Checkers Hand Rivermen 4-2 Loss
The Charlotte Checkers scored the final three goals of the game on Friday night to hand the Peoria Rivermen a 4-2 loss at Time Warner Cable Arena. Goaltender Mike McKenna faced a 43-shot barrage and turned in a solid 39-save performance in just his second start of the year.
The loss increased Peoria’s winless streak to six games (0-4-1-1) and dropped their overall record to 2-6-2-1 to start the season.
T.J Hensick turned in his second straight multi-point night by adding two more assists to the three he collected on Thursday against the Checkers while Derek Nesbitt scored for the second time in as many games.
Taylor Chorney’s first goal of the season, setup by Hensick, opened the scoring at 11:25 of the first period with the Rivermen on a two-man advantage. His slapshot from just inside the blueline found its way under the blocker of Dan Ellis and into the net for Peoria’s second power-play goal of the weekend.
McKenna held his ground in the remainder of the period including two stops in the closing seconds of the frame against Riley Nash on a shorthanded breakaway.
Charlotte scored three times in the second period to take over the lead for good. Zach Boychuk buried his ninth goal of the season at 8:52 just as time expired on a lengthy Checkers’ power play. The tie game lasted just 13 seconds as Derek Nesbitt stole the puck and pushed a backhand through the pads of Ellis to give Peoria back a 2-1 lead.
Chris Terry scored twice, once on the power-play, in 3:55 to give Charlotte back the lead at 3-2 to start the third period.
In the third, Charlotte’s Justin Faulk netted his third of the season at 5:16 to finish off the Rivermen 4-2.
Both teams finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play while Ellis made 22 saves for the win. McKenna falls to 0-2-0-0 on the season despite his 39 saves on 43 shots.
Peoria hosts the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Rivermen hat courtesy of OSF Medical Center. For more tickets call 309-676-1040.