PEORIA, Ill. — Each of the Chicago Wolves’ last three visits to Peoria have ended in a shutout. This time, it was Chicago’s turn to suffer the whitewash with a 3-0 loss Saturday night in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest at Carver Arena.
Goaltender Matt Climie stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Wolves (30-22-5-4), who lost for the seventh time in 10 games. Saturday’s verdict was the first in those 10 games that wasn’t decided by a one-goal margin.
Peoria (29-29-4-3) opened the scoring with defenseman Brent Regner’s power-play goal at 10:41 of the first period. Regner launched a wrist shot from the right circle next to the boards. Climie (17-19-3) was squared up to meet the challenge, but the puck bounced off his glove into the goal.
The Rivermen pushed their lead to 2-0 at 9:43 of the third period as center T.J. Hensick held the puck below the goal line just to Climie’s left. Adam Cracknell sliced down the slot between two Wolves defenders and scored when Hensick’s pass bounced off a Wolves defender’s stick and Cracknell’s leg into the net.
Nesbitt notched an empty-net goal with 1:04 to play to clinch the game. Peoria goaltender Mike McKenna rejected 33 Wolves shots — including 25 in the final two periods — to pick up his third shutout of the year.
The Wolves return to Allstate Arena at 3 p.m. Sunday for an Amtrak Rivalry contest against Milwaukee that kicks off a four-game Spring Break homestand.
— Chicago Wolves