Game Recaps

Jake Allen's Second Shutout Leads Rivermen Over Aeros

Jake Allen has made quite the impression in a short time with the Peoria Rivermen. The 20-year-old rookie made 22 saves and backstopped the Rivermen to a 3-0 win over the Houston Aeros on Saturday night at Carver Arena. He improved to 4-0-0 to start his pro career and became the third goalie in the American Hockey League to post two shutouts. 


He has yet to allow more than two goals in a game and his goals-against average now sits a 0.75 with a save percentage at 0.975. The Rivermen improved to 3-0-0 against Houston this season and the two teams will meet again on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.


After a relatively calm first period that saw just 13 combined shots and one Houston power play, Matt McIlvane broke a scorless tie at 9:24 of the second frame. McIlvane, playing in his first game of the season with Peoria, carried the puck in on the right side of the ice before wristing a shot just inside the post past the right pad of Aeros goaltender Anton Khudobin. Mark Cundari and Adam Cracknell picked up the assists on the goal. Cundari, who had scored in his last two games, is now on a three-game point streak.


The Rivermen opened up the 3-0 lead with a pair of quick goals to start third. Just 2:40 in Derek Nesbitt, also playing in his first game with the club, tapped in his first of the year after a slick setup from TJ Hensick. Dave Spina slid a pass to Hensick at the post. Hensick tapped it behind Khudobin and into crease for Nesbitt. It was the 300th professional point for Nesbitt.


Hensick completed his multi-point night less than four minutes later after Ian Cole found him at the backdoor. Cole’s pass from the blueline gave Hensick a wide-open net for his fifth goal of the season and his third multi-point game. Nesbitt was given a secondary assist for his second point. 


Peoria was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill while the Rivermen went without a power play until the final three minutes of the game and finished 0-for-1.