ROSEMONT — Matt Climie posted 18 saves to guide the Chicago Wolves to a 4-0 victory over Lake Erie in a Midwest Division clash Friday night at Allstate Arena.
Forwards Yannick Veilleux, Ty Rattie, Rob Bordson, and Pat Cannone delivered goals for the Wolves (2-0-1-0) while Climie earned his eighth career shutout in a Chicago uniform. He shares second place on the team’s career shutouts list with Kari Lehtonen and holds third all-time in wins with 57.
The Wolves have allowed just 49 shots in their first three games, which represent the fewest over a three-game stretch in the franchise’s 21-season history. The previous mark of 54 was set from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 1997.
“It’s a little bit puck possession,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “We’re trying not to let them have it, but we blocked some shots, too. I know it was a 4-0 score, but I thought the game was closer than that. That team came hard and they pressured us everywhere, so we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game (Saturday).”
The Wolves opened the scoring at 3:45 of the first period as defenseman Petteri Lindbohm carried the puck out of the defensive zone and fed center Colin Fraser near the blue line. Fraser spied Veilleux sneaking down the slot between the defensemen and Veilleux fired the puck past Lake Erie goaltender Roman Will’s glove.
Chicago boosted its lead to 2-0 at 9:37 of the second on Rattie’s first goal of the season, which doubled as the team’s first power-play tally. Rattie rifled a shot from the slot that flew wide right and slammed off the glass. Jaskin tracked it down behind the net, found Rattie diving into the low slot, and led him into a well-placed one-timer.
The Wolves moved the margin to 3-0 at 11:44 of the third on Bordson’s first goal with the Wolves. Rattie started the pressure as he ripped a puck at Will from below the right circle and dove toward the crease for the rebound. The puck came free just beyond the right post and Bordson flipped it home.
Chicago added an insurance goal with 1:11 to play as Veilleux fired a diagonal pass from the defensive zone that Cody Beach tipped to Cannone at the blue line. Cannone drove to the net and used a nifty move to earn his first goal of the season.
Climie (2-0-0) notched his first shutout since April 6, 2013. Will (0-1-0) registered 27 saves in his American Hockey League debut for the Monsters (1-2-0-0).
The Wolves and Monsters meet again on Breast Cancer Awareness Night, presented by Northwest Community Healthcare, at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allstate Arena.
— Chicago Wolves