ROSEMONT, Ill. (CBS) — In a game dominated by rookies, the Chicago Wolves beat the Peoria Rivermen in their regular season finale Sunday.
Wolves right wing Nicklas Jensen, 19, delivered a hat trick in his sixth pro game, while goaltender Joe Cannata, 22, stopped 38 shots in his professional debut as the Wolves beat the Rivermen 4-2 at the Allstate Arena.
Jensen zipped out of the penalty box and scored 9 minutes and 29 seconds into the first period. He received the puck in the left circle and skated toward the middle to flip a backhander past Peoria goaltender Jordan Binnington, the Wolves said.
Kevin Doell and Frank Corrado earned assist on the ply.
Jensen scored again 13 minutes and 53 seconds into the second period, as the Wolves were just getting started on the power play. Mark Mancari’s slapshot from the point ricocheted to Jensen, who easily scored, the Wolves said.
Tim Miller added an unassisted goal at 3:13 in the third period.
Cade Fairchild scored a power play goal for Peoria, and Adam Cracknell narrowed the score to 3-2 with 6:21 to play. But Jensen scored the winning goal on his hat trick on an empty goal net, with 37.6 seconds left.
The Wolves now go to the playoffs. They open the Western Conference Quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday against sixth-seeded San Antonio.