Chicago Wolves Calder Cup AHL Championship Springfield Thunderbirds

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The Calder Cup has been awarded again, and the Chicago Wolves are back on top of the American Hockey League.

The Wolves secured their first Calder Cup championship since 2008 and their third overall tonight with a 4-0 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center, winning the Calder Cup Finals four games to one.

Wolves forward Josh Leivo won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs after finishing with 15 goals and 14 assists for 29 points in 18 games, the highest point total by any player in the Calder Cup Playoffs in the last 14 years.

Alex Lyon made 28 saves in Game 5 for his second shutout of the postseason. After losing Game 1 of the Finals, the Wolves won four in a row, outscoring the Thunderbirds by a combined score of 18-4. They became the third team to win a Calder Cup as the top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes organization, following the Charlotte Checkers in 2019 and the Springfield Indians in 1991.

When AHL President and CEO Scott Howson presented the Calder Cup to Wolves captain Andrew Poturalski, it marked the first time in three years that the trophy had been awarded after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellations of the 2020 and 2021 playoffs.

Chicago went 14-4 during the postseason after a league-best 50-win, 110-point regular season. Under head coach Ryan Warsofsky, at 34 the youngest coach to win the Calder Cup since Peter Laviolette in 1999, the Wolves defeated the Rockford IceHogs (3-0), the Milwaukee Admirals (3-1) and the Stockton Heat (4-2) before eliminating Springfield in five games in the Finals.

Chicago’s victory brings an end to the AHL’s 86th season. In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

Leave a Comment