Peluso's Pair Leads Rivermen to 5-2 Win Over Griffins
|Derek Nesbitt tries to keep Tomas Tatar from putting the puck in front of the net. (photo: Mark Newman)|
The Peoria Rivermen pulled away from the Grand Rapids Griffins with a three-goal third period to beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-2 on Friday night at Van Andel Arena. The win extended their AHL-long point streak to 11 games (9-0-2) and put them within two points of the first-place San Antonio Rampage.
Anthony Peluso led the way with first two-goal game of his professional career. He was one of four different Rivermen to register a multi-point game as TJ Hensick (1g, 1a), Nick Drazenovic (2a), and Dean Arsene (1g, 1a) all doubled up on the scoresheet. Jake Allen made 26 saves to improve to 10-1-1 on the season.
Grand Rapids took an early lead thanks to Francis Pare’s first of two just 8:50 into the first period. He snapped a quick shot over the glove of Allen from the bottom of the right circle. The early lead lasted throughout the first period as the Rivermen were outshot 10-7 in the opening frame.
Peluso tied the game at 1-1 just 1:36 into the second. Peluso put a puck on net, which generated a rebound away from Thomas McCullom. Adam Cracknell grabbed the puck away from the diving goaltender and pushed it into the crease for Peluso.
Hensick gave the Rivermen a 2-1 lead with 4:01 left in the second period after firing a wrist shot off the post and past McCollum’s glove while on the power-play. Drazenovic and Graham Mink kept the puck alive long enough to let Hensick walk out of the corner and beat McCullom.
The Rivermen took a two-goal lead at 9:32 into the third period when Derek Nesbitt cleared the blue line and threw a shot on net through traffic that ultimately beat McCollum’s blocker. Arsene and Hensick added assists on the play.
After a second Pare goal brought the Griffins within one, Peluso scored his second goal of the game at 15:34. Dave Spina slid the pass to Peluso in the high-slot and his wrist shot worked his way between McCullom’s legs.
Rivermen captain Dean Arsene added his first goal of the season on a wrist shot from the blue line with just 3:00 left in regulation. Phil McRae and Drazenovic added assists on the tally. It capped the first two-point night for Arsene since Jan. 21, 2009 when he was a member of the Hershey Bears.
Peoria scored all five goals on just 23 shots and three goals on five shots in the third period.
The Rivermen improved to 3-0-0 against Grand Rapids this season and the two teams will meet again on Saturday at Carver Arena.
Saturday’s game will start a three-game homestand over a four-day stretch and Noah Munck, who plays Gibby on the popular Nickelodeon show, iCarly, will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net.