Game Recaps

Smith and Admirals Shut Down Rivermen


Austin Watson scored twice and Jeremy Smith made 29 saves as the Milwaukee Admirals handed the Peoria Rivermen a 4-1 loss on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. After carrying a shutout through the game's first 57 minutes, Derek Nesbitt scored Peoria's only goal to breakup Smith's shutout bid.


The loss was Peoria's third in a row as they fell to 13-14-2-2 on the year and are now 2-3-0-0 against Milwaukee this season.




Milwaukee scored two goals in a 34-second span to open up the scoring midway through the first period. Ryan Ellis beat Mike McKenna between the legs for his second goal of the season at the 13:10 mark with assists credited to Kevin Henderson and Michael Latta on the tally. Shortly afterwards, Watson finished off a Cam Reid feed to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead.


The game featured two fights and both came within seconds of Milwaukee's second goal. Stefan Della Rovere dropped the gloves with Ben Ryan in the first fight of the season for both players at 13:45 while Chris Bruton and Michael Latta squared off at 13:48.


With 3:00 remaining in the second period, Watson scored his second goal of the night to increase Milwaukee’s lead to three goals. From along the goal line, Watson banked the puck off of the right pad of Mike McKenna and into the net. Latta and Juuso Puustinen earned the assists on the goal. 


The two teams exchanged goals 17 seconds apart late in the third frame. After Nesbitt spoiled the shutout with his 11th goal of the season with 2:19 remaining in the third. Henderson added his sixth of the year at 17:58 to ultimately make it a 4-1 game.


The Rivermen outshot the Admirals 10-9 in the second period and 12-5 in the third, but couldn’t solve Smith, who improved his record to 3-0-1 this season against Peoria.


The Rivermen will return home for a New Year’s Eve contest against the Abbotsford Heat at 6:05 p.m. Select tickets are available for that game for only $13 from 12-4p.m. on Monday at the Peoria Civic Center box office. For more information call 309-676-1040 or visit