vs. Rockford (10/12): The Peoria Rivermen went 4-for-6 on the power play Tuesday night at Carver Arena en route to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Rockford IceHogs. Chris Porter, Dave Spina and Dave Scatchard all collected three points in the game as 10 different players had at least one point in the game. READ MORE
@ San Antonio (10/15) Ben Bishop, Graham Mink and Nick Drazenovic all shared the spotlight as the Peoria Rivermen beat the San Antonio Rampage 6-2 on Friday night in their first road game of the new season. Mink registered four points (goal, three assists) while Drazenovic scored twice and added an assist while Bishop turned away 42 Rampage shots. READ MORE
@ Houston (10/16) Goaltender Jake Allen set carried a shutout into the third period and finished with 32 saves in his first professional start Saturday as the Peoria Rivermen beat the Houston Aeros 3-2 at the Toyota Center. The win was Peoria's fourth in a row and improved their record to 4-1-0 on the young season. READ MORE
@ Texas (10/17) Trailing 2-0 early in the first period, the Peoria Rivermen stormed back with five unanswered goals to beat the Texas Stars, 5-2 at the Cedar Park Center on Sunday. The win was Peoria's fifth in a row and have started their season-long seven-game road trip 3-0-0. Dave Scatchard and Nick Drazenovic each scored two goals to put the Rivermen atop the league with 10 points and 26 goals. READ MORE
THIS SEASON THIS WEEK
POINTS Graham Mink - 12 Graham Mink - 9
GOALS Nick Drazenovic - 5 Nick Drazenovic - 5
ASSISTS Graham Mink - 8 Graham Mink - 7
POWER PLAY 9-for-29 31.0% (1) 7-for-18, 38.9%
PENALTY KILL 31-for-37, 83.8% (15) 20-for-23, 86.9%
NEWS AND NOTES
The Right Foot...The Rivermen are off to the league's best record to start the season. After a loss on opening night, the Rivermen have rattled off five straight wins to collect 10 points. Their point total is two better than Portland (4-1-0) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (4-0-0) and is four points more than any team in the Western Conference.
Offensive Output...Speaking of the best start in the league, the Rivermen are averaging 4.33 goals-per game which is only behind the Norfolk Admirals. Peoria's 26 goals are seven more than the next-best Portland Pirates. Their 11 first-period goals are five better than anyone else in the AHL. They are outscoring the opposition 26-14 and the 12-goal differential is tied with Norfolk for the best mark.
Power House in the Making...The Rivermen power-play is working at an impressive 31 percent success rate, also first in the league. They have scored nine times on 29 chances and at one point this week had scored seven power-play goals in 12 chances (58.3 percent).
Going streaking...Peoria is in the midst of a five-game winning streak which already matches their season-long from a year ago. They collected five-straight wins just once last year from Dec. 9-19 and the last time they won six in a row was during the 2008-09 season (March 24-April 4). The first and sixth wins in that streak came against teams who are no longer in the AHL (Iowa and Quad City). The Rivermen have also matched last season's road winning streak of three games. The last time the Rivermen won four consecutive road games was part of a 10-game road winning streak from Dec. 21, 2007, Jan. 18, 2008.
First frames...The Rivermen are outscoring their opponents 11-4 in the first period and have trailed just twice when trailing after the first and never by more than a single goal. They are 3-0-0 when leading after the first and 1-0 when finishing the first 20 minutes even. The Rivermen have yet to allow a first-period goal after the 10:00 mark and oddly enough, the Rivermen are being outshot 71-53 in first periods this season.
Grahammy Worthy Performance...Winger Graham Mink has been on a tear to open the 2010-11 season and the American Hockey League has taken notice. The 10th-year pro and first-year Rivermen was named the AHL's Player of the Week on Monday for his nine points (2g, 7a) over the past four games. A six-time 20-goal scorer, a two-time Calder Cup champion and an AHL All-Star team captain in 2010, Mink has totaled 207 goals and 206 assists for 413 points in 574 career AHL games with Peoria, Rochester, Hershey, Worcester and Portland. The native of Stowe, Vt., was acquired by the St. Louis Blues in a trade from Florida on Aug. 3, 2010.
Hensick is as advertised... TJ Hensick is the only Rivermen player to have recorded a point in each of the season's first six games for Peoria. After collecting give assists in the first four games he broke out with a two goal performance on Saturday in the Rivermen 3-2 win over Houston. Hensick registered 70 points (20g, 50a) last year for the Lake Erie Monsters and in his 126 career AHL games, the 24-year-old pivot has picked up 139 points (41g, 98a).
Doubling Up...Already the Rivermen have had plenty of players light the lamp twice in the same game. In just six games, Graham Mink, Nick Drazenovic (twice), TJ Hensick, Dave Scatchard and Chris Porter have all picked up two-goal games. Peoria's 3-2 win over Milwaukee on Oct. 10 is the only game that did not feature a Rivermen player with multiple goals.
New League; Same Result...Defenseman Mark Cundari and center Phil McRae have made themselves right at home in the beginning of their professional careers. Cundari leads all rookies in assists with six in his first six games. Those six points place him second in points among first-year players. McRae is just one point behind Cundari with three goals and two assists.
First of many...Goaltender Jake Allen made the start on Saturday and backstopped the Rivermen to a 3-2 win over the Houston Aeros. It marked the first professional game and win for the 20-year-old Blues second-round pick. Last season Allen earned Goalie of the Year honors in both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the entire Canadian Hockey League after splitting time between Montreal and Drummondville in his final junior season.
500 Club...Both Dean Arsene and Brennan Evans reached personal milestones over the weekend playing in their 500th professional regular season game. Arsene, Peoria's captain, has spent 109 games in the ECHL, 378 in the AHL, and 13 in the NHL. Evans has played all 500 in the American Hockey League but has appeared in two NHL playoff games over his career.
10/17/2010 Ryan Reaves (RW) Peoria ADD Returned on loan from St. Louis (NHL)
10/16/2010 Daryl Boyle (D) Peoria ADD Recalled from loan to Alaska (ECHL)
10/13/2010 Matt McIlvane (F) Peoria DEL Loaned to Bloomington (CHL)
10/10/2010 Ryan Reaves (RW) Peoria DEL Recalled from loan by St. Louis (NHL)
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American Hockey League Stories from October 18, 2010
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