Richards Makes 35 Saves in IceHogs 5-3 Win Over Rivermen
The Peoria Rivermen scored two first period goals but Alec Richards finished with 35 saves as the Rockford IceHogs beat the Rivermen 5-3 at Carver Arena on Sunday. Adam Cracknell (1g, 1a), TJ Hensick (1g, 1a) and Brett Sterling (2a) all accounted for two points but the Rivermen fell to 0-2-0 on the young season.
For the second straight night, the Rivermen scored the first goal of the game with Cracknell putting one in at 1:52 of the first. Sterling and Hensick exchanged drop passes inside the Rockford blueline before Cracknell picked up the puck and rifled a wrist shot by the blocker of Richards.
Rockford responded at the 9:12 mark, on just their second shot on goal, when Brian Connelly’s shot from the point was tipped in the slot by Brandon Segal. It was his first of two on the night and his third of the year.
The Rivermen took the lead back with just over 6 minutes left in the first period on Hensick’s first goal of the year. Sterling’s shot from the high slot hit bodies in front and squirted to Hensick at the bottom of the right circle, who then flipped a backhanded shot into a vacant net. Sterling and Cracknell assisted on the goal.
The IceHogs tied the game up again at the 5:47 mark of the second period on the two-man-advantage. Segal was credited with his second goal of the game on a shot from the slot that bounced off of Ben Bishop and Danny Syvret in the Rivermen goal crease and eventually fell into the net.
Rob Kilnkhammer’s first goal of the year at 14:42 of the second period gave Rockford their first lead of the game. Bishop entered the trapezoid behind the Peoria net to play the puck but Klinkhammer stripped it away and took the puck to the front and flipped a shot into the empty net.
Peoria’s Stefan Della Rovere got his first goal of the year and tied the game, 3-3, at 9:35 of the final frame on a fantastic feed from Jay Barriball. Barriball came barreling in on the left wing, put a move around a defender and fed a wide open Della Rovere in the slot for a top shelf one-time finish. Brett Sonne picked up the second helper on the equalizer.
Less than two minutes later Rockford’s Kyle Beach put the IceHogs up for good on his second of the year. Andrew Shaw hit beach with a pass near the bottom of the left circle, and he one-timed a shot over the shoulder of a sliding Bishop.
Klinkhammer scored his second goal of the night into an empty net with under a minute remaining to close out the scoring and give the IceHogs a 5-3 win.
The Rivermen outshot the IceHogs 11-2 in the first, 18-11 in the third and 38-29 in the game. Bishop finished with 23 saves on 28 shots in his season debut while the Rivermen power play finished 0-for-5.
The Rivermen open a four-game road trip on Saturday against the newest members of the Midwest Division, the Charlotte Checkers. The game will be broadcast on CD Country 107.9 FM and online through www.rivermen.net.