Allen Stops 42 in 5-2 Win Over Rockford
The Peoria Rivermen rode a career-high 42 save performance from Jake Allen as they beat the Rockford IceHogs 5-2 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night. Jonathan Cheechoo and Derek Nesbitt each registered two-point games while Chase Polacek collected his first AHL goal.
The Rivermen finished their four-game road trip with a 2-2-0 record by winning their final two games of the swing. They are now 13-14-1-1 (28 pts) and tied for third place in the Midwest Division.
Rockford opened the scoring at 15:04 of the first period on a goal from Brian Connelly. Peoria was just 5 seconds away from killing off a Cade Fairchild minor when Connelly fired a low drive from the right point. His shot sailed through traffic and over Allen’s left pad for his third of the season and second against Peoria.
Cheechoo evened the score at 4:59 in the second period after sending home a rebound from the right side of the crease. Nesbitt earned the assist after he intercepted a Rockford pass between the circles and fired the initial shot on goal.
Nesbitt provided Peoria with its first lead of the game at 13:55 in the second period when he slammed a puck into the net past Alec Richards at the doorstep.
The Rivermen increased the lead to 3-1 when Tyler Shattock scored at 19:03 in the second period. Adam Cracknell assisted the goal with a cross-ice pass to the bottom of the right circle where Shattock deflected the puck past Richards and into an open net.
Brandon Pirri cut into the Peoria lead at 1:40 in the third with a slap shot from the left point that sailed past Allen’s glove.
Peoria’s regained some much-needed momentum at 7:08 when Polacek put Peoria back up by two. Brennan Evans fired a shot wide which deflected off the boards behind Richards’ net before Polacek slammed the puck home which improved the Rivermen lead to 4-2.
Anthony Nigro added an empty net goal at 19:51 in the third period to seal the victory. The Rivermen finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and killed 3-of-4.
The Rivermen will return home Saturday night to take on the Toronto Marlies at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans 12 and under will receive a youth jersey courtesy of Hyvee. Tickets are available at the Peoria Civic Center box office or online atwww.rivermen.net.