Barons Hand Rivermen 4-1 Loss
Opponent: Oklahoma City Barons
Date: January 14, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 1-4 L
Oklahoma City’s Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers stopped 33 of 34 shots as the Barons handed the Peoria Rivermen their second straight defeat, 4-1 at Carver Arena on Friday night. Derek Nesbitt’s team-leading 14th goal of the season proved to be the only offense for the Rivermen in the contest as the Barons saw three-point nights from Teemu Hartikainen and Bryan Helmer.
Despite back-to-back losses, the Rivermen remain in first place in the Western Conference and West Division (25-12-2-1, 53 points).
The Barons opened the scoring for the third straight game against the Rivermen on a delayed penalty. With two players already in the box, the extra attacker created a 5-on-4 advantage and Hartikainen’s 13th goal of the season. Helmer released a high shot that was tipped out of the air in the slot by Hartikainen and through Ben Bishop at 8:26.
The Rivermen answered on the power play at 4:31 of the middle frame on Nesbitt’s team-leading eighth power-play goal. Nesbitt’s quick release slid under the pads of Deslauriers along the ice. Nathan Oystrick and T.J. Hensick picked up the assists on the equalizer. Hensick’s assist was the 200th professional point of his career.
The Barons didn’t take long to respond as their goal at 5:56 put them up for good. Philippe Cornet and Milan Kytnar converted on a 2-on-1 opportunity just 1:25 after the Rivermen had tied the game.
Only 2:14 later Bryan Helmer picked up his third of the year (all against the Rivermen) on a slap shot from the point. The goal gave Helmer eight points in only four games against Peoria.
Oklahoma City capped off the scoring at 9:04 of the final frame when Hartikainen made a move around Oystrick and fed Cornet on the door step for the one-time finish.
The Rivermen outshot the Barons 34 to 26 in the contest and killed off all three Oklahoma City power plays. Peoria’s power play was 1-for-5.
The Rivermen wrap up a three-game homestand on Saturday at 7:05 p.m against the Texas Stars. The first 2,250 fans will receive a Jim Thome bobblehead courtesy of CEFCU. For more information or tickets call the Rivermen at (309) 676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net.