IceHogs Stun Rivermen in Shootout
Opponent: @Rockford IceHogs
Date: March 30, 2012 7:05 p.m.
Score(Home/Away): 4-3** L
Jonathan Cheechoo had a hand in all three Peoria Rivermen goals but the Rockford IceHogs recovered to beat the Rivermen 4-3 shootout on Friday night at BMO Harris Bank Center. Brian Fahey fired home the game-tying goal with 4.1 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and the eventual shootout.
The Rivermen (36-29-2-2, 76 points) picked up a single point and now sit just percentage points back of the Rochester Americans for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The IceHogs took a 1-0 lead at the 9:10 mark of the first period. Rostislav Olesz received an air-born pass from Peter LeBlanc and batted the puck out of mid-air to beat Jake Allen.
Peoria tied the game with Cheechoo’s 22nd goal of the season on the power play. Cheechoo took a shot that Carter Hutton initially stopped with the blocker. After the save, the puck flew into the air, dropped behind Hutton, and rolled past the goal line. Patrick O’Sullivan and Shaun Heshka earned assists on the play.
Olesz scored his second goal of the game on the man advantage to give Rockford a 2-1 lead 1:56 into the third period.
With 13:53 remaining in the third Cade Fairchild scored his seventh goal of the year to tie the game at 2-2. Fairchild took a shot from the point that got through traffic and beat Hutton. Cheechoo and Heshka were credited with assists.
With 7:12 remaining in the third period Cheechoo scored his second goal of the evening to give the Rivermen their first lead of the night. Cheechoo tapped the puck in from the crease after receiving a good pass from David Shields.
After a Brennan Evans penalty with 1:03 left in regulation, Rockford pulled their goaltender to make it a six-on-four man advantage. With 4.1 second remaining Fahey tied the game with a shot from the left circle following a scrambles of saves and blocked shots.
Derek Nesbitt and O’Sullivan scored to give the Rivermen an early 2-0 lead in the shootout through two rounds but Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, and Matt Fornataro scored to secure the victory for the IceHogs.
The Rivermen were outshot 31-28 on the evening. Rockford went two-for-six on the power play while the Rivermen went one-for-four.
The Rivermen will host the Charlotte Checkers Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The first 1,000 kids 12 or younger will receive a Rivermen jersey courtesy of PNC Bank. For tickers call 309-676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net.