Rivermen Can't Hold Off IceHogsOctober 17, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) Peoria Rivermen
Yan Stastny, Justin Fletcher and Brendan Bell all scored before the 13:12 mark of the second period to give the Rivermen a 3-0 lead but Matt Keith scored twice in the third period to send the Rivermen and IceHogs to overtime for the fifth consecutive meeting.
The game also featured three fights with Ryan Reaves and Jake Dowell dropping the gloves in the first, Danny Richmond and Bracken Kearns in the second, and Chris Porter with Mike Brennan in the third. It was the first game of a three game series that will continue at Carver Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Peoria controlled play in the first frame, outshooting the IceHogs 13-7. Stastny's goal opened the scoring at 15:11 of the first period after Nicholas Drazenovic's shot was stopped. For Stastny it was his second goal in as many games and with his assist later in the contest he now has seven points (2g, 4a) in the first six games of the season.
After an even strength goal for Fletcher and a power-play marker for Bell and the Rivermen found themselves with some cushion. Following a three-on-two break, Chris Porter and Cam Paddock moved the puck to Fletcher cutting down the right wing. Crawford came out to challenge and Fletcher dragged the puck below the goal line before slipping around the netminder and back in front for his first goal of the year at 8:29. Bell's slapshot found its way through traffic at 13:12 just seconds after the Rivermen five-on-three advantage had expired.
Rockford's comeback began at 15:35 when Bryan Bickell and Jake Dowell combined for the team's first goal. They cut the lead to just one a mere 18 seconds into the third period on Keith's first of the night and the year. Directly off a faceoff win by Dowell, Keith quickly shot one on goal that Toivonen could not stop.
Home-ice advantage accounted for the game-tying goal with only 3:54 remaining in regulation. Daryl Boyle's dump-in kicked off the corner boards towards the front of the net and created a two-on-one down low. Dowell slid the puck behind the defender to Keith who tied the game.
The Rivermen had two chances to win the game in a shootout with Eller the lone goal scorer through the first four rounds. Toivonen could not stop Danny Bois on the first shot of the fifth round and Derek Armstrong did not score with his chance to win it just moments later. Adam Cracknell and Jonas Junland scored to force and eighth round that included misses by both teams.
Peoria's power play was 1-for-4 while Rockford did not score on their one man-advantage. Toivonen made 26 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped five of nine in the shootout. The loss puts the Rivermen record at 2-2-1-1 on the young season while the Hogs improved to 4-2-1-0.
Wednesday night will mark the third of 10 meetings this season between the two West Division rivals. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Carver Arena.
It is Ducks Unlimited Night presented by Presleys Outdoors with a portion of the game's proceeds going to benefit the World Leader in Wetlands Conservation. Tickets are available at the Peoria Civic Center box office, by calling the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040 or online at www.rivermen.net/tickets.
American Hockey League Stories from October 17, 2009
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