Fairchild Scores First Goal in 5-2 Win
The Peoria Rivermen defeated the Rockford IceHogs 5-2 on Saturday night in the final game of a three games in three nights stretch for Peoria in front of 3,588 at the BMO Harris in a game that included the first goal of Cade Fairchild’s career. Peoria saw 11 different players register at least one point as their offense pounded out at least four goals for the sixth straight game.
Peoria evened their record at 4-4-1-1 on the year and are now 1-2-0-0 against the IceHogs this season.
Ben Bishop turned aside 37 shots for his fourth win in his seventh start of the 2011-12 campaign.
Rockford captured the game’s first goal just 53 seconds into the first period when Brandon Segal scored on a loose puck to Ben Bishop’s right after Ryan Stanton’s initial shot was deflected in front of the crease. Philippe Paradis also tallied an assist on the goal.
At 16:04 in the first period, T.J. Hensick fed Derek Nesbitt with a behind-the-back pass from behind the goal line that the Ferris State alum scored over Alec Richards’ blocker for his fourth goal of the year. Fairchild was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, his second of the year.
The Rivermen took a 2-1 lead at 2:03 in the second period when Anthony Nigro scored his third goal in four games. Brennan Evans fired a slap shot from the point which Richards stopped with his left pad, but Nigro was left alone in the crease to slam home the rebound. Adam Cracknell collected his seventh assist on the play.
Fairchild scored the first goal of his professional career at 13:29 in the second period on the power play after he received a cross-ice pass from Phil McRae and walked in to the left circle before he fired a shot past Richard’s blocker. Mark Cundari registered his fourth assist on the year on the goal.
Peoria acquired a 4-1 lead at 15:14 in the second period when Cracknell slammed home an Ian Cole pass from the blueline behind Richards and into the back of the net. Jonathan Cheechoo was given the secondary assist.
The IceHogs brought it within two at 19:12 in the second period when a Brian Connelly slap shot deflected off the rear boards to Bishop’s left. Brett McLean cleaned up the loose puck for the score while Brandon Pirri picked up the secondary assist.
Brett Sterling added another insurance goal at 1:16 in the third period with his seventh goal of the year, this time from the right circle after he received a cross-ice pass from Cole. Recent call-up Connor Hutton relieved Richards after the goal. Nesbitt grabbed the additional assist on the goal.
The Rivermen finished the game 1-for-6 on the power play while the IceHogs were held scoreless on six chances. Peoria finished the game with 36 shots on goal to Rockford’s 39.
The Rivermen will return home on Thursday against the Chicago Wolves in the first of a three games in three days stretch next weekend. For tickets call 309-676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net.