Stars Hold Off Rivermen 3-1
Opponent: Texas Stars
Date: January 15, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 1-3 L
In their first meeting since October, the Texas Stars took down the Peoria Rivermen, 3-1, in front of 5,593 fans at Carver Arena on Saturday night. After falling behind midway through the first, the Rivermen never caught the Stars who knocked the Rivermen out of first place with the win.
Peoria (25-12-2-1, 53 pts) now trails Milwaukee (24-23-2-4, 54 pts) for the top spot in the Western Conference.
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For the third straight game, Peoria allowed its opponent to take the first lead of the game. Texas’ Philip Larsen put the Stars on top 1-0 with a slap shot off the crossbar and into the net at 10:39 of the first period. Brad Lukowich carried the puck into the attacking zone and found an unguarded Larsen at the top of the right circle. Larsen then found the iron and the back of the net over the left shoulder of goaltender Jake Allen.
Late in the first period, the Stars added to their lead when Greg Rallo notched a power-play goal at the 18:35 mark. Just over a minute after Nikita Nikitin was called for roughing, Francis Wathier took a shot from the point that was blocked in front of the net and bounced around just outside the crease. Rallo then grabbed the loose puck and backhanded it across the goal line giving Texas a 2-0 advantage.
Texas took their 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but the Rivermen answered early in the second period with Graham Mink’s 12th goal of the season. At the 5:34 mark, Derek Nesbitt took a shot for the top of the right circle while Mink and a Stars’ defenders created traffic in front of Texas’ goaltender Tyler Beskorowany. The puck deflected off of Mink’s stick in the crease and into the back of the net, cutting the Star’s lead in half.
Beskorowany stood his ground in the third and finished with 33 saves in the win. The Stars had a chance to pull away with 2:12 left in the third when Travis Morin was pulled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. Allen stopped the Stars leading scorer with a blocker save to keep the Rivermen within one.
Shortly thereafter, at 18:47, Brandon Segal iced the game with an empty-netter for his first of the season.
The Rivermen kick off a four-game road trip on Tuesday in Abbotsford at 9 p.m. After a rematch with the Heat on Wednesday the Rivermen will travel to Toronto on Saturday and Lake Erie on Sunday before returning home. The games can be heard locally on 96.5 ESPN Radio or online through www.rivermen.net.