Rivermen Entertain Season's Best Crowd With Shootout Win
Opponent: Chicago Wolves
Date: March 5, 2011 7:05
Score(Home/Away): 6-5** W
With the largest crowd of the season (9,025) and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in attendance, the Peoria Rivermen fought back to defeat the Chicago Wolves 6-5 in a shootout Saturday night. The heated division rivalry featured 123 penalty minutes, four fights and a back-and-forth game that saw the game tied at five different points.
The Rivermen (34-23-2-4, 76pts) kept pace in the West Division and sit in fourth place behind the Texas Stars (77pts), Houston Aeros (79) and Milwaukee Admirals (81).
Derek Peltier scored the game-winner in the shootout and helped put the Rivermen on the board just 3:18 into the game. His wrist shot, from along the left boards, was redirected into the net by rookie Chris Langkow for his first career AHL goal. Langkow, making his AHL debut, was just signed to a PTO from ECHL Alaska before the game.
An odd too many men on the ice penalty put the Wolves on their first power play of the game at 3:42. The Wolves capitalized as Tim Miller buried a loose puck past Rivermen goaltender Jake Allen at 5:27. Allen blocked consecutive shots in the crease but could not cover before Miller found the net over Allen’s left leg. Spencer Machacek and Jared Ross were credited with the assists.
The Wolves broke the 1-1 tie at 9:13 of the first period when Paul Postma took a wrist shot from the point. Peoria answered less than 3 minutes later while on a power play of their own. Following a roughing minor to Chicago’s Fredrik Pettersson, Peltier received a cross-ice pass from Jake Gannon. Peltier then took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that found an opening past the right pad of Chicago goaltender Peter Mannino at the 11:53 mark. The goal gave Peltier his second point of the game for his first multi-point game of the season.
The game gradually turned chippy late in the first period. At 18:01, Brennan Evans was sentenced a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking to the head. Less than a minute later, Dave Scatchard was hit in the face with a high-stick from Miller who received a double-minor for the infraction. The penalty wiped nearly all of Evans’ major away.
Darren Haydar put the Wolves up 3-2 at 6:46 of the second period. Haydar controlled the puck behind Peoria’s net before making a sudden wraparound move towards the left side of the goal. His quick reflexes beat Allen as Haydar put it just inside the left post. Miller and Matheson recorded the helpers.
Again, the Rivermen would even the game at 10:30 of the second period with Graham Mink’s team leading 19th of the season while on the power play. After a Chicago high-sticking minor against Kip Brennan, Mink grabbed his own rebound just outside the crease and spun to his left. He then placed a shot just inside of the right post for the goal. Derek Nesbitt and T.J. Hensick notched the assists.
Chicago’s Tim Miller notched his second goal of the game at the 14:15 mark putting the Wolves ahead. Miller skated towards Peoria’s crease and faked a shot to the left. He then made a quick wraparound moving beating Allen to the right post and finding the back of the net. Haydar and Garbutt assisted on the goal for their second points of the game.
The third period brought good fortune for Peoria. Less than 4 minutes in, Dave Spina tied the game up for the fourth time with his 11th of the season. Scatchard and Nick Drazenovic helped Spina convert on a 3-on-1.
At 13:51 of the third, Nathan Oystrick gave Peoria its first lead since early in the first period. Nesbitt dropped the puck to Oystrick who fired a slapshot past Mannino’s blocker.
With time winding down in regulation, it was Chicago’s turn to even the score. At 16:50, Spencer Machacek netted his 17th of the year. Riley Holzapfel and Andrey Zubarev registered the assists.
a scoreless overtime that saw each team called for minor penalties and misconducts
the game was decided in a shootout. T.J. Hensick and Derek Peltier connected on
their attempts while Allen stopped three of four shots to pick up his 20th
win of the season.
The game was the third consecutive Rivermen game that was decided after regulation and the second straight 6-5 win for Peoria over Chicago. Peoria scored twice on season-high 11 power plays while the Wolves registered one power-play goal on six chances.
The Rivermen conclude their four-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Rivermen office by calling 309-676-1040 or online on www.rivermen.net.