Rivermen Power Through Grand Rapids 4-3 on the Road
Grand Rapids, MI. (December 26, 2006) - Tuesday night's contest could be dubbed as an instructional video of "How to Score on the Power Play," as all seven goals were scored on the man-advantage, with a season-high four power play goals scored by the Peoria Rivermen, in their 4-3 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins in front of 4,650 at Van Andel Arena.
Prior to tonight's game, the Rivermen capitalized on 32 of 164 opportunities, while the Griffins man-advantage unit were only 26 for 184, ranking the teams eighth and 23 rd in the AHL, respectively. Following the contest, in which Peoria went four for nine on the power play, the Rivermen vaulted to fifth in the league with a 20.8-percent efficiency mark (36 for 173).
Tonight also marked the fifth straight game in which left wing Peter Sejna collected two points; he has collected four goals and six assists during this stretch, and has tied Trent Whitfield for the team-lead in points with 26.
After a scoreless first period, Grand Rapids (13-15-3-2, 31 pts) netted the first goal of the game at 3:33 of the second stanza on a two-man advantage. Right wing Ryan Keller slid a pass from the right point to the left point for defenseman Jonathon Ericsson, who fired the puck to the right slot for center Kip Miller. Miller wristed a shot above the left shoulder of Rivermen goaltender Marek Schwarz, who wasn't able to scramble back in time to make the save, for his 12 th tally of the season.
Peoria (16-10-1-2, 35 pts) responded with a power play goal of its own at 8:43 of the middle period. After the Griffins failed to clear the puck from their zone, right wing Mike Glumac controlled it at the left-wing boards then skated up to the left face-off dot, where he wound-up and blasted a shot into the upper right corner of the net, past Grand Rapids netminder Stefan Liv, who appeared to be screened on the play. The goal was the ninth of the year for Glumac.
The Rivermen took the lead on a 5-on-3 power play at 16:01 of the second session on center Trent Whitfield's 14 th tally of the year. Left wing Peter Sejna sent a pass through the goal crease from the bottom of the right face-off circle to Whitfield streaking in from the slot to tap the puck past the outstretched right leg of Liv.
Peoria increased the lead to 3-1 on Whitfield's second two-man advantage marker of the game at 3:45 of the final frame. Glumac began a 2-on-1 opportunity at the neutral zone with Whitfield as Glumac raced down the right-wing boards and abruptly stopped at the right face-off circle, dished the puck to Whitfield, who was flying through the slot and redirected the pass on net that somehow sneaked between the legs of Liv. The goal was Whitfield's 15th of the 2006-07 campaign, giving him sole possession of the team lead in goals, surpassing Charles Linglet.
Grand Rapids cut their deficit to 3-2 as Miller registered his second 5-on-3 power play goal of the contest at 10:12 of the third period. From the bottom of the left face-off circle, right wing Josh Langfeld threw a cross-ice pass in the right face-off circle for Miller, who simply slid the puck into the vacated net for his 13 th goal and team-leading 34 th point of the season.
The Rivermen regained a two-goal advantage while scoring their season-high fourth power play goal of the night to take the lead for good, at 16:11 of the final period. Defenseman Roman Polak stole the puck in the neutral zone, knocked it off the left-wing boards around a Griffins defender and then skated one-on-one with Liv. Once Polak reached the slot, he faked right and chipped the puck between the left post and right arm of Liv for his second marker of the year.
The Griffins capped off the scoring with their third man-advantage tally of the game at 18:54 of the third period. Ericsson blasted a shot from center point that was redirected through the legs of Schwarz from the left slot by center Matt Hussey for his seventh goal of the season.
The Rivermen improved to 6-5-1-2 on the road and will return home tomorrow night, Wednesday, December 27 at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Milwaukee Admirals. The game is the first of seven Nesquik "Wacky Wednesday" promotions in which fans can buy one (1) upper bowl ticket and get one (1) free with UPC (Proof of Purchase).
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