Mink Leads Rivermen To Second Straight Win
The Peoria Rivermen scored twice in a 22-second stretch of the first period and took down the Abbotsford Heat at Carver Arena for the second consecutive game by a score of 3-1. Graham Mink scored the game-winner and added an empty-netter while Brett Sonne notched his first of the season in front of a crowd of 7,045 – the largest since opening night.
Sonne’s goal was also his first point of the season and came on the power play just 4:28 into the first period. After Dave Scatchard and Dave Spina worked the puck to the crease, Sonne pushed it through Leland Irving and just across the goal line.
Nathan Oystrick and J.D. Watt dropped the gloves on the face-off immediately after Sonne’s goal and provided 50 seconds worth of entertainment that ignited the Carver Arena crowd. Both players were given fighting majors and the crowd was still standing when Mink expanded the Rivermen lead.
Mink scored on a wrist shot from the right circle, breaking a nine game goalless streak, off a turnover inside the Heat zone. Adam Cracknell had the assist lone on the goal.
Following a scoreless second, Abbotsford cut the lead in half at 4:58 of the third period when Logan MacMillan snuck a puck past Ben Bishop’s leg pad after collecting a J.D. Watt rebound.
Peoria was perfect on the penalty kill again with a 4-for-4 performance and killed off all 12 Heat power plays over the two-game series. Abbotsford had one last chance on the man-advantage following a Derek Nesbitt hooking call with 3:31 left but Bishop made two of his 24 saves to protect the win.
Mink’s empty-netter came at 19:43 from Nick Drazenovic and Dean Arsene. It was the first point of the year for Arsene.
The Rivermen outshot Abbotsford 25-24.
The two teams will meet two more times in Abbotsford on Jan. 18 and 19. Peoria is now 2-1-0 against North Division teams this year.