Cole's Late Tally Leads to Shootout Win
With the net empty and time running down, Ian Cole fired home his third goal of the season to force overtime and an eventual shootout win for the Peoria Rivermen, 5-4, over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night at Carver Arena. Mike McKenna made 26 saves and stopped all four shooters in the shootout to pick up his first win of the season.
Cole's goal came with just 40.8 seconds remaining in regulation as the Rivermen withstood a three-goal third period from Milwaukee. His shot from just inside the blueline went between the legs of Jeremy Smith and made possible Peoria's fourth win in their last five games.
The Rivermen (6-8-2-1) have collected five of their six wins by a single goal and have already played nine one-goal contests in their first 16 games.
Peoria jumped out to a 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals in 26 seconds in the first. Jaden Schwartz scored for the second straight game by tracking down Cole's pass and racing around the Milwaukee defense for his fifth of the season. After Schwartz opened the scoring at 14:55, Sergey Andronov knocked one in at 15:21. He has also scored in consecutive games and has four on the season.
The Admirals scored the lone goal of the second period, at 6:25, when Michael Latta banked one into the net of the skate of a Rivermen defender. Milwaukee tied the game at 2-2 on Joonas Jarvinen's wraparound at 4:21 of the third.
Evgeny Grachev reclaimed the lead for Peoria at 6:57 with his third of the season. Anthony Peluso's shot was stopped and Grachev pushed the rebound past Smith during a goal-mouth scramble.
Milwaukee scored twice in 33 seconds to take their first lead of the game with 7:02 remaining in regulation. Mark Van Guilder and Austin Watson scored at 12:28 and 12:58 respectively to put Peoria on the verge of defeat.
Cole's goal, assisted by Mark Cundari and Peluso, was Peoria's first extra attacker goal of the season.
In the shootout, TJ Hensick and Jaden Schwartz scored for Peoria while McKenna did not allow a goal.
Peoria was outshot 30-27 and held Milwaukee to 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Rivermen host the first-place Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. It's the annual Coats for Kids Drive and Teddy Bear Toss to benefit the Salvation Army. For more information visit www.rivermen.net.
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