Cundari Powers Rivermen Past Wolves
The Peoria Rivermen built themselves a 3-0 lead on Saturday night but still needed a power-play goal in the final minute to pick up a 5-3 win over the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena. Mark Cundari broke a 3-3 tie with 59.3 seconds remaining and Evgeny Grachev added an empty netter to give the Rivermen their 20th win over the season.
Jake Allen made 33 saves in net for Peoria as he earned his 50th career win with the Rivermen. Cundari (1g, 1a), Adam Cracknell (1g, 1a), T.J. Hensick (2a) and Derek Nesbitt (2a) all finished with two points while Brett Sonne tallied his third goal in his last four games.
The only goal of the first period came from Cracknell at 16:13 during four-on-four play. Phil McRae fed a pass through to Cracknell who lifted the puck into the roof of the net over Joe Cannata.
Brett Sonne put Peoria up 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at 3:00 of the second period. He poked the puck away from Darren Haydar and then cleaned up a rebound from Cracknell.
Just 2:19 later, Chris Porter shot the puck over Cannata’s glove to give Peoria a 3-0 lead. T. J. Hensick and Derek Nesbitt were awarded assists as Porter notched his third goal in four games since joining the Rivermen from St. Louis.
Eric Kattelus started Chicago's comeback with a friendly bounce at 10:00. Darren Archibald and Kevin Connauton earned the assists in the power-play goal as the Allen's save bounced back into the net off the body of Kattelus.
Andrew Gordon scored for the Wolves, using Brent Regner as a screen, at 9:11 of the third period and Anton Rodin erased the Rivermen lead with 3:59 remaining in regulation.
Darren Archibald's holding call at 18:30 setup a Rivermen power play that was 0-for-3 in the game. Hensick and Nesbitt helped work the puck to Cundari at the line who wristed one through a screen and into the net at 19:00. It was Cundari's third of the season and his second power-play goal.
Grachev outworked everyone on the ice for his seventh goal of the season as he won a race to the puck and pushed it into an empty net while sliding along the ice.
Peoria was outshot 36-34 in the game as the Rivermen improved to 5-1-1 against Chicago this year.
The Rivermen will return to face the Chicago Wolves Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. All games can be heard on CD Country 107.9 FM or online through www.rivermen.net.