New Year's Celebration Starts With 2-1 Win
Opponent: Abbotsford Heat
Date: December 31, 2012 6:05 PM
Score(Home/Away): 2-1** W
Mike McKenna out dueled the AHL's top goaltender in Barry Brust as the Peoria Rivermen came back to beat the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 in a shootout on New Year's Eve at Carver Arena. McKenna made 35 saves in regulation and overtime and then stopped four of five in the shootout to earn the win.
It was the third shootout win of the season for McKenna as he has now stopped 12 of 13 shootout attempts on the season.
After a fast-paced but scoreless first period, Kris Kolanos opened the second with a power-play goal to give the Heat a 1-0 lead. Kolanos tucked a shot, from along the goal line, over the shoulder of McKenna for his ninth of the season at 2:34. Despite the fact that Peoria was outshot 17-10 in the second period it was still 1-0 at the start of the third.
Taylor Chorney tied the score with a goal at 7:35 of the third period. Derek Nesbitt and Ian Cole earned assists on the play and Chorney scooped the puck off the boards and rifled a snapshot under the glove of Brust from the right faceoff circle.
The Rivermen has a chance to end the game in overtime with a 4-on-3 power play with only 2:19 left but the Heat penalty kill finished 4-for-4.
Phil McRae and Jaden Schwartz scored in the shootout while McKenna allowed just a single goal as Peoria snapped a three-game losing streak. The Rivermen outshot the Heat 38-36 and marked the fourth straight game in which they have outshot the opposition.
Peoria improved to 16-11-1 all-time on New Year's Eve and 8-3-1 on home ice.
The Rivermen head back on the road to challenge the San Antonio Rampage on Friday at 7:30pm. All games can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM or online through www.rivermen.net.