Rivermen Win Wild One Over Rockford
The Peoria Rivermen were able to overcome a two-goal deficit with just 1:12 remaining in regulation and beat the Rockford IceHogs, 7-6, in overtime Friday night at Carver Arena. Peoria gave up five unanswered goals in the game, but responded with three of their own late to improve to 6-6-1-1 on the year.
Phil McRae tallied two late power-play goals to complete his second hat trick on the year, and Jake Allen stopped 36 of the 42 shots he faced to earn his first victory of the season.
T.J. Hensick opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the year from Anthony Peluso and Brennan Evans at the 9:31 mark of the opening frame. Hensick dangled his way through the Rockford defense and finished with a backhand over a sprawled out Alec Richards.
Peoria’s Cade Fairchild extended the Rivermen lead less than two minutes later. He walked into the right circle and snapped his second goal of the year by Richards who was heavily screened on the play.
It only took the IceHogs 48 seconds from the start of the second period to get their first goal in the contest. Brian Connelly threw the puck to the front from behind the goal line, it ended up under Allen as he fell into the net. It was his second goal of the year and assisted by Jeremy Morin and Brett McLean.
McRae put Peoria back up by two at 6:41 of the second. Stefan Della Rovere threw a backhand on net with traffic in front, and McRae grabbed the loose puck and roofed a quick shot for his fifth of the year.
The Rivermen took a 4-1 lead while on the man advantage about a minute later. Danny Syvret took a slapper from the point that found its way to the back of the net for his first tally in a Rivermen sweater. Alexander Salak was put in to relieve Richards after the tally.
Rockford’s Brett McLean cut Peoria’s lead in half finding his own rebound off a wrap around attempt for his fifth goal of the year just past the midway point of the second period.
The IceHogs cut the score to 4-3 with a power play goal of their own 2:40 into the third period. Ben Smith got a stick on Shawn Lalonde’s shot from the point and redirected the puck through the legs of Allen for his fifth of the year.
Brandon Pirri tied the game up at four with a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Allen from the right circle. The goal came at 9:29 of the third and was assisted by Smith.
Forty-five seconds later the IceHogs took their first lead o f the game. Smith got his second of the game on a shot from the high slot right off a faceoff win in the Rivermen zone.
Morin added to the Rockford lead on the power play with just under 8 minutes to go in the game.
With two men in the box for Rockford and the Peoria net empty, McRae blasted a slap shot from the high slot over the glove Salak for his second of the game. Less than a minute later and still on the man advantage it was McRae rifling another high slapper into the twine to complete his second hat trick of the season.
At the end of 60 minutes and the score tied at six, the game went to overtime.
Three and a half minutes into the extra frame Adam Cracknell netted what proved to be the game winning goal. Jay Barribal came flying into the Rockford zone, but was tripped up right in front of the IceHogs goal. The puck luckily squirted back right to Cracknell who lifted a shot top shelf to complete the comeback.
Rockford outshot Peoria 42-40 and went 2-6 on the power play. Peoria went 3-8 on the man advantage.
The Rivermen begin a nine-game road trip on Saturday in Rockford at 7:05 p.m. All games can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM or online through www.rivermen.net.