Three-goal Third Period Does In Rivermen
The Peoria Rivermen scored two goals in the opening 2:56 but the Grand Rapids Griffins scored the final four goals of the game to hand the Rivermen a 5-3 loss Saturday night in front of 6,641 fans at Carver Arena. T.J. Hensick, Derek Nesbitt, and Mark Cundari all tallied goals while Jake Allen stopped 32 of 36.
The loss extended Peoria’s winless streak to seven games (0-5-1-1) and dropped their record to 2-7-2-1.
Hensick scored the game’s first goal just 1:56 into the first with this team on the power play. Ian Cole took a slapshot from the point that bounced off the boards right to Hensick who roofed the puck into an open net. Just 60 seconds later, Nesbitt scored to give the Rivermen a 2-0 lead. Nesbitt one-timed a shot from the slot past Tom McCollum to get his fourth goal of the season. Brett Sonne and Hensick got assists on Peoria’s second goal.
Hensick finished the weekend with seven points (1g, 6a) in three games.
With 1:44 remaining in the first frame, Landon Ferraro scored on the man advantage to cut Peoria’s lead in half. Brendan Smith took a wrist shot from along the right wing boards that Ferraro was able to deflect past Allen. Francis Pare earned the secondary assist on the play.
Cundari scored his first goal of the year at the 9:40 mark of the second period to make the score 3-1. Cundari received a cross-ice pass from Phil McRae and fired a slap shot from the point that beat McCollum low to the glove side.
With 2:05 to go in the second Tomas Tatar scored his fifth goal of the year on the power play to make it a one-goal contest once again. A scramble in front of the net with a lot of traffic resulted in the puck finding its way across the goal line. Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist got credit with the assists.
Andersson scored at 10:39 of the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Nyquist passed it to Andersson who tapped the puck into the goal while standing alone in the next to the crease.
At 17:34, Pare scored to give the Griffins their first lead of the night. After Allen made a couple saves with the outstretched left pad, Pare was finally able to burry what turned out to be the game-winning goal. With 1.7 seconds left Ferraro scored his second goal of the night into an empty net.
Grand Rapids outshot Peoria 37-25. The Rivermen went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Griffins went 2-for-5 on the man advantage.
The Rivermen will be back on the road Wednesday against the Rockford IceHogs at 7:05 p.m. All games can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM or online through www.rivermen.net.