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Marlies Survive Late Rivermen Push

December 30, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

TORONTO (December 30, 2009) - Julian Talbot and Adam Cracknell scored in the final minutes of regulation but the Peoria Rivermen fell 3-2 to the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum. The Rivermen return home after a 3-2-0 road trip to take on the Chicago Wolves on Thursday at 7 p.m.

A fluke goal by Juraj Mikus in the opening minutes of the third period gave the Marlies enough to hang onto their 2-0 lead that they generated in the first period. Hannu Toivonen stopped 27 of 30 shots but couldn't dive back into the net quick enough to stop Mikus's dump in that took a funny bounce off the boards and caromed into the goal.

Greg Scott and Ben Gordon built the Marlies a 2-0 lead with goals less than three minutes apart in the first period. On their first power play of the game, Scott snapped a shot over the shoulder of Toivonen at 6:08. At 9:04, Gordon converted a two-on-one with Darryl Boyce.

The Rivermen offense was held in check until the last half of the third period, as they were outshot 22-17 through the first two frames. But with an opportunity on the power play, Talbot cashed in with 7:14 remaining in regulation. Just 11 second into the power play, Jonas Junland ripped a shot from the point that was deflected through Joey MacDonald for Talbot's 10th of the year.

With just under two minutes remaining, Davis Payne elected to pull Toivonen in favor of the extra attacker. The move paid off immediately as just as the sixth skater jumped in front of the net, Cracknell's snap shot flew under the blocker of MacDonald to cut the Marlies' lead to 3-2.

Peoria had a flurry of chances to tie the game in the dying seconds but MacDonald was able to keep the Marlies ahead. He robbed Yan Stastny twice with just 42.2 seconds to play and again with 16.4.

The two teams will rematch at Carver Arena on Jan. 8 to wrap up the two-game season series.

Celebrate New Year's Eve with the Rivermen on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Rivermen will wear special tuxedo themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the Children's Hospital of Illinois. All tickets to the game, purchased between noon and 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the Civic Center box office, will be just $10. Plus Bud and Bud Light cans will be sold for just $2 throughout the game. Call 309-676-1040 for more information or check

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