IceHogs Battle Past Rivermen
Opponent: Rockford IceHogs
Date: February 25, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 2-4 L
On a night where the Peoria Rivermen celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1991 Turner Cup championship team, the Rockford IceHogs spoiled the party with a 4-2 win on Friday night in front of 5,990 fans. Jeff Taffe scored twice as the two teams traded leads in the second-period before the ‘Hogs pulled ahead for good.
The Rivermen (33-22-2-2, 71 pts.) now sit in a tie for third place with the Texas Stars but remain four points behind the Milwaukee Admirals (33-16-2-7).
Neither team could find the back of the net in the first, but the gloves dropped twice. Just 49 seconds into the game Chris Porter and Shawn Lalonde exchanged punches and with 6 minutes to go Brett Sonne and Kyle Hagel squared off.
Peoria thought they had the game’s first goal just 4:16 into the opening period but Dave Scatchard’s goal was disallowed because it was ruled he played it in with his hand.
Nathan Oystrick opened the scoring at 5:34 of the second with his 12th of the year on the man-advantage, unassisted. His dump-in bounced off the glass and found its way back on his stick in the slot. Oystrick faked a shot to get Richards down, drifted to the left and lifted a shot into the top of net.
Rockford answered on a power play of their own at 10:38 on Ryan Potulny’s 20th of the year. Potulny came streaking in on the right side and put a backhand toward the five-hole of Jake Allen. Allen got most of the shot, but not enough as it trickled a couple inches over the goal line. Brian Connelly and Ryan Stanton picked up the assists on the goal.
Less than 2 minutes later Taffe gave the IceHogs their first lead of the game. His quick shot from the top of the left circle beat Jake Allen for his 20th of the year. Connelly and Stanton chipped in again with assists on the goal.
Mark Cundari tied the game for the Rivermen on the power play at 16:51. Derek Nesbitt fed Cundari in the high-slot and snapped a quick shot off the right post and in. It was his seventh of the year and fifth on the power play.
Taffe’s second gave Rockford the lead for good and gave the IceHogs their second power-play goal of the period in as many tries.
The Rivermen managed just three shots to the IceHogs 10 in the final frame and also were unable to put one by Richards. Rob Klinkhammer put his eighth of the year into an empty net with 6 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
Both the Rivermen and the IceHogs went 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Rockford outshot Peoria 27-24.
The Rivermen wore special replica jerseys from the 1990-91 season that were auctioned off after the game to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
The Rivermen head to Chicago to take on the Wolves Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Allstate Arena. The game can be heard locally on 96.5 ESPN in Peoria or online at www.rivermen.net.