O'Sullivan Too Hot for Heat in 4-1 Win
Coming off a thrilling 4-3 overtime win versus
Western Conference leading Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, the Rivermen
picked up where they left off with a 4-1 win against the Abbotsford Heat on
Friday evening at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Complex.
Patrick O’Sullivan scored twice and now has
three goals and four assists in three games since joining the Rivermen. Jake Allen turned in a 39-save performance
while the Rivermen power play netted two more goals.
Peoria improved to 33-26-2-1 and remain in
third place in the Midwest Division and improved to sixth in the Western
Conference with the win.
A spirited first period began with two fights
in the first 3:45 of the contest. Rivermen forward Chris Bruton and
Abbotsford’s J.P. Testwuide dropped the gloves 3:04 into the game with Bruton
dropping Testwuide with a knee-buckling punch. Just 41 seconds after the first
fight, Abbotsford’s Nick Tuzzolino engaged Peoria forward Stefan Della Rovere
for the second fight of the game.
Less than two minutes later, the Rivermen
opened the scoring on Patrick O’Sullivan’s 12th goal of the season. Anthony
Nigro and Derek Nesbitt assisted on O’Sullivan’s second goal since joining the
Peoria doubled their lead at 16:44 of the first
period on the power play from Nigro. His
11th goal of the season came from the right circle as his screened-shot sailed over
the shoulder of goaltender Leland Irving Evgeny Grachev and Phil McRae assisted
on Peoria first power-play goal of the night.
Allen carried the Rivermen in the second period
with a strong performance stopping 16 Abbotsford shots. Testwuide took an elbowing penalty with 57
seconds left the red-hot O’Sullivan made Abbotsford pay with his second goal of
the game to extend the Rivermen lead to 3-0. Cade Fairchild and Adam Cracknell
assisted on the goal which was Peoria fifth consecutive successful conversion
on the power play.
The Heat snapped Allen’s shutout attempt 2:02
into the third period as Abbotsford’s Joe Piskula scored on a bouncing shot
from the blueline that jumped off Allen’s glove and into the net.
Cracknell put the finishing touches on the game
with an empty-net goal to give Peoria a 4-1 win. Peoria held Abbotsford
scoreless on three power plays while the Rivermen went 2-for-4. The Heat
outshot the Rivermen 40-28 in the contest.
The Rivermen continue their five game road trip
on Sunday afternoon against the Abbotsford Heat at 3:00 pm. The game can be
heard in Peoria on CD Country 107.9 or online through www.rivermen.net.