Bishop Stops 47 in 5-2 Win
Adam Cracknell had a goal and two assists and Ben Bishop made 47 saves to lead Peoria to a 5-2 win against the division-rival Rockford IceHogs. The two teams combined for 90 total shots on goal and 68 penalty minutes as the Rivermen killed off all but one of nine IceHog power plays.
The Rivermen improved to 11-12-1-1 and moved back into third place in the Midwest Division.
The Rivermen opened up the scoring at the 5:00 mark right after failing to convert on a 2-minute 5-on-3 powerplay. With the puck still in the offensive zone Brett Sterling threw the puck on goal from a bad angle. The puck rolled off Anthony Nigro’s stick and right to T.J. Hensick who buried it for his eighth goal of the year.
Peoria added to its lead at 7:37 of the first period on a Shaun Heshka slapshot from just inside the right circle. It was his second goal in eight games since joining the club.
Adam Cracknell scored his sixth goal of the year at the 11:07 mark of the first to increase Peoria’s lead to three. With the puck near the right circle, Cade Fairchild made a cross ice pass to Cracknell who wristed it into an open net.
Rockford cut into Peoria’s lead with 3:38 remaining in the first. Jimmy Hayes finished off a bouncing puck past a sprawled out Bishop. Brandon Pirri and Rostislav Olesz were awarded assists on the play.
After a scoreless second period, in which the IceHogs outshot the Rivermen 17-13, Rockford made it a 3-2 game with a power-play goal at 5:02 of the third. Brian Connelly threw the puck towards the net from just inside the blueline and it banked it off the leg of Jeremy Morin.
At 14:27 of the third period Peoria regained their two-goal lead. Cracknell forced a turnover in the offensive zone and Jonathan Cheechoo fired the puck top shelf over the right shoulder of Hutton for his eighth goal of the season.
With 3:46 left to play Phil Mcrae sealed the game with his team-leading 13th goal of the year. Fairchild collected his second assist of the night on the goal to extend his assist streak to three games (five assists).
A scrum in front of the Rivermen goal at 16:57 led to a fight between Stefan Della Rovere and Jeremy Morin as well as 10-minute misconducts to Brennan Evans and Andrew Shaw. Bishop was given a double-minor for roughing to create a lengthy five-on-three power play late in the game. Bishop held his ground in the final push to finish off the IceHogs.
The Rivermen set a season-high in shots in a single period (20), shots allowed in a period (21), shots (41), and shots allowed (49). The finished 8-for-9 on the penalty kill, matching their season-high in power-plays against.
The Rivermen begin a four-game road trip on Friday in Oklahoma City at 7:00 p.m. All games can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM or online through www.rivermen.net.