TORONTO — The Chicago Wolves’ quest for the 2014 Calder Cup came to a close Friday night at Ricoh Coliseum as the Toronto Marlies blanked the Wolves 4-0 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Forwards Greg McKegg, Carter Ashton and Peter Holland and defenseman Korbinian Holzer scored for the Marlies, who handed the Wolves their first postseason sweep since the 2005 Calder Cup Finals. Chicago outshot Toronto for the fourth game in a row, but couldn’t translate that advantage into goals and an extension of the franchise’s 20th season.
“We didn’t have the lead once in the whole series,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “That’s it in a nutshell. We looked nervous at the start again tonight. We had that feeling in the very first game and this game, too. They just took advantage of our mistakes.”
Toronto opened the scoring for the fourth game in a row on McKegg’s goal at 7:51 of the first period. After a Wolves flurry at the other end was rebuffed by goaltender Drew MacIntyre, the Marlies triggered a rush the other way. McKegg carried the puck into the Wolves zone and snapped a shot past goaltender Jake Allen’s blocker.
The Marlies pushed their lead to 2-0 at 2:46 of the second period when Ashton took aim from the outside of the right circle and ripped a slap shot over Allen’s glove.
Toronto’s lead became 3-0 at 7:09 of the third period on Holland’s breakaway goal. A Wolves defenseman pinched in front of the team’s bench in an attempt to keep the puck in the neutral zone, but Sam Carrick claimed possession and found Holland rushing across the blue line for the scoring chance.
Anderson pulled Allen with nearly four minutes to go to get an extra skater on the ice for the Wolves, but Holzer added an empty-net goal with 4.7 seconds remaining to close out the series.
Allen (3-6) rejected 25 of 28 shots while MacIntyre (7-0) posted 30 saves for his second shutout of the postseason.