ROSEMONT, Ill.---The Chicago Wolves scored first and never fell behind, collecting an eventual 4-2 victory over the Peoria Rivermen before 10,528 fans at the Allstate Arena Saturday night.
Forwards Mike Davies, Andre Deveaux and Nigel Dawes and defenseman Andrey Zubarev scored for Chicago (26-22-2-4), while goaltender Drew MacIntyre shut the door the rest of the way, kicking out 24 of 26 shots he faced.
“They are a big, strong team that plays a physical, defensive style and we did a heck of a job against them,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “They were tired and we took advantage of it, but Drew battled and we played well in front of him.”
Davies put the Wolves on top early with his eighth goal of the season, 3:59 into the game. Center Jason Krog drove into the zone, pulled up and slipped a pass across to defenseman Jamie Sifers, who wound up and cranked a long shot that Davies deflected past Peoria goaltender Jake Allen in front of the net.
Dave Spina brought Peoria (29-18-2-2) even, 10:12 into the first frame when his shot from the blueline bounced off MacIntyre’s pads and between his legs into the net.
Chicago pulled ahead, 2-1, 5:41 into the second period with defenseman Andrey Zubarev’s first AHL goal. Center Jared Ross slipped a pass to Dawes, who took a shot that rebounded out to Zubarev near the blueline, where he wound up and pounded it past Allen.
The Wolves made the lead two, 3-1, 3:30 into the third period when Deveaux got his stick on Sifers’ shot from the blueline and knocked it out of the air and past Allen.
Dawes scored to make Chicago’s lead 4-1 when he sprung out on a breakaway and clapped a shot past Allen from the left face-off circle at 5:06 of the third period.
Allen (16-9-1) turned aside 30 shots for the Rivermen.
Defenseman Nathan Oystrick scored at 12:30 of the third period to bring the Rivermen within two, 4-2, when he flung a shot from the right face-off circle that clanked off the post and past MacIntyre (9-5-1).
The Wolves will host the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Peoria 1 0 1 -- 2
Chicago 1 1 2 -- 4
First Period---1, Chicago, Davies 8 (Sifers, Krog), 3:59; 2, Peoria, Spina 8 (Della Rovere, Nigro), 10:12. Penalties---Valabik, Chicago (boarding), 4:56; Porter, Peoria (hooking), 12:35; Zubarev, Chicago (holding), 14:32; Haydar, Chicago (interference), 19:24.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Zubarev 1 (Dawes, Ross) 5:41. Penalties---Cracknell, Peoria (tripping), 3:36.
Third Period---4, Chicago, Deveaux 16 (Sifers), 3:30; 5, Chicago, Dawes 23 (Krog, Esposito), 5:06; 6, Peoria, Oystrick 11 (Hensick, Porter), 12:30. Penalties---Reaves, Peoria (slashing), 5:06; Valabik, Chicago (roughing), 5:06; Spina, Peoria (roughing), 7:49; Evans, Peoria (roughing), 7:49; Valabik, Chicago (double-minor roughing), 7:49.
Shots on goal---Peoria: 8-10-8--26. Chicago: 10-13-11--34. Power plays---Peoria: 0-3. Chicago: 0-2. Goalies---Peoria, Allen (30-34). Chicago, MacIntyre (24-26). A---10,528. Referee---Ian Croft. Linesmen---Brian Oliver and Mike Hamilton.