Game Recaps

Mink, Bishop Stay Hot As Rivermen Beat San Antonio, 6-2

Ben Bishop, Graham Mink and Nick Drazenovic all shared the spotlight as the Peoria Rivermen beat the San Antonio Rampage 6-2 on Friday night in their first road game of the new season.   Mink registered four points (goal, three assists) while Drazenovic scored twice and added an assist while Bishop turned away 42 Rampage shots.


The Rivermen power play stayed hot with a 3-for-7 performance and have now scored seven times in their last 12 power-play opportunities. Peoria has posted back-to-back six goal performances after a 6-2 win over Rockford on Tuesday.


The Rivermen caught a break early in the first when Rampage leading scorer Mathieu Beaudoin put one into an empty net due to a friendly bounce off the boards, but the goal was disallowed due to a delayed offsides call.


Peoria took advantage by getting on the board first when Drazenovic’s shot from the corner found the back of the net. The attempted centering pass hit the inside of Al Montoya’s right pad and went through his legs for Drazenovic’s second goal of the year. Mink had the lone assist on the goal at 7:23.


Just 38 seconds later the Rivermen struck again when Dave Scatchard and Chris Porter set up Dave Spina on a breakaway. Montoya went for the poke-check, but Spina was not fooled. Spina went forehand to backhand and then finished with a shot that got by Montoya for his second of the year and first against his former team.


The Rivermen capped off the three-goal first frame with a power-play goal by Drazenovic, his second of the game and third of the year. Drazenovic buried a loose bouncing puck in front for the third and final unanswered goal of the opening frame for Peoria at 18:13.


Bishop made 16 saves in the first.


Two early penalties turned out to haunt the Rivermen early in the second period. Brett MacLean scored the first Rampage goal and first on the year with a wrist shot in the slot under the glove of Bishop. The goal came on a 5-on-3 and was assisted by Andrew Ebbett and Montoya, who caught the Rivermen in the midst of a line change and made a lengthy pass to start the play.


The Peoria power play continued its strong play when Nathan Oystrick tallied his third power-play goal in as many games games. Oystrick managed to put one in from unfamiliar territory, just outside the crease, for his third of the year.


San Antonio’s Beaudoin made up for the disallowed goal earlier and capitalized on an Oystrick turnover with a goal of his own on a breakaway early in the third. Beaudoin beat Bishop with a shot up high over the glove narrowing the Peoria lead to 4-2.


Minutes later Peoria took back their three-goal lead when Mink put a low shot through the net. The goal had to be discussed by the officials and the goal-judge as the back of the net was lifted up  by a stick allowing the puck to go straight under the goal.


Adam Cracknell piled onto the lead late in the third period with a breakaway deke that fooled Montaya in the last minute of play, his first of the year.


With the win the Rivermen improved to 3-1-0 on the year and have scored a league-leading 18 goals in their first four games of the season. The power play is also off to the league’s best start, 9-for-24 (37.5 percent).