Golden Knights recall Nicolas Hague, Garret Sparks after Wolves’ victory
Hague’s brief reunion with his AHL team came to an end just hours after the Wolves beat the Stars.
Golden Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague received the news shortly after he finished his pregame meal before the team’s game Tuesday against the Blackhawks.
‘‘They basically said they’re going to leave me in Chicago,’’ Hague said after the Wolves’ 3-2 matinee victory Wednesday against the Stars at Allstate Arena.
Hague — who, at 20, is one of the Knights’ brightest defensive prospects — played all of last season with the Wolves, notching 13 goals and 19 assists and finishing plus-31. But he broke camp this season with the Knights and made his NHL debut Oct. 4.
After being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games, Hague’s reassignment to the Wolves made sense. He wasn’t playing, and the Knights wanted him to get some ice time. He sat in the stands and watched the Knights beat the Hawks 2-1 in a shootout before taking a ride to Rosemont.
Despite the short turnaround, Hague played for the Wolves on Wednesday.
‘‘I don’t want to say it’s nice to be here,’’ Hague said. ‘‘But it’s nice to see the guys and nice to get a win today.’’
Hague’s brief reunion with the Wolves came to an end hours after the game, when he was recalled by the Knights. And Hague didn’t go alone. The Knights also recalled goalie Garret Sparks, who had his best outing of the season Wednesday, and assigned goalie Oscar Dansk to the Wolves.
While Hague was fairly quiet in his return to Allstate Arena, Sparks made several huge saves to help the Wolves win. He stopped 39 of 41 shots overall.
‘‘It was unreal,’’ Hague said of Sparks, who had a 2.15 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage with the Wolves this season. ‘‘He was a rock back there. We were saying in the third [period] that we didn’t want to sit back. We wanted to tighten up defensively, wanted to clear the front of the net. But we know if he sees the puck, the ones he saw today, he was going to stop, so it’s a confidence-builder having him back there.’’
The Wolves played shoddy defense and were outshot 41-24.
‘‘We gave them the shots, the chances off the wall,’’ said center Gage Quinney, who scored two goals. ‘‘We didn’t get them out, and when you play fast, skilled teams, they make you pay. Luckily, [Sparks] was on.’’
Seven games into the season, coach Rocky Thompson called the Wolves a ‘‘work in progress,’’ especially on defense.
‘‘We’re a young team,’’ he said. ‘‘Defense is one of the last skills that you learn. We’ve been cognizant of it, and we’ve been working a lot on fundamental stuff and a lot of one-on-one stuff.’’
Despite the mistakes, Thompson thought the game Wednesday was a step forward.
“Even though we were making misplays with the puck, we were on the right side of it and weren’t giving up a ton of Grade A opportunities from in front of the net come the third period, so that’s good,’’ he said.