Winning Wolves face Manitoba

The 3-1 Chicago Wolves victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Friday sets the stage for the Wolves return to the Allstate Arena on Tuesday. The Manitoba Moose face the Wolves in the first inter-divisional game of the season.

The Moose are old foes of the Wolves from the days of the International Hockey League and one of the six surviving IHL teams to gain membership in the American Hockey League.

The Moose have their third coach in as many years. Now headed by Scott Arniel, the former assistant coach to the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres, one of the small market teams of the NHL, received the Jack Adams trophy for head coach Lindy Ruffs work last year. Arniel played with the Moose from 1996 – 99, the final two years as captain.

Three of the teams top five scorers from last season return, Jesse Schultz with 67 points, Lee Goren with 41 points and Jason Jaffray with 47 points. They are joined by fan favorite Rick Rypien and former Moose Brandon Reid and Tyler Bouck. Brad Moran is returning from the Swiss league after a shoulder injury last season. Nathan Smith, a first round NHL draft choice in 2000 suffered from injuries last season.

Maxime Fortunus, Prestin Ryan and Nathan McIver return for their second campaign in Manitoba. And a former ECHL captain, Reagon Rome, will bolster the defense.

The nets are being held by former Grand Rapid Griffins Drew MacIntyre and Julien Ellis. Wade Flaherty is carried on the roster although he is also considered a backup goalie for the Canucks Roberto Luongo, behind Dany Sabourin. Together this is one tough set of goalies.

The Wolves will take the ice fresh from their 6-1 stampede of the San Antonio Rampage last week.

The win was the third on the road for the Wolves, but the team has struggled at home.

Fred Brathwaite did a great job between the pipes for the Wolves, putting aside 25 of 26 Rampage shots on goal. In addition, the line of Darren Haydar and Steve Martins was on the ice for three of the Chicago goals, with another goal by Haydar on a line with Derek MacKenzie, Kevin Doell, Nathan Oystrick and Jimmy Sharrow.

Haydar and Jason Krog are currently number two and four in the AHL for top scorers with nine points each. The two Wolves previously played together on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats for one season, 1998-99.