Rivermen Return Late Heroics in Chicago
Opponent: @Chicago Wolves
Date: March 11, 2011 7:30
Score(Home/Away): 4-5** W
Derek Nesbitt was the hero on Friday night as he ripped home the game-tying goal with 1.5 seconds remaining to propel the Peoria Rivermen to a 5-4 shootout win over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena. The win came just two days after the Wolves tied the game with 1.1 seconds remaining on their way to a shootout win.
Newcomer Rob Ricci scored the deciding shootout goal, in just his third career AHL game, in the sixth round of the shootout. With this win the Rivermen improved to 36-24-2-5 (79 pts) and pushed them into third place in the West Division. Peoria is now just one point back of the Houston Aeros and two points behind Sunday’s opponent – the Milwaukee Admirals.
The two teams traded goals in the opening 21 seconds of the first period. Tim Miller scored the first goal of the game just 9 seconds in and the Rivermen were able to tie the game just 12 seconds later on an Akim Aliu goal. Aliu, who started the year playing for Chicago, scored following a scramble in front of Edward Pasquale for his first tally as a Rivermen.
Graham Mink scored his 20th goal of the season at the 7:40 mark to put the Rivermen ahead 2-1. Dave Spina fed him the puck in the slot and he ripped one off the leg pad of Pasquale and into the top of the net. The goal marked the seventh time in Mink’s 10-year AHL career in which he has scored 20 goals.
Miller scored his second goal of the game on the power play at 10:13 of the first period. Miller deflected a shot by Mark Matheson between the legs of Ben Bishop to tie the game at 2-2.
The Wolves scored another quick goal in the second period. Ryan Garbutt gave Chicago a 3-2 lead on his 16th goal of the year 45 seconds into the period, assisted by Kulda and Haydar.
The score stood until the final minute of the frame with the Rivermen on a penalty kill. With 50 seconds left in the second period, Tyler Shattock scored a shorthanded goal off a two-on-one rush with Dave Spina to tie the game. It was Shattock’s first game back since he was injured in a game on March 5 against Chicago.
With only 3:29 left in third period, Holzapfel scored his eighth goal of the year on a slapshot from the left circle to give the Wolves a 4-3 lead.
Andre Deveaux was whistled for hooking with only 25 seconds remaining to put the Rivermen on just their second power play of the game. Jared Bednar called his timeout and pulled Bishop to create a two-man advantage. With 1.5 seconds left Nesbitt took a feed in the right circle from Derek Peltier and wristed home his 16th goal of the season. Mark Cundari earned the secondary assist.
After overtime and the first five rounds of the shootout, the game was still tied. Cundari and Peltier scored goals for the Rivermen while Matheson and Esposito scored for Chicago. In the sixth round of the shootout, after Darren Haydar missed on his opportunity, Rob Ricci scored the winner between the legs of Pasquale.
The game was the fourth consecutive game between Peoria and Chicago that went to overtime. The win ended an eight-game losing streak at Allstate Arena.
The Rivermen finish their three-game road trip on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Milwaukee. The game can be heard locally on 96.5 ESPN Radio and online through www.rivermen.net.