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Goalie Joe Cannata struggles as Wolves fall to Rivermen

Updated: March 4, 2013 6:56AM

While starting in place of injured Matt Climie, rookie goalie Joe Cannata has been better than anyone in the Wolves’ organization could have predicted.

But playing in back-to-back games for the first time in his professional career, Cannata showed signs of fatigue as the Wolves lost 5-3 to the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.

Cannata realizes he needs to get acclimated to an AHL schedule that has most of its games on weekends.

“It’s part of the mental preparation of trying to catch on here, and it’s things I’m going to learn from,” Cannata said. “One mistake, and it ends up in the back of the net. I’m going to learn from it and not hang my head.”

The feeling in the Wolves’ locker room was that Cannata’s performance was an aberration. In Friday night’s 5-2 victory in Milwaukee, Cannata recorded a career-high 40 saves, which likely was a factor in his woes Saturday.

Center Adam Cracknell bested Cannata first at 16:13. Cracknell then assisted on a short-handed goal by center Brett Sonne at 3:00 in the second period. The Rivermen (20-19-3-2) extended their lead to 3-0 at 5:19 in the second on a goal by left wing Chris Porter.

The Wolves (21-15-3-2) found a spark midway through the second when left wing Eric Kattelus scored on a power play at 10:00. Andrew Gordon brought the Wolves to within one at 9:11 in the third, and Anton Rodin tied it at 3 seven minutes later.

But Rivermen defenseman Mark Cundari notched the game-winner on a power play at 19:01, set up by a holding penalty on Darren Archibald at 18:30. Evgeny Grachev added an empty-netter at 19:48 of the third.

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