Game Recaps

Cedrick Desjardins Too Much for Rivermen


The Peoria Rivermen attacked early and often Saturday but Cedrick Desjardins made 38 saves and backstopped the Lake Erie Monsters to a 3-2 win at the Quicken Loans Arena. The loss dropped the Rivermen to 9-7-1-1 on the season and ended a season-high four-game winning streak. 




The loss was just their second regulation loss on the road and first since Oct. 16 against Charlotte.  Now seven of Peoria’s last eight games have been decided by a single goal with the Rivermen posting a 4-3-0 record in those games.


Despite Peoria’s control of the puck throughout much of the opening frame, the Monsters grabbed a 1-0 lead with just seconds to play. At the 19:12 mark, Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop gloved down a shot from Evan Brophey, but David van der Gulik beat the Rivermen to a loose puck and found the back of the net.


After Stefan Della Rovere was called for tripping five minutes into the second period, Lake Erie capitalized on the ensuing power play to take a 2-0 advantage. Shortly after a draw, Hugh Jessiman fired a shot from the left circle that beat Bishop at the 6:15 mark.


Peoria responded quickly as Brett Sterling cut the deficit to one just 15 seconds later. T.J. Hensick beat a pair of Monsters defensemen to a loose puck and dished it to the slot for Sterling. The winger then grabbed the puck, dragged and scored past Desjardins at 6:30. Hensick was credited with the only assist on the goal.


Power plays gave the Rivermen a chance to tie the game near the end of the period.  Tyson Barrie and Justin Mercier were both whistled for minors in the final 5:04 of the second frame but Peoria’s power play finished the night 0-for-4. They outshot the Monsters 18-8 during the period.


The Rivermen came out firing in the third period and notched the equalizer at the 5:10 mark. Hensick skated in along the left boards and sent a cross-ice pass for Derek Nesbitt who fired a shot. Desjardins made the initial save, but the puck was knocked into the air and Sterling swatted it in for his second goal of the game.


The Monsters broke the tie and added the final goal of the game with just over two minutes to play in regulation. At 17:47, van der Gulik skated past Sterling and fed a puck through a pair of Rivermen defenders to Jake Newton. Newton beat Bishop on the blocker side for his first of the year.


Bishop stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss while Desjardins made 38 saves for the win.


The Rivermen season-long road trip continues on Sunday with a 4 p.m. CDT contest against the Toronto Marlies. The game can be heard locally on 107.9 CD Country in Peoria or online at