Nineteen-year-old right wing Nicklas Jensen delivered a hat trick in his sixth professional game, and 22-year-old goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 38 shots in his professional debut as the Wolves defeated the Peoria Rivermen 4-2 in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest before 11,535 at Allstate Arena.
The Wolves (42-27-4-3), who rested several top performers with the Midwest Division title in hand, turn their attention to the 2012 Calder Cup chase — the team’s 15th playoff berth in their 18-year history.
The third-seeded Wolves open the Western Conference quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday at sixth-seeded San Antonio. The Wolves’ first home playoff appearance will be Game 3 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24.
“It was good to close out the season with a win in front of our crowd tonight,” said Wolves coach Craig MacTavish. “Even though the game meant nothing in the standings, I was glad to get some momentum going into the playoffs.”
On Jensen’s first goal at 9:29 of the first period, Kevin Doell and rookie defenseman Frank Corrado earned assists — with Corrado registering his first professional point.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.