IceHogs Beat Rivermen in High Scoring Affair
The Peoria Rivermen came back to within one goal on two separate occasions against the Rockford IceHogs before falling 6-4 on Friday night at Carver Arena. Rockford’s Brett McLean netted two goals, including the game winner, to help end Peoria’s four-game point streak and Rockford’s three-game losing streak.
Brett Sonne, Derek Nesbitt, Tyler Shattock and TJ Hensick all had two-point nights as the Rivermen offense is now averaging 4.80 goals over their last five games.
Shattock opened the scoring with his first of the year from Kyle Hagel and Sonne. Hagel sent a backhand pass across the slot to Shattock on the doorstep and he one-timed a shot into the back of the net at 3:24 of the first period.
Brian Connelly had the answer for Rockford just 1:56 later. Ben Smith found a streaking Connelly on the left wing and his shot from the top of the left circle beat Jake Allen glove-side high. It was Connelly’s first goal of the year.
Rockford took their first lead of the game at the 10:44 mark on a goal from Ben Youds, also his first of the year. Jimmy Hayes carried the puck into the Rivermen zone and made a centering pass to Youds and his one-timer from the slot beat a sliding Allen. The IceHogs made it a 3-1 contest with 5:01 remaining while on the power play with Smith’s second of the year.
Rockford gave themselves a three goal lead just 1:35 into the middle frame. Brett McLean got his first of the year on a weak turnaround wrist shot from the top of the right circle that found its way through the legs of Allen.
Sterling cut the Rockford lead in half on his sixth of the year from Derek Nesbitt and Hensick. Nesbitt entered the Rockford zone along the right wall and centered a pass across the slot to Sterling who redirected the puck past Alec Richards at the 10:45 mark of the second period.
Less than a minute later the Rivermen found themselves on the man advantage and Nesbitt’s third of the year made it 4-3. Nesbitt picked up the puck in the right circle right off the draw, brought it to the front, and snapped a quick shot by the blocker of Richards just 3 seconds into the power play.
McLean picked up his second of the night on a 5-on-3 power play with just under 4 minutes remaining in the second to put Rockford back up by two.
Peoria’s Brett Sonne made it a one goal game midway through the final frame tipping in Jake Gannon’s slapper from the point but Rockford’s Jimmy Hayes had the answer 13 seconds later to give Rockford the lead for good.
The Rivermen were outshot 39-34 in the game and went 1-for-5 on the power play while the IceHogs went 2-for-6.
The Rivermen take on the IceHogs again Saturday evening in Rockford at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM in Peoria or online through www.rivermen.net.