Arena. Scoreless through the first two periods, the hosts would dominate the third period with scores from Ivan Lodnia, Andrew Poturalski, and Josh Leivo.
Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov pitched the shutout while making 28 saves to help the Wolves clinch a Western Conference championship.
“It’s incredible,” said Poturalski in a statement released from team . “Every single guy has contributed. It’s just so much fun coming in every day. It doesn’t feel like a job. We all truly love each other in there. We’re excited to be in the spot we’re in, but we know the job’s not done.”
Whether the Wolves face Thunderbirds (Blues affiliate) or Laval (Canadiens Affiliate), it will be their first time doing so during the 2021-2022 season.
This is the second time in four years that the team has made it to the AHL’s championship series, having done so in 2019. Then an affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Wolves lost to the Charlotte Checkers, then the Carolina affiliate, in five games.
Here is the schedule for the Calder Cup Finals against either Springfield or Laval:
Game 1: Sunday, June 19 Allstate Arena 7 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, June 20 Allstate Arena 7 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, June 22 TBA
Game 4: Friday, June 24 TBA
Game 5*: Saturday, June 25 TBA
Game 6*: Tuesday, June 28 Allstate Arena 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, June 29 Allstate Arena 7 p.m.